In December of 2018, on LinkedIn, I have shared my summary on business climate in oil and gas in 2018 and my understanding of the challenges and priorities for 2019.

I want to follow my habit of summarizing the past year and framing the expectations for a New Year.

In 2019, once again, I was reminded of the importance of people I work with in Actus Veritas Geoscience and people we met and built business relationships with in 2019. These people and the quality of our relationships made our 2019 a remarkable year. We refocused our work on building a subject matter expert and leading technology community to support small businesses.

2019 Oil and Gas Upstream continued to be dominated by expectations to have business results delivered by applications of the technology alone - "offloading a human factor" - as I've heard at one of the technology conferences. Products like Sandy were highly publicized. In reality such technologies are simply improved search engines and time-savers and should be used as enablers to humans to help them cope with information overflow while making decisions.

I hope realization that Digital transformation IS the transformation of humans will come to the industry leaders in 2020. Real time data delivery and analysis tools put pressure of continuous update of digital skills not only on technical people but on management also.

In 2020, digital practices of supply chain established on technology and assumptions of 2000-2015  need to be revisited to make organizations more responsive and open to change.

There is no generic Big Data or AI process as it was explained in one of many presentations on this topic. All digital initiatives should be developed honoring specific requirements for each data type used in oil and gas projects to solve a specific geologic problem. This requires an integration of human experience.

All of these are not new ideas but rather delayed needs of our industry. In 2016 Sebastian Wernicke delivered TED talk I am sharing here. I think it is still completely applicable to Oil and Gas.

As you can learn from this video, data by itself does not deliver the decision. The key is in figuring out where data and brains belong in the process of the decision making. This could be done only by taking an action and accepting the risk.

Lack of action hurts our industry. We need to overcome inaction of the last 5 years as soon as possible and take a risk in decision making to be successful. Let's kick industry into action of reinventing itself rather than delaying addressing accumulated challenges of 2015-2019 for one more year.

This will allow the industry to build a solid foundation for successful delivery of exploration and production projects in 2020-2025. These are not IT projects- they are business transformation projects which require an integrated engagement of geoscientists, engineers, executives, data management and IT specialists.