Equinor Aims at Data Efficiency and a Low Carbon Future with Microsoft Tools

(TN) Global energy company Equinor is committed to a sustainable, low-carbon future and believes that the effective use of data is essential to achieving its goals. To break down corporate data silos and provide employees with all the information they need to make effective decisions, the company chose to implement Microsoft Energy Data Services in line with the energy industry’s OSDU™ technical standard. The company is realizing efficiencies in data collection and storage that can help streamline operations to extract hydrocarbons more efficiently and pave the way for greater investment in renewable energy.

“The scalability, elasticity and flexibility of Microsoft Energy Data Services provide us with an ideal foundation to implement the OSDU Data Platform in a way we could not do on-premises,” says Øivind Berggraf, Advisor for Emerging Information Technology – OSDU™ Subsurface.

A more sustainable, data-driven future

Like its peers in the energy sector, Equinor faces a two-pronged task: balancing the growing global demand for energy with the need to work towards sustainable operations. “The energy transition is one of our biggest challenges – moving away from our traditional core oil and gas business towards more sustainable, low-carbon solutions,” says Harald Laastad, vice president of enterprise data and platform at Equinor. “To get there, we are embracing digitalization as a driver of operational efficiency and cost efficiency. In a competitive industry, that’s one of the things that sets us apart.”

As part of its commitment to causing zero harm to people, the environment and material assets, the company aims to become a net-zero energy company by 2050 through carbon-efficient production, pioneering low-carbon technologies and increased investment in renewable energy —Equinor already supplies electricity to more than one million European households with wind power. The company has also set ambitious goals for 2030, which include halving greenhouse gas emissions.

Data is the key to keeping day-to-day operations running smoothly. “Everyone is using data every day, and data plays an essential role in achieving our mission to be simultaneously competitive, profitable and sustainable,” says James Elgenes, Equinor’s subsurface data and information manager.

While data keeps Equinor up and running, accessing it has not always been as simple as the company would have liked and was siled across different business functions and applications in multiple countries, preventing employees from making the best use of it. “Employees can spend significant time on data-related tasks that don’t add value, such as trying to find, transfer between tools, and produce manual reports from that information,” says Elgenes. “We could see huge efficiencies across the enterprise if we could spend less time on these manual data tasks and more time analyzing it to validate ideas and create new insights.”

A platform in line with new industry data standards

The data challenges Equinor faces are not unique to the company – they are common issues across the industry. To help industry meet its data needs and unlock the innovations and efficiencies needed for a sustainable future, leading energy companies and technology providers have come together to create an open-source, standards-based data architecture that facilitates access. and efficient data management. known as OSDU™.

“Rather than each company trying to solve this big data problem individually and preventing any kind of standardization, we chose to work together on a systematic approach to interoperability,” says Laastad. “This benefits energy companies and vendors building solutions for our industry – they no longer have to customize all of their products to each company’s individual data organization scheme.”

While the OSDU data platform is an important tool for energy innovation, it can be difficult for companies to implement and maintain, and on-premises facilities may lack computing power and scalability, which can make operational transformation difficult. To facilitate the deployment of its data to the cloud, Equinor is working with Microsoft Energy Data Services, a fully managed, enterprise-grade, cloud-based OSDU data platform built on the Microsoft cloud – including Microsoft Azure – that helps energy companies to gain actionable insights, improve operational efficiencies and accelerate time to market.

“Azure is more than just a place to store data or run your computing,” explains Elgenes. “It’s a series of interconnected services that help us automate operations, coordinate efforts, and easily create data pipelines that enable the data engineering needed to process, transform, and deliver that data to our employees.”

Equinor was one of the first companies to implement Microsoft Energy Data Services. “The issues we are facing are too important to wait in the background – we want to be early adopters,” says Laastad. “With Microsoft Energy Data Services, we have interoperability, exciting ways to combine data, and opportunities to use additional cloud-native solutions from Microsoft and other providers on a cost-effective platform that we trust to be secure.”

 Breaking down silos to open up new opportunities

Equinor is excited about the capabilities that Microsoft Energy Data Services offers to integrate previously siled data from different parts of the company to advance its business and sustainability goals.

“The energy transition will be driven by data,” says Laastad. “If we can extract hydrocarbons more effectively and efficiently and reduce on-site operations, that directly reduces our emissions. Data is also critical to success in new sustainable energy systems, where margins are much lower and accurate decisions are critical. If we can use seismic data from one part of the company to help another part of the company locate optimal locations for carbon capture and storage, that reduces uncertainty and increases our chance of success.”

Equinor has already found tremendous efficiencies through the use of Microsoft technologies. “We have hundreds of thousands of well records now stored in the cloud, all quality controlled and easily available,” says Elgenes. “It would have taken 250 years to gather all this data manually.”

Equinor began adopting Azure in 2017, and the company sees the adoption of Microsoft Energy Data Services as the next phase of an ongoing journey to the cloud. “It was a natural progression for us,” says Øivind Berggraf, Emerging Information Technology Consultant – Subsurface at Equinor. “We are very happy with Azure and the return on investment we have seen so far. The scalability, elasticity and flexibility of Microsoft Energy Data Services provide us with an ideal foundation to implement the OSDU Data Platform in a way that we could not do on-premises.”

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation in the era of the intelligent cloud and the intelligent edge. Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. The company has been in Brazil for 33 years and is one of 122 subsidiaries of Microsoft Corporation, founded in 1975. From July 2021 to June 2022, the company invested more than US$ 15 million in donations and discounts to non-profit entities, impacting more than 2 thousand institutions with software donations, purchase discounts and support for training projects. With the launch of Microsoft For Startups Founders Hub, 443 new startups were approved, totaling 703 supported startups, which together have consumed USD 11,898,488.00 of Azure cloud credits.

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