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    Energy and technology giants: the oil boom

    [ Information dissemination:This station | Release Time:2019-09-16 | browse:517 ]


    On the 11th of last month, the Cambridge Energy week(CRA week), oil and gas executives gathered in Houston, a large hotel. The big party, organised by research firm IHS Markit, brought to the fore a number of celebrities, including the US energy secretary and chief executives of BP and Chevron, two of the world's largest oil companies. Among the participants in the dark suit, there was a new face with an open collar: Yamaxunyun, the director of Andi·yaxi's service platform AWS. Faced with a huge venue, he praised the cloud giant for being quick to act and learning from its failures. Mr yasi is not just there to provide management advice to the world's biggest companies, he wants to do business with them.

    Energy companies are struggling to cope with volatile prices and long-term demand, and are eager to improve oil and gas production efficiency. Digital investment is expected to reduce costs and increase production. Technology giants like Amazon, Microsoft and alphabet and a handful of startups are hoping to help. While Silicon Valley claims to be promoting clean energy rather than fossil fuels, the energy industry offers huge business opportunities. Oil companies are far less valued than technology companies, but their money bags are always bulging(see chart).


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    There are countless industries that claim that big data and artificial intelligence(AI) will bring new prosperity to themselves. But the oil and gas industry deserves attention, partly because of its status and partly because it is slow to adopt new technologies. Over the years, many companies have remained focused on increasing oil reserves rather than exploiting them in a cost-effective manner. It is also difficult for managers to take advantage of data that are scattered in isolation across different parts of the company or around the world.

    Things are changing. With abundant shale oil reserves, the urgency of exploring them falls short of the need to protect profits. Baoluo·geyideng, of BCG, said shale oil also highlighted the usefulness of the new analysis as thousands of oil wells across Texas, North Dakota and other rich oil fields produced large amounts of data. The decline in the cost of sensors, storage and computing has also increased the attractiveness of digital investment.
    Early projects have begun to bear fruit. BP is combining real-time information from sensors with its own models and analysis methods to optimize output. It estimates that such a digital tool increased oil production by more than 30,000 barrels a day last year. Youli·saiboleici, Shell's chief technology officer, said it could take months for a geographer to map the underground fault. Today's software can view and collate seismic data, and it can complete the same task in just a few hours at a cost of about $20.
    As energy companies step up their efforts to adopt such tools and technologies, they are beginning to bring together their respective expertise. The company has been chasing them for the longest time. In February, ExxonMobil announced that its huge shale oil project in the Permian basin in Texas will use Microsoft's cloud, AI and other services. This may help the company drill oil and deploy personnel more efficiently and control methane leaks. Amazon is trying to catch up. Its oil and gas team has tripled in size in recent years and is working with energy giants such as Halibodun and Shell. In Houston, it showed a data storage suite that was continuously flooded to prove that the device had no fear of the harsh environment of the oil fields.
    Alphabet, the company's parent company, is lagging behind but wants to change that. Last year, Google Cloud hired former BP executive Dalier·weilisi to lead a new energy team. He estimates that the energy industry uses between 1 and 5 per cent of available data. Alphabet has signed agreements with France's Total and the American oil company Anadake. Anadake is testing automated drilling and has an AI expert on his board.
    Energy companies are still a little nervous about working with big tech companies. It's not just the lights of Silicon Valley's stars that overshadow them. Automation increases the risk of being hacked. The growing ambitions of technology companies are also striking. One questioner asked Yasi if Amazon itself would start producing oil and gas. There was an uneasy chuckle in the meeting room. He said he wouldn't.
    It is not just the oilmen who feel uncomfortable with the partnership. Amazon, Microsoft and Google rely on young, talented programmers who don't like to work for controversial industries. "As partners, we have to follow the needs of our energy partners. "Microsoft's Gelayaen·aerken said. He oversaw Microsoft's collaboration with the energy industry. But in February, Microsoft employees asked the company to cancel a contract with the U.S. military to sell augmented reality headgear. Last year, after some Google employees said Google should not be involved in the "war business", the company decided not to renew its contract with the Pentagon. Technology practitioners may also insist that they do not participate in the fossil fuel business.


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