“Go Together”: Key Takeaways to unlocking the New Era of Energy at EAGE
Geosciences and engineering professionals congregated in Madrid this month to focus on “Leading Geosciences into a New Era.” The 83rd annual EAGE was a great opportunity to discuss how technology meets the new energy sector challenges. I enjoyed many inspiring conversations and want to share some of my takeaways about the energy transition and the value of preparation and partnerships to ensure a sustainable transformation.
Digitalization of the energy transition
Geoscientists and engineers are already working on ways to be more nimble and sustainable in the face of unprecedented energy sector challenges. Lack of energy access continues to leave some populations in poverty. Simultaneously, energy demand and price fluctuations are high. Energy demand and supply shocks have caused commodity prices to fluctuate, seeing oil go from -$37 to $120 in the span of eighteen months. Compounding this, net-zero goals require new technologies to better track, manage, and measure carbon.
The need for technology as an enabler to succeed in the energy transition is abundantly clear. There is widespread demand for the energy sector to take action to make sure of a reliable, resilient, and sustainable energy supply.
Fortunately, these big problems will also be big business opportunities and enablers to succeed in the energy transition era. We just need to focus our intellect, resources and technology—and focus it fast.
Preparation essential to pivoting effectively
The question is—where do you find solutions to these big and increasingly complex problems? We’re reaching a point in which the companies that have the most data, and the ability to interpret that data to their advantage, are the ones with the best chance to succeed.
Consider the pandemic. Entities that had already migrated to cloud platforms were best able to pivot. For example, Rush University Medical Center leveraged AWS’s serverless computing to focus on its core competency—patient care. Working with Chicago’s department of public health, the Rush analytics team developed a data platform to aggregate, combine, and analyze multi-hospital data related to patient admissions, discharges and transfers, electronic lab reporting, hospital capacity, and clinical care documents of COVID-19 patients receiving care in and across the city’s hospitals.
By being prepared with the best technology, the hospital system could quickly pivot, even in the face of something as disruptive as a pandemic. Given recent volatility, energy companies would benefit greatly by taking the same approach and implementing industry-specific data platforms, such as the OSDU Data Platform.
Deepening geoscience understanding with data
Geoscientists and engineers are spending too much valuable time searching for managing data. With the growth of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technology, you can offer your talented teams more opportunities to focus on the next big innovation.
Shell has already moved its wells data and applications to the OSDU Data Platform on AWS to improve efficiency, shorten cycle times, and increase sustainability. They’ve reported early benefits including:
- better and faster capital investment decisions;
- asset teams that can more easily optimize the operational performance of existing fields;
- delivery of higher ultimate recovery of hydrocarbons by helping find bypassed zones in existing reservoirs; and
- interpretation teams that will be more efficient and effective, as they can concentrate on high-value activities rather than mundane aspects such as transferring and version checking of data.
As Shell put it, “the cloud is a major unifier.” It’s an opportunity for new partnerships to power the information sharing needed to spark innovation and drive sustainability. At EAGE, I was also able to discuss everything from the value of curated data with ISVs such as Ikon Science, to new data platform innovation approaches with Accenture, as well as unique work with operators such as our recently announced integration of Eni’s proprietary data platform with OSDU as part of Eni’s effort to democratize data and deepen geoscience knowledge.
Partner to achieve your energy objectives
There is an insightful proverb that I find useful: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” When looking at the challenges of energy transition and digital transformation, we can do a lot more at scale when we work together.
Sometimes the traditional expert is the person who tells you exactly how it can’t be done. At EAGE, I had the opportunity to share cloud technology success stories and meet the “next era” of technologists and new energy experts who will be key partners for the next wave of geoscience and engineering innovation.
I’m excited to see how open energy industry initiatives, like the OSDU Data Platform, free data from silos and legacy systems to spark innovation and help define the future of energy transition. But the good news is: you don’t have to go it alone with these new technologies. We’ll all go faster and farther, when we go together.