SK Energy adds digital changes as demand, oil prices fall

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SK Energy adds digital changes as demand, oil prices fall

While the coronavirus pandemic continues to heap damage on a wide range of industries, the oil refining industry is in a particularly vulnerable position, with global oil prices bottoming out amid a drop in demand.

Oil refiner SK Energy on Sunday issued a press release saying it plans to expand the use of digital technology in response to the gloomy outlook for the global oil industry.

“We need to accelerate deep change to overcome fundamental limits in this industry. Our next goal is to realize digital innovation based our existing oil business,” SK Energy CEO Cho Kyung-mok stated in the release.

The company said it plans to deploy smart technology in its Ulsan refinery this year, with a focus on artificial intelligence and big data.

The company said it internally devised strategies for a “Digital Transformation” initiative as a way to transform its business model which currently has a high dependence on oil refinery-a field particularly vulnerable to external factors like geopolitical conflict.

The company said it also plans to introduce ecofriendly methods at its oil refinery. The plan includes applying AI technology to cleaning waste water emitted from the factories.

At the customer service end, the oil refiner said it will use technology to offer a wider range of services using 3,000-or-so gas stations.

BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]

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