Guest Blog: The Impact of Technology Convergence on Clean Energy

Guest Blog: The Impact of Technology Convergence on Clean Energy

Written by: Jolie Brimm

Investing in clean energy benefits industries in several ways. The World Economic Forum states that it creates jobs for people in times of economic distress such as global health crises. Green investments develop more near-term careers compared to projects involving fossil fuel use. Another benefit is that it reduces businesses’ and sectors’ dependence on fossil fuels. As a nonrenewable resource, fossil fuels will eventually be depleted. Reducing its use allows for better conservation and environmental contribution.

These transformations are fortunately rapidly taking place, with the book The Future Is Faster Than You Think outlining how this may impact the world within the next decade. In the book, Greek-American engineer Peter H. Diamandis and journalist Steven Kotler find that technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics are developing far more quickly than expected. As a result, these greatly influence how we live—specifically, how industries operate. Here are a few ways technology is impacting clean energy:

It reduces energy waste and carbon emissions

Clean energy should not be wasted. Wasteful consumption is a terrible practice for industries and businesses, but technology prevents this. AI in smart energy monitors can connect to establishments’ energy meters and collect power consumption data. Aside from this, it identifies when and where energy wastes occur. With this technology, people in charge immediately address the causes of waste and prevent further misuse.

In the oil and gas industry, AI, machine learning, and advanced analytics monitor and analyze machines in real time for operational effectiveness. With these tools, oil and gas operators can identify and resolve machine issues contributing to carbon emissions. For example, AI can determine how to reduce gas flaring during oil extraction, reducing harmful CO2 emissions.

It optimizes energy systems

In line with preventing energy waste is the efficient use of clean energy. Ensuring that necessary groups receive adequate energy is essential for industries to operate smoothly. A Frontiers in Energy Research study notes that the Internet of Things (IoT) is contributing to clean energy sharing by connecting energy data to the network, and optimizing the energy system. With this technology, businesses distribute energy more efficiently across different groups.

The energy supply chain also benefits from AI and the IoT. Geothermal power plants use the IoT in predictive failure diagnoses and performance monitoring. Sensors detect signs and alert operators of system failures when equipment is in use. These promote geothermal energy’s utilization, proving that it can be a reliable energy source. In the long run, this can serve as a win for carbon neutrality, as geothermal energy is renewable and has a low carbon footprint.

It helps carbon capture become more efficient

Carbon capture, utilization, and storage make decarbonization possible by capturing CO2 before it is released into the atmosphere. CO2 is then transported through a pipeline to be stored underground. The problem here is the danger that comes with CO2 transportation. CO2 is highly corrosive, so pipeline leaks result in groundwater contamination.

Professionals use digital twin representations—virtual models representing pipelines in real-time—to address this issue. They monitor CO2 transportation and pipeline conditions through exception-based surveillance. This way, leak detections and pressure and temperature changes are addressed before they cause more extensive damage.

It increases access to energy storage and supply

The development of electric vehicles is revolutionary. Rechargeable cars are reducing fossil fuel consumption and are currently being examined as a source of energy. In his book Renewable Energy: Ten Short Lessons, climate change and energy professor Stephen Peake states that electric vehicles have the potential in becoming a mass source of electricity storage and supply due to bidirectional charging. This allows electric vehicles to absorb power from the grid and supply others. For instance, electric school buses in the summer could store energy for the communities during power outages. These buses can also deliver energy to remote areas with limited power.

In mining, companies are looking toward renewable energy and battery projects to power their activities. Because mining operations are remote and not connected to the electrical grid, they garner energy from transported fossil fuels. Delivering fossil fuel to remote locations is not only expensive but also a contributor to carbon emissions. Using renewable energy stored in large-scale batteries removes their dependency on harmful fossil fuels.

Our post ‘Energy Transition Stories to Help Navigate Your Future Career’ emphasizes that the transition to clean energy will take time. However, these technological advancements are making the process quicker and more efficient for industries and society.

About the Author: Jolie Brimm is a UK-based freelance writer who enjoys writing feature articles on the latest in technology. 


EAGE Digital Startup Spotlight: AgileDD

EAGE Digital Startup Spotlight: AgileDD

EAGE Digital recognises the role of Start Ups and Entrepreneurs in pushing innovation and new ideas for digital transformation initiatives. The Start Up Spotlight features Henri Blondelle, Co-Founder of AgileDD.

Why did you start AgileDD?

AgileDD was created in Houston in 2016 but the project itself started in 2015 when the three founders were working in the Data department of CGG. At this time, we realized the new concept of data lake and the new generation of analytical tools based on AI will increase the need for structured data to feed the data-based decision process. At this time, the way of capturing information from documents was very labor intensive and the use of the few tools based on deterministic rules was quite limited.

We got the intuition that the new generation of AI tools made available since 2012 could be useful to extract automatically and at scale the key business information locked in the unstructured formats such as the scans of the reports, the PDF files, the graphic files, or any other unstructured formats. The starting idea was very simple: if a machine learning can detect a cat and a dog in a picture, it should be possible to train it to detect a total depth or the volume of an air gun in a report! We initiated the concept of the IDP (Intelligent Document Processing) much before it became trendy!

What is the biggest data challenge today for companies in oil and gas?

At the end of the day, is to provide to decisions makers data they trust. It is really not an easy challenge and it is even more difficult than being able to measure all the dimension of the data quality. At AgileDD, we think it is achievable if the end users are placed in the middle of the data processes and can understand from where the data are coming and how they have been processed securely.

What steps can organizations take to maximize the value of their data?

That is a really difficult question, even, I guess, for an experimented CTO. As it was said some time ago by the DAMA, implementing an efficient data management in an organization is depending of the data governance team capability to clearly understand the company business, culture, tools, organization and to translate these “environmental elements” into “data activities”. The main steps are always the same: Adopting standards, building solid reference and master data to insure the data interoperability, Adapting the data architecture to the business changes (and not the opposite!), Manage the data quality, don’t forget about the data security. But the real art is to put all the steps together in a rapidly changing technical world.

Do you already have any interesting use cases?

Starting from the Oil & Gas domain, we have developed some new business in the Mining, Water Treatment and the US Defense sectors. I think the experience we have gained during this journey may interest our visitors.

What do you hope to achieve at EAGE Digital 2022?

At first, it will be a real pleasure to meet data scientists, geo-professionals, and students in-person after long months of discussions in video calls, chats and other slack channels! So, the first objective is to socialize again and re-invent what should be the subsurface data management once again around a beer or two with friends!

We would like also to show that the IDP domain is progressing very rapidly and some challenges like capturing handwritten values from SCAL, PVT, Geochemical reports which were not possible 2 years ago are now in production. We hope that the experience we gained recently with the Mining and Defense sectors could be reused for some new subsurface data challenges. We have various demos for the ones visiting our booth, and it is the second objective.

The last one is also to figure out how we are in the competition and understand from the visitors how our platform should continue to progress to support their new challenges

If all that can be achieved in Vienna, it will be a great event!

Interested in learning more about AgileDD, visit their website here.

EAGE Digital recognizes the importance of Start-ups and entrepreneurs, and therefore we are offering start-ups a special discounted fee and speaker participation. We’re looking for innovative and disruptive technologies that transform the digital space not only in Oil and Gas, but across different applications of geoscience and energy transition.

Learn more about signing up as a Start Up company for EAGE Digital 2022.



Digital Ecosystems: Quo Vadis?

EAGE Digital Talks: Digital Ecosystems

Watch this recording from the EAGE Digital 2020 conference featuring Martin Galavazi (Fugro) in discussion with key industry players on the dynamics of digital ecosystems and managing the complex aspects of collaboration and partnerships.

The success of a digital ecosystem therefore depends on both relational and technical aspects. Relational aspects may include mutual commitment and transparency of partners, fear of supplier lock-in and focus on the ‘win’ of the other. Technical aspects may include data exchange formats, connectivity standards and system integrations for instance. How can we encourage both the relational as well as technical aspects that are required to deliver on the potential of digital ecosystems in large scale energy operations? How can we also leverage new technology partners and foster open collaborations with traditional competitors?

Panelists include:

  • Jamie Cruise, Head of Products for Data, Digital Subsurface Solutions – Schlumberger
  • Ali Al-Mujani, Chairman and CEO – Target Group
  • Andreas Blumauer, Founder and CEO – Semantic Web Company

Interested in more discussions like this? Join us at EAGE Digital 2022 to discuss the key challenges and emerging solutions in digital transformation for the energy industry.


July issue of First Break focuses on Digital Transformation In Geoscience

EAGE Digital Insights: Special Topic First Break focuses on Digital Transformation in Geoscience

Geoscientists are utilizing artificial intelligence to do the work once done by human minds. People are consequently freed up to focus on the bigger picture. The July issue of First Break magazine showcases the latest digitization initiatives in the industry that are enabling energy companies to improve exploration of new and existing fields and also ramp up for the energy transition.

  • Sergey Alayaev et al demonstrate a workflow for geosteering in an outcropbased synthetic fluvial succession and explain why their method reduces uncertainty and correctly predicts most of the major geological features.
  • Tsimfer Sergey et al present the deployment of machine learning at one of the world’s largest oil companies.
  • Alex Katashov et al analyse a new digital platform combining the use of actual downhole data, machine learning, and verification of the results obtained with hydrodynamic simulators.
  • Nicholas T. Okita et al show how cloud computing helps to improve ESG type practices while also providing a cheaper alternative to the huge cost of acquiring an infrastructure.
  • Roberto Ruiz et al explore the potential of mining an extensive petrophysics and rock physics well database in the Norwegian Sea through advanced machine learning algorithms for estimation of reservoir elastic properties, and what it could mean for the optimization of workflows.
  • Philip Hargreaves et al discuss how digitization is helping the geoscience profession to widen its scope in the search for cleaner sources of energy
  • Paul Genberg presents a new a new exploration studio that is using AI to break down silos and help its young geoscientists to flourish.

Visit the EAGE First Break website to read the articles in this special issue.
EAGE First Break Special Issue: Digital Transformation in Geoscience


Interview with Conference Co-Chair Roman Spitzer

EAGE Digital Talks: Interview with Conference Co-Chair Roman Spitzer

Why digitalization is the future? Conference co-chair Roman Spitzer, head of technology application, OMV Exploration & Production, talks about what we can expect at EAGE Digital 2022.

What is meant by this year’s theme – Leadership, Technology and Business of Tomorrow?

Digitalization has advanced more rapidly than any other innovation in history, enabling us with instant communication, generally enhanced connectivity and accessibility to information to take decision faster and more accurate. Not only the technological aspect that drives us today, but even more, the associated topics of changing business models (e.g., energy transition) and leadership styles (e.g., virtual teams) require special attention and new ideas. All three topics will be covered at this special event.

How would you describe the goal of digitalization, e.g., efficiency, cost saving, exploring and maximizing value of existing data?

Many organizations understand digitalization as a tool to save costs through increased efficiencies and project acceleration. This is partly true, it will save costs through less time spent on projects. However, the real strength of digitalization is to create optionality and opportunities through cutting edge technologies in combination with changed ways of doing business. The combination will allow us to make better analyses of our portfolios, make better choices about our investments and, ultimately, stay resilient to the globally ongoing changes.

For EAGE members attending which are the most relevant aspects of digitalization – machine learning, cloud, data lakes, AI, etc?

I think it is important to obtain a broad understanding of the complete petro-technical and digital challenges and excellency within our industry. Hence, machine learning, cloud, data lakes, AI, IT/OT, sensors, data science ideas, all of it is truly relevant. And on top of this, to envision and discuss future organizations, leadership styles and new ways of working – how digitalization creates value and will help us to stay a profitable and attractive industry sector.

How much of digitalization is new to geoscience and engineering professionals?

It depends on the time horizon. Starting my career as a geophysicist, I was waiting for automated data preparation and analytics for a long time. I was always frustrated about the time I had to spend preparing my projects and data until I could attend to my profession: subsurface characterization from seismic and well data.

Automation of tedious tasks is something that has significantly advanced during the last decade. Hence, data science and the maturity of machine learning products is good news to me. When you ask a young professional in the industry, for sure you would get a different answer. For them it is business as usual and they are looking at digitalization from a different, more mature and educated, perspective. Independent of industry experience, we will all agree that the development is increasing exponentially.

What is needed to prepare a new generation of digital

It is not so much about what is needed for them it is more about how we can attract them to join our industry. The new generation of geoscientists is ready and they come with all their G&G and engineering knowledge and data science skills. What they need is an exiting career perspective in the oil and gas industry. We need to tell a story that goes beyond conventional oil and gas business towards petrochemicals and energy transition.


Digitalization Programmes in Oil and Gas

EAGE Digital Talks: Digitalization Programmes in Oil and Gas

Watch this recording from the EAGE Digital 2020 conference featuring Surender Manral (Schlumberger) in discussion with key industry players on the adoption, value and challenges of scaling digital solutions in a rapidly changing energy landscape.

The changing landscape of the oil and gas industry provides exceptional challenges across the value chain. Energy companies must continue to adapt their business models and practices to remain competitive amidst pressures in pricing and shrinking demand. Digital transformation provides opportunities for sweeping changes and value creation. In this panel discussion we will focus on the adoption of digitalization programs amongst the industry. How ambitious have we been in scaling digital transformation and what key benefits and value do we experience or see on the horizon? More importantly how do we continue to ensure that digital initiatives generate returns across the entire value chain as we transition to more integrated energy businesses?

Panelists include:

  • David Hicks, Senior VP Upstream Energy – IHS Markit
  • Trygve Randen, Business Line Director, Digital Subsurface Solutions – Schlumberger
  • Markus Berghofer, VP Digital Excellence – OMV Upstream
  • Sean Mackie, Digital Transformation Lead for Exploration – Wintershall Dea

Interested in more discussions like this? Join us at EAGE Digital 2022 to discuss the key challenges and emerging solutions in digital transformation for the energy industry.