Bits, Bytes, and Barrels:
The Digital Transformation of Oil and Gas


The oil and gas industry is at a crossroads.

Recent low prices, rapidly growing alternative fuels like renewables, the permanent swing from peak oil to super abundance, shifting consumer preferences, and global pressures to decarbonize suggest a challenged industry for the foreseeable future. Digital advances offer ways to lower costs of production, improve the productivity of the industry, reduce carbon emissions, lower the energy intensity of industry, and regain public confidence. Await-and-see attitude to digital innovation has failed many industries already, and the leaders of the oil and gas industry urgently seek guidance on how digital both disrupts and enhances their industry.

Bits, Bytes, and Barrels: The Digital Transformation of Oil and Gas sets out the reasons why adoption is slow, describes the size and scale of both the opportunity and the threat from digital, identifies the key digital technologies and the role that they play in a digital future, and recommends a set of actions for leaders to take to accelerate the adoption of digital in the business.

Written from an independent and expert perspective, Bits, Bytes, and Barrels: The Digital Transformation of Oil and Gas addresses the impacts of digital across the breadth of the industry—from onshore to offshore, from upstream to midstream to integrated—and outlines a roadmap to help the decision-makers at all levels of the industry take meaningful action toward promising and rewarding digital adoption.

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“Technology, innovation and business model changes are impacting industry at a rapid pace – yet in some cases, not fast enough. Bits, Bytes, and Barrels is an excellent primer on existing and future innovation levers that the energy sector can incorporate to improve adaptability and competitiveness. Important reading for Boards, the C-suite, and those looking to understand how technology can move the needle or stand-up effective internal innovation. I highly recommend this book.”

Samantha StuartVice President Strategy & Corporate Development, TransCanada

“This new book is an essential road map for oil and gas executives and boards to navigate the new world of digital enhancement of their business, avoid false starts and mis-steps and unleash new sources of value. The book brings much-needed clarity to a topic which can be confusing; and makes it relevant to the real world of oil and gas at every step.”

Andrew Slaughter — Executive Director, Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions

“Geoffrey Cann and Rachael Goydan provide a highly accessible snapshot of the complex and fast moving digital world as it applies to oil and gas. Many oil and gas workers will feel that this is an area that it is all to easy to let new ideas and technologies slip by. The book provides with reassuring confidence a contemporary forward looking state of the nation of the digital world that will allow oil and gas executives, board members, engineers, business developers, researchers and strategists to assess areas to develop and focus, and also reveal blind spots.”

Andy Doyle-Linden — Consultant & Corporate Strategy Lecturer, EMBA, Haskayne School of Business

“This is a timely, well researched, practical and insightful book that plugs a much needed gap in the market. If you are looking for a one stop shop that brings together key digital themes and ideas in Oil & Gas in one place, then this is it – highly recommended.”

Dr John Pillay — Global Digital Transformation Director, WorleyParsons

“Geoffrey Cann and Rachael Goydan’s Bits, Bytes, and Barrels: the Digital Transformation of Oil and Gas is a handbook of how to develop digital strategy and culture and get IT and operations engaged. The book is both interesting for those familiar with oil and gas, and easy to understand for those who are not. A great resource.”

Dr Soheil Asgarpour — President, Petroleum Technology Alliance of Canada

The perspectives in Bits, Bytes, and Barrels define the white spaces that people are considering when they think of the Digital Oilfield. It validates many key points on the topic of what Digital Transformation is, and provides true insight for those seeking some reasonable understanding of how hydrocarbon development needs to be digitized as the demand for oil continues to increase.

David Smethurst — Chief Technology Officer, Energy Sector, Hitachi Vantara

For many of us in the oil and gas industry, the path from the old way of doing business into the new frontier of the digital world can be daunting and confusing.  It’s difficult to find practical and actionable advice and insights on how best to make this transition.  Rachael and Geoffrey have broken down this journey into understandable steps and provided a clear and thoughtful way for us to make this important change.

Mushahid Khan — CEO and Board Member, APS Plastics & Manufacturing

“This practical, easy-to-read book provides a concise guide to the current state of digital innovation in the oil and gas industry and where to expect the leaders to take it next.  A must read to ensure your firm stays competitive.”

Judy Fairburn — Board Director, former EVP & Chief Digital Officer for a large energy firm

“Peak oil, scarcity and rising prices? No, the energy industry is in a new era of abundance and price pressure. In Bits, Bytes, and Barrels, the authors give valuable context and advice on how digital technologies are mandatory tools for progressive energy leaders to turn disruptive challenges into a generational opportunity.

Peter Tertzakian — Executive Director, ARC Energy Research Institute

“As a petrochemical manufacturer and an early adopter of IIoT solutions, I wish this book were published before Texmark and our partners began our digital journey two years ago.  It was encouraging to read stories about solutions from around the upstream world and inspiring to read about what’s possible.  Digital solutions and innovative mindsets have completely changed the way our lean, diverse team of operators, millwrights, engineers, and technical staff approaches new business, existing process optimization, safety, troubleshooting, training, and daily operations.  I recommend this book to leaders looking for the courage to take a baby step toward employing digital solutions…and then I recommend they give a copy of it to everyone in their organizations.

Linda Salinas — Vice President of Operations, TexMark

“It’s interesting that oil and gas come from dinosaurs because, dinosaurs describe our industry when it comes to the adoption and implementation of technology. Geoffrey Cann and Rachael Goydan serve a satisfying menu of bite-size topics in their book “Bits, Bytes, and Barrels: The Digital Transformation of Oil and Gas.” As downstream company in the (dinosaur) industry that is slowly implementing a digital transformation within our culture and plant, I agree with the authors that taking the first step is the hardest thing to do. BUT! Once that first step is taken, the next ones are easier. In their book they make it clear that as an industry, we either embrace digital change, or be crushed by it. Anyone in our industry who is interested in not becoming extinct should read this.

Douglas H. Smith — CEO, Texmark

“Digital solutions will inevitably transform the energy sector. Bits, Bytes, and Barrels provides an excellent roadmap for energy executives to get started on the digital path.  Geoffrey and Rachael bring a global perspective, drawing on successful models from around the world and from other sectors, along with pragmatic advice on how to engage with emerging technologies.  I highly recommend this book for anyone involved in the energy sector.

Marty Reed — CEO Evok Innovations

Bits, Bytes, and Barrels is a balanced critique of the industrial digital technologies which can feel like a bewildering maze for organizations facing the digital transformation challenge. A must-read for Energy and Mining Executives and Board Directors seeking to set their organizations’ strategic path towards a connected future.”

Azad Hessamodini — President, Strategy & Development, Wood

Bits, Bytes, and Barrels comprehensively lays out the issues and opportunities for digital technologies in the energy business.  The book is full of examples where digital is making a bottom line impact for companies and it provides pathways for how companies might proceed with their own digital strategies.  The authors have taken a very technical and complex subject and made it very clear and understandable – a great handbook for executives and IT professionals alike!

Brian Truelove — former SVP and CIO, Hess Corporation

Machine Learning and Data Science in the Oil and Gas Industry


The Business of AI Adoption


Machine Learning and Data Science in the Oil and Gas Industry explains how machine learning can be specifically tailored to oil and gas use cases. Petroleum engineers will learn when to use machine learning, how it is already used in oil and gas operations, and how to manage the data stream moving forward. Practical in its approach, the book explains all aspects of a data science or machine learning project, including the managerial parts of it that are so often the cause for failure. Several real-life case studies round out the book with topics such as predictive maintenance, soft sensing, and forecasting. Viewed as a guide book, this manual will lead a practitioner through the journey of a data science project in the oil and gas industry circumventing the pitfalls and articulating the business value.

Machine Learning and Data Science in the Oil and Gas Industry