Digitalization Strategy in the Oil and Gas Industry - a case study of Equinor
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In today's accelerating environment, many industries have effectively used digitalization to attain control. However, digital best-practices and digital maturity vary within and across industries. After a period of financial turmoil, it has become evident that the oil and gas industry needs to undertake transformations. Utilizing digitalization, the industry has the opportunity to reshape and continue to provide value to its stakeholders. The objective of this thesis is to investigate the current state of digitalization in the O\&G sector, through a case study of Equinor, a grand Norwegian O\&G company, to ultimately suggest efforts of improvements. The thesis identifies nine guidelines for effective digitalization implementation. The guidelines are presented with relevant theory, analysis, and recommendations, respectively. The thesis builds on the assumption that Equinor, and the industry at large, has great opportunities to unlock large values by improving their current digitalization strategy. To answer the objective of this thesis, two fundamental research questions were formulated: RQ1: What is Equinor's current digitalization strategy? RQ2: What efforts can be made to improve Equinor's current digitalization strategy? This qualitative study answers the research questions by utilizing a semi-structured interview framework, measuring the state of the nine guidelines identified in the literature study. The findings are relatively unambiguous and indicate that Equinor is doing well compared to a lagging industry, but have growth opportunities both strategically and when it comes to administrative digitalization. Efforts to improve the current digitalization strategy were derived by analyzing the interview transcripts in relation to relevant literature. The analysis highlighted multiple root causes to Equinor’s digitalization problems. Four, out of five, root causes originates from the current digitalization strategy and the analysis suggested these respective improvements: Firstly, to tackle the current digitalization ambiguity, the meaning and impact of digitalization should be clearly stated. Secondly, insufficient collaboration can be solved by breaking up silos and creating circular collaborative ecosystems, with a focus on continuous and transparent data sharing. Thirdly, the developing digitalization governance can be accelerated by focusing on competencies like exploitativeness, project continuity, and transparency -- to spread best-practice throughout the company. Finally, a clear and sustainable overarching digitalization strategy needs to be implemented, in coherence with Equinor's future digitalization objectives, combined with an emphasis to continuously manage it.
Master's thesis in Industrial economics