The Secretary General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Mohammed Barkindo has said that time has come for the organization to start looking beyond petroleum and embrace technology to explore opportunities outside its primary mandate. To this end, OPEC will start exploring the future of blue hydrogen, digitalisation in the energy sector, cyber security and blockchain technology, adding that the oil and gas sector has always been keen on deploying the latest technologies to improve productivity.

Mohammed Barkindo, Secretary General, Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)

“The energy industry, particularly the oil sector, has always been eager to utilise and develop the latest cutting-edge technologies to improve efficiency and effectiveness of its operations, along with its environmental credentials.

“We at OPEC constantly review and analyse the latest technologies emerging in our industry and their impacts on the various sectors, including the supply chain. These technologies have changed us a lot, and we expect them to continue doing so in the future,” Barkindo said in a statement posted on the group’s website.

The group said it will host the second workshop on energy and information technology (IT) on September 21 via videoconference. According to OPEC, the aim of the workshop was to discuss and exchange information on a number of “key topics” relevant to energy technology and innovation. This year’s event will focus on issues such as the future of blue hydrogen, digitalisation in the energy sector and cyber security and blockchain technology.

Experts from OPEC member countries, other oil producing and consuming nations, international organisations and leading global corporations will be invited to participate in the workshop, OPEC noted. The event is part of OPEC’s ongoing research programme which the group said holds workshops and technical meetings that act as a forum for discussion and information exchange on some of the energy industry’s most pressing issues.

OPEC described itself as a permanent inter-governmental organisation of 13 oil-exporting developing nations comprising Nigeria, Algeria, Angola, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.

Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the group has conducted its last few meetings through video conferences. Other oil and gas events have also gone down the virtual route in response to the pandemic.

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