Every five years, DNV GL publishes a Technology Outlook report providing insights into the technology landscape of the next decade. Its latest report focuses extensively on top tech trends and the future outlook for maritime, oil and gas, energy, and life sciences.
The DNV GL Technology Outlook 2025 identifies four dominant catalysts driving technology innovation globally, namely digitalization, climate change, politics and regulation, and sustainable resource consumption.
The digitalization of information flows will spur the automation of existing processes and functions, and have a positive impact on safety and environmental performance. Ships today are developing into sophisticated sensor hubs and data generators.
In effect, vessels today are “floating computers” that echo the development of the automotive industry. Today’s personal autos have more computing power than early space shuttles and self-driving vehicles of the future will have even more.
Advances in satellite communications are improving ship connectivity. Today’s highly interconnected vessels have increased overall complexity. This connectivity will answer the need for more transparent operations and help build trust and collaboration between various industry stakeholders.
The next 10 years will introduce many changes to marine cyber-physical systems, digital twins, energy efficiency measures, hybrid power generation systems, and alternative fuels. This includes additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, which is dramatically changing how things are manufactured. Spare parts for ships, for instance, could be printed out at a port of convenience; conceivably from recycled material as circular economy models become pervasive.
“Throughout maritime we see technology shaping the future of the industry today. Through sensor data, available in abundance today, programs such as EcoInsight delivers cost savings for owners and operators, and data analytics will improve safety of vessels globally,” said Paal Johansen, vice president and regional director, Americas, DNV GL Maritime. “As a classification society, we are in the forefront of this development and we are excited to see the transformation and the potential for what is to come.”
Oil and Gas
DNV GL’s research identified four main trends for oil and gas technology developments: Technology for reduced cost, increased recovery, reduced environmental footprint, and increased safety.
Drilling operations account for approximately half the cost of field development, and have associated safety and environmental risks. Looking ahead, the industry will move toward fully automated drilling operations, reducing the time needed to drill the well by 50 percent and improving overall safety.
In the coming years, Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) will be equipped with sonars, cameras, and sensors, which play an important role in the operation and maintenance of subsea fields. Research indicates that autonomous technnologies developed for military purposes, AUVs and drones, will replace Remote Operated Vehicles for inspections, again creating greater efficiencies.
As production increases, so does the demand for completing wells. Completions take time and consume operating costs. Looking ahead, smart completions will include monitoring precise controls of production zones and improving recovery. These can allow more optimal locations of drainage points for a high recovery factor.
“The low price of oil and gas today changes the landscape of both offshore and unconventional plays,” said Peter Bjerager, executive vice president and regional director, Americas, DNV GL Oil & Gas. “To address the market, DNV GL continues to invest in research and development while partnering with the industry through Joint Industry Projects and Joint Development Projects. Throughout this cycle, we will continue to innovate and meet the demands – making the most of this crisis. The Technology Outlook gives direction for where we should focus innovation and reduce operational costs thus delivering smarter solutions and improved performance.”