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November 30, 2021updated 29 Nov 2021 12:57pm

Filings buzz in oil and gas industry: 35% increase in digitalisation mentions in Q2 of 2021

Mentions of digitalisation within the filings of companies in the oil and gas industry rose 35% between the first and second quarters of 2021.

By Andrew Hillman

Mentions of digitalisation within the filings of companies in the oil and gas industry rose 35% between the first and second quarters of 2021.

In total, the frequency of sentences related to digitalisation between July 2020 and June 2021 was 836% higher than in 2016 when GlobalData, from whom our data for this article is taken, first began to track the key issues referred to in company filings.

When companies in the oil and gas industry publish annual and quarterly reports, ESG reports and other filings, GlobalData analyses the text and identifies individual sentences that relate to disruptive forces facing companies in the coming years. Digitalisation is one of these topics - companies that excel and invest in these areas are thought to be better prepared for the future business landscape and better equipped to survive unforeseen challenges.

To assess whether digitalisation is featuring more in the summaries and strategies of companies in the oil and gas industry, two measures were calculated. Firstly, we looked at the percentage of companies which have mentioned digitalisation at least once in filings during the past twelve months - this was 78% compared to 37% in 2016. Secondly, we calculated the percentage of total analysed sentences that referred to digitalisation.

Of the 50 biggest employers in the oil and gas industry, Schlumberger Ltd was the company which referred to digitalisation the most between July 2020 and June 2021. GlobalData identified 223 digitalisation-related sentences in the United States-based company's filings - 4% of all sentences. Reliance Industries Ltd mentioned digitalisation the second most - the issue was referred to in 3.3% of sentences in the company's filings. Other top employers with high digitalization mentions included Tokyo Gas Co Ltd, Halliburton Co and Rosneft Oil Co.

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Across all companies in the oil and gas industry the filing published in the second quarter of 2021 which exhibited the greatest focus on digitalisation came from SK Inc. Of the document's 1,494 sentences, 67 (4.5%) referred to digitalisation.

This analysis provides an approximate indication of which companies are focusing on digitalization and how important the issue is considered within the oil and gas industry, but it also has limitations and should be interpreted carefully. For example, a company mentioning digitalisation more regularly is not necessarily proof that they are utilising new techniques or prioritising the issue, nor does it indicate whether the company's ventures into digitalisation have been successes or failures.

In the last quarter, companies in the oil and gas industry based in Asia were most likely to mention digitalisation with 0.72% of sentences in company filings referring to the issue. In contrast, companies with their headquarters in Canada mentioned digitalisation in just 0.03% of sentences.

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