ExxonMobil and BP Join Fieldnode’s Digital Parts Inventory Project: The New Giants in Energy Sector’s Digital Revolution

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In January 2023, a consortium of oil & gas majors — ConocoPhillips, Equinor, Shell, TotalEnergies, and Vår Energi — entered a pact for the creation of a digital spare parts inventory system, known as the Industry Collaboration Project (ICP). Later the same year, they were joined by Australian firm Woodside Energy and recently, ICP has also incorporated ExxonMobil and BP.

The project is spearheaded by software as a services (SaaS) provider Fieldnode, a 2020 offshoot of supply chain digitalization entity Fieldmade AS. Alongside the digital part files standardization and oil & gas industry decarbonization, the foremost goal behind ICP’s inception is augmentation of supply chain resilience via enabling production near the point-of-need.

In an announcement on BP joining the ICP, BP’s Life of Field Discipline Lead, Chelsea Green mentioned, “By merging digital supply chain principles with [AM] capacity, we aim to lessen waste, reduce costs, and augment agility in response to swiftly modifying operational demands. This alliance aligns with BP’s commitment towards sustainability and technological progression.”

Regarding ExxonMobil’s joining the ICP, Fieldnode project manager, Martin Andersson expressed, “ExxonMobil’s affiliation as our ninth partner signifies a significant event in the evolution of our groundbreaking alliance between Fieldnode and leading firms in the global energy industry. With the participation of some of the biggest corporations in the energy sector globally, ExxonMobil’s involvement augments our project’s collective strength further and fortifies our commitment to redefine industry standards and propel innovation. Simultaneously, with these esteemed partners, we are charting a course towards efficient and sustainable solutions that will usher in the future of the energy sector.”

From as early as I started writing on 3DPrint.com, I’ve been a staunch believer that AM will be critical to the future of the oil & gas industry. Recently though, it has started appearing as if the oil & gas sector will be equally critical to the future of AM.

ExxonMobil and BP joining Fieldnode’s digital inventory project is a significant marker of the ongoing technological advancement in the oil & gas sector. This reaffirms the urgency and seriousness the industry is placing upon boosting their Additive Manufacturing (AM) activities, especially in light of the recent Houthi attacks disrupting global maritime operations in the Red Sea.

In December 2023, BP took a decisive step as one of the first organizations—possibly the first non-shipping company—to temporarily suspend its Red Sea shipments in response to the Houthi attacks. Considering that the Middle East produces over one-fourth of the world’s oil and possesses almost half of global oil reserves, the importance this region has on the global economy can hardly be exaggerated. Any enduring disturbance in the Red Sea energy supply chain would have sizeable implications.

Notably, the need is not just about exporting petroleum and fuel from the Red Sea but also about importing oilfield services equipment into the Gulf. It can thus be anticipated that leading oil corporations will focus on enhancing manufacturing capabilities as much as they can, and bring them closer to the need sources. Consequently, this would also broaden digital inventory management across other oil markets worldwide. The Middle East, with its comprehensive and strategically located oil reserves, is well-positioned to boost the growth and adoption of digital manufacturing technologies all over the world.

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