The month is coming to an end, the United States of America has inaugurated its 45th President, and the WTI crude oil index is hovering just above $51/bbl. Shortly after U.S. election day, November 8, 2016, prices dropped to $43.32/bbl before shooting up to $53.99/bbl in early January 2017. Experts believe the rise in crude oil barrel prices are less dependent on the U.S. presidency and more on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) decision to cut production. Unfortunately, the United States and other non-OPEC members are not participating in this production freeze and are actually saturating the market. The increased production in oil by the U.S. is potentially the reason why oil prices have not risen to the forecasted $60/bbl.

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Cloud technology has had an immense impact on many industries, including healthcare, education and retail. The cloud has provided on-demand access to information, reduced the need for large, physical storages, and has helped improve the analysis and trackability of information, all with lower implementation costs compared to on-premise solutions. Cloud technology could have the same impact on oil and gas. Unfortunately, the oil and gas industry has not been as receptive to the cloud as other industries. Below are a few tips to get your business started with the cloud. As we move forward, the cloud could begin to have an immense impact on production and productivity in the industry. Here’s how.

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It is evident that oil and gas (O&G) businesses are beginning to heavily invest in software technology to help improve productivity while reducing costs. The latest acquisition of Baker Hughes by General Electric shows that O&G businesses are starting to recognize the need for investment in service technologies to improve operational efficiencies. For example, preventing worker and equipment downtime as a way to further cut costs to remain profitable at lower oil prices. Business process management software and Internet of Things (IoT) technology are being deployed across the industry to help create greater efficiency at a work site and at the office. Businesses that are willing to accept that the conventional way of running an exploration & production (E&P) business is no longer sustainable at these lower oil barrel prices will survive by adopting new and emerging technologies.

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The oil and gas (O&G) industry is going through an age-related crisis. The average age of employees in O&G companies is 50 years according to the World Petroleum Council. This means that within 5 to 10 years the bulk of the current workforce will be retiring. As veteran staff retire, in many cases, the knowledge accumulated throughout their careers also goes with them. That is, unless the company has a proactive plan to facilitate knowledge transfer before that employee retires or leaves. Unfortunately, many companies don’t so O&G is facing a knowledge retention issue that must be addressed immediately. Software technology, along with a strong, well supported program that helps retain knowledge of retiring staff, is a key component to the success of every O&G business.

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