The Oil & Gas industry has changed a lot. From Upstream through to Downstream, advancements in technology have made operations safer and more productive. Those who work in the industry have a front row seat to these changes but most of us see the industry through mainstream information channels and miss some of the significant changes happening behind the scenes. Below are just a few examples of how the Oil & Gas industry has changed.

Exploration and Drilling

Past: In the past, oil and gas exploration was largely based on geological surveys, seismic data, and educated guesswork. Drilling technology was less advanced, and there was a higher risk of drilling dry wells.
Now: Modern technology, such as 3D seismic imaging and advanced drilling techniques, has greatly improved the success rate of exploration. Companies now use more data-driven and scientific approaches to identify and extract hydrocarbons.

Reserves Replacement

Past: Oil and gas companies focused on finding and extracting easily accessible reserves, often in known fields. Reserves replacement was a less pressing concern.
Now: As existing reserves are depleted, companies are increasingly focused on finding and developing new reserves to replace what they extract. This has led to more extensive exploration efforts and investments in unconventional resources like shale oil and gas.

Environmental Awareness

Past: Environmental concerns and regulations were less prominent. Companies had fewer incentives to minimize their environmental impact, leading to more pollution and ecological damage.
Now: Environmental considerations are paramount. Companies face stricter regulations and public pressure to reduce their environmental footprint. Many are investing in cleaner technologies, carbon capture, and renewable energy as part of their operations.

Technology and Automation

Past: Manual labor and basic machinery were used for drilling, extraction, and processing. Automation was limited.
Now: Automation and digital technology play a crucial role in optimizing operations. Robotics, AI, and IoT (Internet of Things) devices are used for drilling, monitoring, and maintenance, improving efficiency and safety.


Past: Oil and gas operations were often concentrated in a few key regions, and companies were mainly national or multinational corporations.
Now: The industry has become more globalized. Companies operate in diverse geographic regions, and the supply chain is highly interconnected, with a more significant presence in emerging markets.

Energy Transition

Past: Oil and gas companies were primarily focused on fossil fuels, with limited diversification into alternative energy sources.
Now: Many oil and gas companies are investing in renewable energy, such as wind, solar, and hydrogen, as they adapt to the energy transition and a growing demand for cleaner energy sources.

Social Responsibility

Past: Social responsibility was less emphasized, and there was less concern for the social impacts of operations.
Now: Companies are increasingly expected to contribute positively to the communities where they operate by adhering to ethical and sustainable business practices.

Cisco Portfolio Explorer for Oil & Gas

As the energy sector continues to evolve, from a focus on traditional exploration and drilling to a more technologically advanced, environmentally conscious, and diversified approach that encompasses alternative energy sources, Cisco can be a key partner for customers looking to thrive in this dynamic environment.

Cisco’s technologies play a pivotal role in ensuring that operations are efficient, secure, and sustainable with a portfolio of business outcomes that reflects the evolving demands of society, technology, and the energy market.

The Cisco Portfolio Explorer for Oil & Gas is an interactive tool that builds the bridge between business priorities and technology solutions by showcasing use cases and architectures to solve your greatest business challenges. The tool has four themes that cover primary areas of Oil & Gas operations including: Plant and Field Operations, Secure Connected Workforce, Industrial Safety and Security, and Energy Transition. Within each theme you will find three to five use cases that dive deeper, explaining the business and technical application in the industry. It also provides case studies and partners as well as showcasing demos, financing options and links to industry experts so you can transform your business with security and trust.

Learn more about how Cisco technology supports the Oil & Gas industry:

Cisco Portfolio Explorer for Oil & Gas