Menu
IBM Watson gets smart in the oil refinery business

IBM Watson gets smart in the oil refinery business

Woodside Energy is using Watson to run its refineries more efficiently

Woodside Energy is the latest company to use the IBM Watson cognitive computing service

Woodside Energy is the latest company to use the IBM Watson cognitive computing service

Australian energy company Woodside Energy hopes to strike a gusher in its own backyard -- a gusher of information, that is.

The company plans to improve the efficiency of its refinery plants by using IBM's Watson cognitive computing services to gather and share insights from its own engineers.

Woodside "wants to take the knowledge of their senior engineers and make it available, with the support of Watson, to a broader range of employees," said Ed Harbour, IBM vice president of the company's Watson Group.

The two companies will partner to create a search engine, or "cognitive advisory service" that can be used by Woodside's engineering teams to ask complex questions about facilities management and design, according to IBM. Energy companies such as Woodside must routinely revamp production facilities to improve their efficiency.

For this system, an engineer could ask Watson, for instance, why a pressure gauge reading is not within a standard range of values. Watson can probe its memory banks and return what it considers to be the most relevant set of answers. Over time, it can improve the quality of the answers based on user feedback.

The idea behind the service is to gather into a central location all the information engineers have on running Woodside's refineries. The engineers have already digitally documented many aspects of running refineries, which Watson can ingest. Additionally, the two companies will interview senior engineers to collect more institutional information.

IBM will also have a panel of Woodside experts review the data, and annotate it with additional contextual information. Watson will use machine learning to identify conflicting sets of information, which then can be resolved by experts.

Financial terms of the arrangement were not disclosed.

The energy industry has been an early adopter of IBM Watson, which is a set of cognitive computing services that uses advanced machine learning technologies to synthesize disparate sources of knowledge in order to deliver more useful information.

The Spanish energy company Repsol has also used Watson to help determine which oil fields are worth further investment. Repsol itself has plenty of know-how on determining how fruitful an oil field may be, so it uses Watson to evaluate the extra-curricular aspects that may hamper drilling, such as the cultural and political climates of the region.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags cloud computinginternetIBMManaged ServicesWoodside

Events

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

This year’s Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards were held as an integral part of the first entirely virtual Emerging Leaders​ forum, an annual event dedicated to identifying, educating and showcasing the New Zealand technology market’s rising stars. The 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 recognised the outstanding achievements and business excellence of 30 talented individuals​, across both young leaders and those just starting out. In this slideshow, Reseller News honours this year's winners and captures their thoughts about how their ideas of leadership have changed over time.​

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners
Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

This exclusive Reseller News Exchange event in Auckland explored the challenges facing the partner community on the cloud security frontier, as well as market trends, customer priorities and how the channel can capitalise on the opportunities available. In association with Arrow, Bitdefender, Exclusive Networks, Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security
Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2019 inductees - Leanne Buer, Ross Jenkins and Terry Dunn - to the fourth running of the Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed the changing face of the IT channel ecosystem in New Zealand and what it means to be a Reseller News Hall of Fame inductee. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch
Show Comments