In Equinor, we welcome the use of industrial data and AI, but we also take an active stand in defining for what, how and when to use it. To unlock the full potential of digital technologies, it is crucial to understand the challenges and to build trust in AI and new digital technologies.
Similar to how Europe is progressing its climate ambitions, it needs to step up the digital transformation of European economies. On behalf of Equinor, I’ve shared three key areas of how this could be done.
First, digital transformation is key both to ensure competitiveness of O&G as well as enabling the energy transition.
As an example, we are streaming operational data from all our 26 offshore fields in Norway to our cloud-based data platform. Our engineers and data scientists are using these data to develop and utilise machine learning models to continuously improve our operations.
Since the launch of our digital roadmap in 2017, we have delivered around 900 MUSD in value creation. This capital, created by efficiency gains from our competitive O&G business, is re-invested in our renewables business, thereby fueling the green transition.
When it comes to digital solutions, the gap between renewable energy and oil and gas is not that huge. We can leverage AI and machine learning developed for our oil and gas portfolio to strengthen our offshore wind operations and optimize new energy value chains.
Second, we need to attract new capabilities that can work in the intersection of energy and digital transformation.
Europe should accelerate the development of digital competence connected to industries where we already have a competitive position, such as energy.
STEMS skills have been promoted by Equinor for a long time and the digital transformation is giving such capabilities a new dimension. Up to not so long ago, deep digital skills were mainly in demand in specialized industries. The demand for specialized digital skills is going from a “niche” market to a general one.
European education systems must adapt to be able to provide the skills for today and tomorrow.
In Equinor, we are realizing the most innovative ideas when we combine our employees with deep domain knowledge with digital experts in software and data science.
To be an attractive partner and, at the same time, be able to drive our digital agenda, we must invest in our own internal capabilities. It means being able to attract and retain new talents, but, as importantly, increasing the average digital proficiency of our workforce.
Third, collaboration is key to speed up innovation and energy transition.
Data flow, data interoperability and standards are necessary to achieve the full digital potential. To enable this, we are collaborating as an industry to create a standardized data taxonomy.
An example is OSDU, where more than 100 companies have come together to create a standard data architecture for subsurface data.
Another example is the Industry 4.0 framework, which provide standardized data taxonomies for facilities and manufacturing.
In Equinor, we are also sharing large industrial data sets openly to stimulate innovation.
One example is the planned carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects Northern Lights together with Shell and Total. We have openly shared the well data from this project to enable more research in the field of CCS.
By sharing data, we can collaborate with our external ecosystem and foster new ideas to solve complex energy problems.