Oil Digitalization Could Support Startups Despite Covid-19

This article first appeared on the BNEF mobile app and the Bloomberg Terminal.

  • BNEF tracks 138 tech startups serving the oil and gas sector
  • BNEF calculates oil sector spends $13bn on software per year

Oil sector digitalization is set to continue even as oil prices fall, according to BloombergNEF. Technology to manage remote operations is particularly popular right now.

The oil sector has been fast to invest in, and collaborate with, digital technology startups including C3.ai and Foghorn. BNEF’s digital industry startups tool tracks 138 companies serving the oil and gas sector.

Oilfield service providers such as Schlumberger, Halliburton and Baker Hughes have begun working with startups to serve upstream customers. Startups often build customized solutions at a discount compared with typical consulting. These cheaper services could be favorable at a time of crashing oil prices.

Oil majors including Chevron, BP and Shell have worked with AI startups for a few years to improve efficiency and reduce costs. More than 33% of oil and gas startups tracked by BNEF offer analytics software and machine learning.

BNEF forecasts that the oil sector will spend over $3 billion on advanced analytics in 2030, compared to $1 billion today.

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