In 2020, the international oil market has suffered an unexpected economic crisis brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak. The previously high, but stable oil prices are now hurting, signaling an imminent need for change through digital transformation. Now is the time to reflect — how can we use emerging technologies to help customers in the oil and gas industry turn this crisis into opportunities?
On July 15, the Huawei Oil & Gas Summit 2020 online attempted to answer the above question and discussed several other issues in the industry.
Themed Data to Barrel, the online summit brought together leaders from Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), and Schlumberger, as well as top consultants in the oil and gas industry. They have shared their views and solutions on data-driven value creation and how the industry can increase profits while reducing costs.
As a leading global ICT solutions provider, Huawei is using ICT technologies to enable the traditional oil industry. But, what does the future hold?
Past: Significant Brand Building Efforts
Huawei started out in the oil industry in 2011 by supplying switches, routers, and network devices. Today, Huawei is directly supporting the digital transformation of the industry, and is the ICT market leader working with partners and customers to develop AI and big data for oil and gas. Over the past decade, Huawei has continuously explored new technologies and applications, and has gradually become a strategic ally of the oil and petrochemical industry. To date, Huawei has cooperated on the digital transformation of 19 of the top 30 oil and gas companies in 45 countries.
Huawei did not achieve this overnight. The company has invested significant resources and manpower (over 90,000 workers) into R&D, in order to understand customers, identify opportunities, improve performance, and optimize decision-making. Today, Huawei has more than 3000 AI experts, 14 R&D centers, and 36 joint innovation centers around the world. Using leading ICT technologies, Huawei has developed its partnership network and made significant breakthroughs in industry-specific solutions.
Many oil companies around the world have successfully implemented Huawei solutions to improve production levels and optimize processes — including the three major oil companies in China (CNPC, Sinopec, and CNOOC), as well as international oil giants such as Saudi Aramco, Pemex, Petrobras, and SONATRACH.
"In the past decade, Huawei has accompanied customers in the oil and gas industry and witnessed oil prices peak at US$120 per barrel, as well as fall to that low of US$20," said David Sun, VP of the Enterprise Business Group (EBG) and President of the EBG Global Energy Business Unit, Huawei.
Future: Oil & Gas Going Digital
COVID-19 and the resultant global economic downturn are driving oil prices into the ground. To stay competitive, oil companies need next-generation information technologies, which will allow them to adapt quickly and efficiently to the new economic landscape.
Huawei introduces AI, big data, and cloud technologies into the oil and gas industry, to enable industry-wide transformation. "Huawei does not simply develop leading ICT technologies. We are committed to bringing digital to every person, home and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world. This vision also applies to every oil and gas company," said Wang Hao, CTO of the Oil & Gas Development, EBG, Huawei. Ultimately, Huawei helps customers reach higher profits in the upstream, more safety in the midstream, and more value in the downstream. But, how does it achieve this?
The easy-to-exploit oil and gas resources have largely been exhausted. Today's industry is pivoting toward deep water, pre-salt, and unconventional reservoirs. As such, oil and gas companies require high-precision and powerful computing to address new challenges. To Get More Barrels from More Data, Huawei has developed an AI solution to evaluate oil formations. This solution uses neural network models to predict the oil, gas, and water layers, generate well logs, and associate the logs with information graphs, helping petrophysicists integrate evaluation data. The algorithm parallels machine learning with deep learning to achieve the same interpretation precision as professional software. In addition, it further speeds up evaluation by over 80% and improves accuracy by about 5%.
Interconnection with efficient 5G networks has remarkable impact on exploration, by increasing storage and production, and improving scientific research and production efficiency. For example, Daqing Oilfield and Huawei will implement in-depth communication on high-performance computing (HPC), the eLTE wireless production network, IoT, and the oilfield production big data platform. This will facilitate the integration of information technologies with exploration and development technologies, build an efficient digital oilfield, and ensure the effective development of oil reservoirs. Ultimately, the project will have contributed to the reuse of 10 PB historical exploration data, an 833% improvement in computing capability, and an increase in the annually processed area from 400 to 2000 square kilometers.
With new technologies such as cloud computing, big data, IoT, and AI, Huawei customers can pivot towards cloudification and intelligence, using powerful computing and resource sharing through cloud data centers. Take SONATRACH, an Algerian government-owned oil company, as an example. Based on SONATRACH's vision for 2030 and the One Cloud strategy, Huawei develops a customized cloud-based solution to centrally manage multiple data centers, eliminate resource silos, and allocate resources on demand. Over the course of the project, this will significantly optimize the use of resources, support more services, and accelerate service rollout. With the One Cloud system, the ERP will transform SONATRACH's IT system, which will drive optimization and reduce costs. In parallel to this process of digital transformation, SONATRACH will construct a digital oilfield that will reap benefits well into the future.
With its strong R&D and comprehensive technical capabilities, Huawei is committed to fully leveraging the power of cloud computing, software-defined networking (SDN), big data, and IoT to build an open, flexible, resilient, and secure platform in the enterprise market, and foster a collaborative and win-win ecosystem in which all players can thrive and prosper. In the future, can Huawei's ICT technologies explore more opportunities in the oil and gas industry to help customers upgrade and optimize processes for successful transformation? Let's wait and see.