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Oil & Gas CEOs will invest in Data Analytics and Cognitive Technology to achieve growth: KPMG Survey

Oil & Gas CEOs step up investments to achieve growth

Despite commitment to emerging technologies, CEOs are concerned that implementation will create challenges.


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As breakeven points become more sustainable, and the oil and gas industry begins to find its footing off of a major downturn, CEOs are bullish on growth outlook and are intensifying investment in emerging technologies and innovative solutions to lead the way, according to the 2017 Global KPMG CEO Outlook.

“The energy sector is an incredible place to be right now. Innovative technologies have the capacity to completely disrupt the way we operate, and it’s clear from our study that global oil and gas executives recognize that these technologies – when properly implemented– put us in a position to make big change,” said Regina Mayor, Global Energy and Natural Resources Leader, KPMG in the US.

In the KPMG study of 51 global oil and gas CEOs, 82 percent say they are confident they will see their company grow over the next 12 months; 90 percent are confident they’ll see growth over a 3-year period.

To achieve this growth:

  • Eighty-eight percent of CEOs plan to invest in data and analytics tools, followed by IoT (82 percent), and cognitive automation (78 percent).
  • Eighty-six percent say these investments will primarily focus on physical infrastructure, 71 percent say regulatory compliance, 59 percent point to innovation of new products and services. 
  • The CEOs’ priority objectives for these investments are to achieve bottom-line growth, transform their businesses, and create organizational resiliency.

While CEOs indicated a clear commitment to investing in emerging technologies to achieve growth, risks and challenges with implementing these technologies prevail. In fact, emerging technology is the top risk oil and gas CEOs are concerned with, followed by operations, changing customer needs, and supply chain. Additionally, when it comes to the biggest technology-related challenges to organizations over the next three years, oil and gas CEOs first point to integrating cognitive technology, followed by attracting new strategic talent, trusting the quality of data, and piloting emerging technology.

“Digitization of the industry is clearly on the minds of global oil and gas CEOs. We’re hearing it in all of our client discussions as concepts around digital labor and cognitive are being explored industry-wide,” said Anton Oussov, Global Oil and Gas Leader, KPMG in Russia. “And with such opportunity for disruption comes risk and concern, but those companies that embrace the new digital environment will thrive.”

About KPMG's 2017 Global CEO Outlook survey

The survey covers 1,261 CEOs in 10 key markets (Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Spain, UK and US) and 11 key industry sectors (automotive, banking, infrastructure, insurance, investment management, life sciences, manufacturing, retail/consumer markets, technology, energy/utilities and telecom). A third of the companies surveyed have more than US$10B in annual revenue, with no responses from companies under US$500M. The survey was conducted between 21 February and 11 April 2017. NOTE: some figures may not add up to 100 percent due to rounding.

About KPMG International

KPMG is a global network of professional services firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. We operate in 152 countries and have 189,000 people working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.

For further information, contact:

Megan Dubrowski
Twitter: @meg_dub

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