Oil and gas operations in South Africa are being transformed by the growing integration of information and communication technologies (ICT). Oil and gas companies are increasingly adopting emerging technologies in order to improve the efficiency of their operations and lower costs.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, ICT Spend in South Africa: Oil and Gas Sector, finds that total ICT spend in the South African oil and gas sector was $44,3-million in 2014. This is expected to reach $50,6-million by 2019 at a compound annual growth rate of 2,7%. The study contextualises ICT investment within the sector across seven categories: cellular connectivity; cloud services; data centres; fixed and non-cellular connectivity; IT hardware; managed services; and systems integration.

“Changes across the oil and gas sector necessitate new approaches to managing information, analysing patterns, and optimising outcomes in both downstream and upstream operations,” says Frost & Sullivan Information and Communication Technologies Industry analyst Lehlohonolo Mokenela. “Cloud services, machine-to-machine (M2M) and customised applications that enable remote access, communications, big data and anytime-anywhere collaboration, are among the main ICT trends driving operational efficiency in the sector.”

Despite ICT becoming more prevalent in the sector, services such as communication have not been commoditised in South Africa. As a result, high costs remain a restraint to wider adoption. In the long-term, however, communication services are expected to become more affordable, and in turn, drive the uptake of cloud.

“In order to make a mark, ICT service providers need to broaden their understanding of sector-specific requirements, along with how ICT can be used to address them,” advises Mokenela.
“This is particularly true of the process-intensive oil and gas industry, which is looking to enhance exploration and production, improve refining and manufacturing, and optimise global operations.”

ICT Spend in South Africa: Oil and Gas Sector is a Market Insight that is part of the Connected Industries Growth Partnership Service programme. The analysis includes an overview of the oil and gas sector, drivers and restraints, and technology trends driving investment in ICT, highlighting both the current and future spend from 2015 to 2019.