How digital disruption is reshaping the upstream supply chain

Digitalisation is now a staple of boardrooms and plays a key role in corporate strategies. It brings equal measures of opportunity and threat. Fill in the form and get the full report to discover how it will impact different categories of the supply chain.

What's inside this report?

  • Three catalysts for supply chain digitalisation
  • What it means for oilfield service providers, manufacturers, engineering, procurement and construction companies, Big Tech firms and new entrants
  • The changing shape of demand and the competitive landscape 

1 minute read

Once branded as a digitalisation laggard, the oil and gas sector is upping its game. The downturn was a wake-up call. It challenged the industry’s conservative culture and forced companies to structurally adjust to be more resilient in a low oil price environment. Despite the industry being technically sophisticated and one of the earliest digital adopters, until this point digitalisation was not seen as strategically imperative. 

For a sector that is still experiencing the impact of the worst downturn in a generation, digitalisation represents both an opportunity and a threat. The operator gains greater visibility of the supply chain; with visibility comes the opportunity to optimise other key areas of operation such as safety and productivity. But for those along the upstream supply chain whose main purpose is to supply services to and develop technologies for the exploration and production community, many of the ideas and new operating models disrupt their current business.  

The operator-supply chain relationship sits at the heart of the upstream business. They work very closely together and are interdependent – one does not exist without the other. That said, the relationship is adversarial. Operators will drive costs down as much as they can, while the supply chain will drive up costs when they can: for example when the price of oil increases.

In our view, digitalisation will transform the upstream supply chain both vertically, led by the ripple effects of oil companies' digital ambitions, and horizontally, driven by OFS companies' digital investment and alliances.

The disruption of the operator-supply chain model 


The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change.

In this complimentary report, Malcolm and Wei look at how the opportunities and threats balance out across the supply chain. Get your copy to discover which OFS companies we think will win, survive and lose in this new era of supply chain digitalisation. Fill in the form on this page. 

Put your digitalisation challenge to our team of upstream supply chain experts

The oil and gas business has hitherto been characterised by an attitude of 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'. But it is now realising that the price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change. We are seeing operators engage with these disruptors in an unprecedented way.

Talk to us about your digital supply chain strategy. 

For details on how your data is used and stored, see our Privacy Notice.
Malcolm Forbes-Cable, Vice President, Upstream Consulting

Malcolm Forbes-Cable, Vice President Upstream Consulting & Supply Chain Lead

This report is part of Wood Mackenzie’s series on digitalisation across the energy value chain. We have already examined its impact on the energy and natural resources sector. In this complimentary insight, Malcolm Forbes-Cable and Dr. Wei Liu consider the impact of digitalisation on the upstream supply chain. Fill in the form on this page to get your copy. 


Digitalisation: upstream's silver bullet?

Get your copy of the report