IBM, AWS help oil companies make use of data

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IBM, AWS help oil companies make use of data

IBM and Amazon Web Services said on Monday they would work together to extend the reach of a set of tools that oil companies use to manage disparate types of data.

Amazon in 2018 worked with Royal Dutch Shell to create a technology to turn data from more than a century of oil production, largely from paper records, into a standardised format for multinational oil companies to improve efficiency across their operations.

The technology is being shared industry-wide on an open-source basis, and only works in cloud computing data centres. Some oil-producing countries such as Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Russia have no Amazon data centres but require companies to store their data within the country's borders.

IBM and Amazon said they have worked together to resolve that problem. Using IBM technology called OpenShift, oil companies can use the oil-industry cloud data tools in their privately owned data centres within their countries.

"The data residency requirement is virtually 50 percent of the oil-producing world today," said Manish Chawla, global managing director for energy, resources and manufacturing at IBM, in an interview. "This is a pretty significant part of the market."

Bill Vass, vice president of engineering at AWS, said expanding the reach of the data tools would also help oil companies add non-petroleum assets such as wind and solar to their portfolios. Renewable energy requires producers to know their output at various locations at different times.

"As they transition to energy companies, it makes it easier for them, because they have all their wind data and their solar data, transmission line data, all this in there as well," Vass said.

"You'd really don't have a concept of how complicated the energy grid actually is until you start looking at all these different ways" of transmitting energy."

(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco and Liz Hampton in Denver; Editing by Richard Chang)

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