Digitization and Automation

As the energy industry continues evolving, advanced technologies introduce new efficiencies and innovations. Often, these advances come in the form of digitization and automation—a transformation utilizing digital tools like sensors, data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and more to optimize the production, processing and distribution of energy from Canada to the world.

Digitization and Automation: Streamlining the Energy Industry While Improving Safety and Reducing Costs

Digital revolution 

Digitization and automation go hand-in-hand. Together, they include all the systems and processes used to optimize a company’s operations and better leverage the skills, capabilities and performance of their workforce.

Our world is adopting and applying digitization and automation. Through the internet, an ever-increasing range of products and services are connected from watches, televisions and glasses to classrooms, transportation systems and buildings. Even refrigerators are getting a digital makeover. The energy industry is no different, integrating the digital and automation lifecycle from design to implementation.

In some ways, digitization and automation aren’t new. The energy industry has always operated at the forefront of innovation. As new technology emerges at an increasing rate, the energy industry will carry on the tradition of leading the way.

Did you know?

In the 1970s, energy utilities quickly adopted new technologies to improve efficiencies and interconnections between electrical grids.

The energy of efficiency

Energy companies spend significant money developing automated processes and machines to simplify and make operations more efficient and safe to undertake difficult or dangerous tasks at production and other sites.

Did you know?

New technologies make the industry safer, more efficient and more sustainable.

New technology tools

Microsensors are used to improve oil and natural gas extraction capacity and conduct sub-surface equipment inspections while drones monitor pipeline integrity and surface disturbances.

Examples of Digitization and Automation in Oil and Gas


Eliminate aerial work and used as a tool for pipeline inspection.


Used for automation and improved safety.

3D Printing

Help manufacture parts on demand.

IIoT Technology

Collect live data and automatically feed it into the big picture.

Big Data

Optimize operations and help companies achieve their net-zero goals.

Artificial Intelligence

Predict risks and automatically take action or flag issues for attention..

Digital Twins

Digitally reflect and provide a holistic view of real-time operations.

Control Centres

Allow for operational efficiencies and potential to conduct work more easily in remote locations.

Did you know?

Widespread use of digital technologies could decrease production costs between 10 and 20%, including advanced seismic data processing, use of sensors and enhanced reservoir modelling. Technically recoverable oil and gas resources could be boosted by around 5% globally, with the greatest gains expected in shale gas.

International Energy Agency (IEA)

Digitization and automation in energy offers exciting career opportunities to develop technology solutions that address cost, efficiency, production and environmental concerns across the energy industry. Technically competent workers with knowledge of oil and gas operations and processes can find a rewarding career in an entrepreneurial-focused work environment.

Digitization and automation reduce the potential for human error in the workplace while allowing companies to redeploy workers to higher-value activities. It also helps reduce costs and the environmental footprint of operations. With digitization at work, there is less energy waste, improved emissions detection and fewer unplanned operational and environmental events through predictive analysis. Jobs in digitization and automation make valuable careers for workers and valuable change for the entire energy industry.

Day in the Life

Zak Cunningham Energy Systems Analyst, The Transition Accelerator

Meet Zak — a professional fueled by hands-on experience, a global perspective, continuous learning, and an unwavering passion for sustainability.

Read Zak's story

“I do a lot of research and deep learning about existing energy systems and, in particular, new energy technologies. I use this information to assist in building models and doing analyses that can help inform what a pragmatic energy transition could look like.”