Gazprom Neft and IBM have used this year’s St Petersburg International Economic Forum to sign a schedule to their existing Memorandum of Cooperation on using IT technologies in oil and gas exploration and production. The purpose of the agreement is to create an environment for further collaboration in the development of computer technologies for hydrocarbon production and the management of upstream assets.
The Memorandum of Cooperation, signed by Gazprom Neft and IBM in June 2016, governs the companies’ collaboration in the implementation of the Electronic Asset Development project (ERA, from the Russian „Электронная разработка активов”). Among other things, both parties are coordinating their work in developing new IT-tools and software for optimising geological prospecting processes, project management, and field development and operation. In which context, cognitive data analysis technologies (i.e., the search for trends and patterns in raw data), machine learning (algorithms learned in the course of data processing), and high-performance computing („big data”, i.e., the processing of large volumes of data) are all being utilised.
Pursuant to the schedule to the Memorandum, both parties are committed to determining the potential structure of their strategic partnership, in the long term. Promising projects of mutual interest, which may go on to become part of the framework agreement, include, in particular, the creation of tools for optimum management in flooding operations, the development of methodologies and algorithms for the automated interpretation of well-logging data, the use of the IoT (Internet of Things) in on-site workplace safety, the development of innovative methods for modelling, analysis and construction forecasting in the oil and gas industry, the prediction of drilling complications, and the development of algorithms for improving efficiency in field management.
Vadim Yakovlev, First Deputy CEO, Gazprom Neft, commented: „We consider the implementation of all projects under Gazprom Neft’s Technology Strategy to be a fundamental factor in remaining competitive. IBM has more than a century’s experience in innovation, and engaging the expertise of one of the most influential players in the information technology market will increase Gazprom Neft’s performance with both traditional and hard-to-recover reserves.”
John Brantley, General Manager, IBM Global Chemicals and Petroleum Industry, added: „We treat data as a kind of natural resource. But we also understand that this resource is a strategic asset for our customers, demanding particular efforts to protect it. Our joint efforts with Gazprom Neft will be aimed at resolving this vital issue.”
IBM is a global supplier of IT solutions and consulting services from its head office in Armonk, State of New York.
Gazprom Neft’s Technology Strategy is a single document covering all of the company’s technological initiatives within the Upstream Division. All of the technological challenges currently facing the company have been categorised into nine priority areas, including specific projects with pre-determined time-scales and anticipated outcomes.
Gazprom Neft’s „Electronic Asset Development (ERA)” project, under implementation since 2012, forms part of the company’s Technology Strategy, encompassing approximately 30 projects. The examination of the potential and long-term development of digital information systems has allowed growth points in the future development of assets to be identified, and the most problematic areas brought to light. Estimates suggest implementing the ERA project and optimising algorithms will lead to an increase in oil production, reduce energy consumption by 12 percent, increase the useful life of downhole equipment by 15 percent, and also reduce drilling costs.