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Microsoft, Halliburton Partner To Digitize Oil And Gas Industry

Halliburton and Microsoft have struck a partnership that will see the oil industry transform in radical ways, Microsoft said in a statement, digitizing a massive business that has been wary of sharing information.

It’s a marriage of Big Oil and Big Data that Bloomberg’s Liam Denning says “is a big reason OPEC is doomed”.

Microsoft and Halliburton will collaborate in areas of machine learning, augmented reality, and user interactions. As part of the joint work, the oilfield services giant will use Microsoft’s hardware solutions including HoloLens, Surface, Azure, and its Internet of Things solutions.

The purpose is to digitize the upstream industry and improve exploration results by applying things like deep learning and augmented reality to reserve estimations, modeling and simulation, which would result in highly interactive applications for the industry, Microsoft said.

Halliburton said that it will move the DecisionSpace 365 platform it uses to Microsoft’s cloud, Azure, to enable real-time data streaming from IoT devices in the field. This would in turn help deep-learning models developed by Microsoft optimize well-drilling and improve cost efficiencies, ultimately lowering production costs per barrel of oil.

The oil industry in general has been wary of digital technology, and the cloud and IoT specifically, because of the amounts of information companies would rather keep to themselves. Yet, the digital evolution couldn’t pass them by and now the industry is catching up by adopting cloud and Big Data solutions, alongside supercomputers and cutting-edge imaging technology to improve its exploration results and, in future, production yields, all the while keeping its focus on lowering production costs.

Oil is ultimately a high-tech industry, as Denning notes: it uses a lot of advanced technology in its exploration activities. Now, it is embracing Big Data and other digital tech to improve its processes and, ultimately, boost bottom lines. The tech sector is only too happy to help them integrate their processes and ensure a constant and reliable flow of data that would optimize what is being done or needs to be done in the field.

By Irina Slav For Oilprice.com

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  • minus28 on August 28 2017 said:
    I always find this kind of headline ironic. Before Halliburton starts "Digitizing The Oil Industry" perhaps it should start at home? That in itself would be more useful to its customers rather than trying to contribute in areas it doesn't understand. Service companies like Halliburton are in fact a large part of the problem that oil companies face and until they begin to realise that the data belongs to their customers and needs to be stored in open, accessible standard platforms using open industry standards, they remain one of the major limitations on oil industry aspirations to digitalization today.

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