Making good use of the cloud-based technology and solutions will be an important tool for the energy industry as the sector continues to look for more ways to decarbonise and promote sustainability, experts told Oil & Gas Middle East.
Sustainability has been a hot topic in the energy industry, with firms looking to promote the energy transition amid an industry rebound following a slump caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Technology has already been identified by industry experts as a key tool for successfully navigating the transition.
“Simply moving to cloud-based infrastructure will significantly reduce your greenhouse gas emissions related to the energy required to run data centres. These large scale data centres are much more energy-efficient than any on-prem data centres,” according to Bill Vass, vice president, engineering, of technology giant Amazon Web Services (AWS).
In addition, Vass noted that it is only possible for the oil and gas industry to reduce its carbon emissions if effective measurements can be taken. In this regard, technology is crucial.
The cloud will allow the energy firms to “do very detailed measurements and control what you’re releasing in the environment, and have a much better visibility and understanding of it”, Vass explained.
Last week, AWS announced that it had signed an agreement with technology firm IBM to combine the benefits of IBM Open Data for Industries for IBM Cloud Pak for Data and the AWS Cloud to better serve energy customers. The two companies have previously said that they intend to collaborate further on co-developing future functionality to improve flexibility and choice on where to run OSDU applications.
“The agreement between IBM and AWS in relation to OSDU will help reduce greenhouse emissions because you manage what you measure, allowing the oil companies and energy companies to more accurately measure and manage their initiatives end-to-end in their production process and distribution process as well,” Vass said.
For oil and gas firms engaged in the energy transition, “having access to the data really is the starting point”, Manish Chawla, global managing director, energy, resources and manufacturing, IBM told Oil & Gas Middle East.
IBM and AWS’s new solution will run on the AWS Cloud and is built on Red Hat OpenShift. IBM Open Data for Industries is also an open-source solution, using the OSDU data foundation for the energy industry. This open source approach will pay dividends for the industry, Vass and Chawla explained.
“One of the important things about OSDU being an open data approach is that it’s an open set of schemas that anyone can innovate … it’s not linked to one particular vendor or one particular application. So whether it’s running on-prem, managed by IBM, or it’s running in the AWS cloud, it’s an open standard that the entire industry can innovate on,” Vass said.
Meanwhile, Chawla noted that the energy industry is, to a degree, already a “very data intensive industry and has been leveraging data for many years … a single wellhead produces a petabyte [of data] in a day”.
An open source cloud approach will allow oil firms to efficiently and effectively access this data, Chawla said, allowing faster innovation, collaboration, and improving workflows.
In the future, Vass expects the partnership to “allow us to continue to extend the usefulness and capabilities of OSDU, not just in the cloud, but also to edge locations and on-prem data centres, so our customers can operate where they need to operate, whether it’s related to low latency requirements or integration requirements with other applications or residency requirements”.
The OSDU Forum is a cross-industry collaboration that offers a vendor-neutral framework for all companies to develop data platforms on for the energy industry. IBM and AWS’s collaboration focuses on giving additional flexibility to customers by allowing them to run OSDU applications on AWS’s cloud infrastructure or on-premises.
Vass and Chawla were speaking on the side-lines of ADIPEC 2021, a giant energy event held in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The event brought together over 150,000 energy professionals from over 60 countries, including senior government officials, industry experts, and energy stakeholders in a discussion on the future of the energy sector.
“It’s been very exciting to be here at ADIPEC and seeing all the innovation that’s going on. The transition is happening. We’re also really excited to launch our Region here. We’ll be building a multi-datacentre Region here to be able to provide customers advanced cloud services that can help in their transition and help their day-to-day operations,” Vass concluded.
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