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Cloud computing, internet of things will be major contributors to success in oil and gas

Halliburton (ticker: HAL) and Microsoft (ticker: MSFT) announced a strategic partnership yesterday, combining a digital empire and a services giant. The partnership will strive to bring big data to the oilfield.

According to the press release issued jointly by Halliburton and Microsoft, “researchers and engineers from both companies will leverage and optimize Microsoft technologies in machine learning, augmented  reality (AR), user interactions and Industrial Internet of Things, as well as Azure’s high-performant infrastructure and built-in computing capabilities.”

Microsoft Azure is the company’s cloud computing service, first released in 2010.

Halliburton has made its DecisionSpace 365 available on Azure as a first step in this partnership. This will allow applications to combine real-time data from oilfield sensors and deep-learning models to optimize drilling and production. According to the press release, this will enable next-gen exploration and subsurface models by using software to fill gaps in sensor data, while making models easier to compute and render.

In later applications, the collaboration between the companies can facilitate the use of voice and image recognition and video processing to produce digital representations of physical assets using Microsoft’s HoloLens and Surface devices.

Halliburton and Microsoft computing executives both commented on the partnerships. Jason Zander, VP of Microsoft Azure remarked “Halliburton is focused on delivering intelligent cloud solutions to drive the next generation of efficient oil and gas exploration and production. We are excited to bring the power of Azure’s hyperscale, hybrid and global cloud platform technologies to this alliance to enhance the value chain for our mutual customers.”

Halliburton’s Senior VP of Landmark and Digital Solutions, Nagaraj Srinivasan, commented “Halliburton is at the forefront of the digital transformation occurring in the E&P industry. We believe open architecture and community-based innovation are necessary to drive this fundamental change and we’re proud to work closely with an industry leader like Microsoft to deliver tailored E&P digital business solutions to our customers across the globe.”

IBM and Flotek are already in a similar partnership

This partnership is not the only effort to bring modern technology and big data to the oil and gas industry. IBM (ticker: IBM) and Flotek (ticker: FTK) discussed their partnership at the EnerCom Oilfield Tech & Innovation Day keynote lunch, debuting a video presentation there about their unique partnership.

IBM plans to use its Watson system to develop cognitive agents for oil and gas companies, using artificial learning systems to analyze the vast amount of data that can be collected by E&Ps. For example, IBM has partnered with Repsol to analyze the company’s historical data. Watson will be used to analyze 30 years of exploration data, to identify which factors are most important to engineers. This training will allow Watson to examine future data, automatically filtering information for analysis.

Flotek has worked with IBM to produce Wyatt, a program for analyzing well data and improving completion and reservoir performance. This gives companies the ability to use complex analysis on oil and gas problems, identifying optimal processes. Flotek intends to apply this system as RC2, reservoir cognitive consultant. The company is moving quickly, and intends to begin commercialization of RC2 next year.

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