Data tools

IBM and Amazon partner to extend reach of data tools to oil companies

San Francisco | Denver: International Business Machines Corp. and Amazon.com Inc.’s Amazon Web Services are now working together to extend the reach of a set of tools oil companies use to manage disparate types of data.

In 2018, Amazon worked with Royal Dutch Shell Plc to create technology to transform data from more than a century of oil production, largely from paper records, into a standardized format for multinational oil companies to improve the efficiency of their operations. The technology is shared industry-wide on an open source basis and only works in cloud computing data centers. Some oil-producing countries like Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Russia do not have Amazon data centers but require companies to store their data within the country’s borders.

IBM and Amazon said they worked together to resolve this issue.

Using IBM technology called OpenShift, oil companies can use the oil industry’s cloud data tools in their private data centers within their country.

“The data residency requirement affects virtually 50% of the oil-producing world today,” Manish Chawla, global managing director of energy, resources and manufacturing at IBM, said in an interview. “That’s a pretty big share of the market.”

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

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“When they go to the energy companies, it makes it easier for them, because they have all their wind and solar data, transmission line data, all of that as well,” he said. “You really wouldn’t have any idea how complex the energy grid really was until you started looking at all these different ways” of transmitting energy.

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