Energy giants Shell and Equinor have put their names to a Memorandum of Understanding for improving their collaboration and expertise exchange with the aim of developing new digital methods and solutions in fields such as 3D printing, artificial intelligence, and data science.
Through the collaboration, Equinor and Shell, which also makes lubricant products, aim to develop innovative new solutions throughout their operational processes, such as by optimising production, streamlining maintenance, and better managing the supply chain. The agreement will act as the foundation for the companies to set more detailed objectives as and when required, with the specifics for various digital projects and initiatives being worked out on a case-by-case basis.
Shell’s vice president for digitalization and computer science, Alexander Boekhorst, said:
“Open Innovation is key to accelerating digital innovation across the energy industry. Collaborating and building on others’ strengths is critical to deliver competitive and affordable technology. We are excited about this opportunity to co-develop digital technology with Equinor.”
Speaking for Equinor, chief digital officer Torbjørn F. Folgerø pointed to how the companies were already working closely on an initiative called the Open Subsurface Data Universe (OSDU). He also noted the companies’ shared pursuit of digitally transforming the energy industry through cloud-based solutions, highlighting the importance of such collaboration in achieving value while lowering emissions and improving safety.
Equinor has already seen cash flow improvements thanks to the rapid deployment of digital technology, as evidenced by production in the Johan Sverdrup oil field starting earlier than expected.