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AI And Big Data Helping Austria's OMV Lower Oil Production Costs, Says Tech Boss

Category: Energy & Environment,Finance

OMV's Schwechat oil refinery in Austria: Company says deployment of AI and Big Data are helping lower oil production costs (Photographer: Akos Stiller/Bloomberg)

© 2015 Bloomberg Finance LP.

In 2018, OMV's daily production stood at ~427,000 boe per day. Away from oil and gas production, the company operates three refineries with a total annual processing capacity of 17.8 million tons and more than 2,000 filling stations in ten countries. It also runs gas storage facilities in Austria and Germany.

Berghofer said OMV's current digital drive enjoys strong backing from Chief Executive Officer Rainer Seele, Johann Pleininger, Executive Board member responsible for Upstream and Deputy Chairman of OMV, and the company's board.

"As a technologist you cannot ask for more. The commitment goes all the way to the top. We are carefully looking at where we have to adapt our organization, and every business segment is seeing digitally-driven changes. OMV has also established a digital academy to nurture talent and upskill colleagues."

Berghofer himself has undergone a change of title, adopting his current one as of January 1, 2019 stepping up from his previous industry title of 'Vice President of Upstream Information Management and Business Projects.'

That's because the company is undergoing holistic transformation banking on three pillars – "business agility, digital capabilities and digital ways of working."

"It's not digitization for the sake of it. We are tying digitization projects to money. For instance, AI and advanced analytics are becoming major factors in the evaluation and exploration of oil and gas reservoirs. Digital technologies are also being used to get people off the rig to have it managed remotely."

Markus Berghofer, Vice President of Digital Excellence at OMV, speaks at the Ignite 2019 conference in Oslo, Norway on June 12, 2019

© Stig Jarnes

OMV is also partnering with industry rivals to share digital know-how. In May, it inked an agreement with Aker BP (OSL:AKERBP), an Olso-listed oil and gas joint venture of Norway's Aker and UK oil giant BP, committing "to share digitization competencies and technology across borders and advancing both companies' agendas."

Together, the two companies will collaborate on projects that explore how to set up and execute wide-scale digital transformation processes. Aker BP will share best practices from Eureka, their digital transformation program that started two years ago.

The insights will purportedly "advance the digital maturity of OMV Upstream" and also benefit a wide range of suppliers and partners connected to OMV's operations. In turn, the Austrian company will share the insights from its digitalization program DigitUP to advance the digital transformation of Aker BP.

Underpinning OMV's own Big Data drive is its partnership with Cognite to provide cross spectrum access to data and information, Berghofer said.

"We intend to operationalize data analytics and machine learning and to roll it out across operations – from Norway to Yemen, from Libya to Austria – integrating them seamlessly with existing infrastructure to make all relevant data instantly available as a comprehensive set in the cloud."

By subsequently harnessing the data, Berghofer said OMV would be able to easily monitor critical machinery, move from scheduled to predictive maintenance, increase production, and improve its health and safety.

"Imagine all data, all systems just one click away for anyone, anywhere in the world within the OMV team. The possibilities are immense and the value of it [to the corporate ecosystem] cannot be understated.”

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Deployment of advanced data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) are helping Austrian integrated oil and gas company OMV (VIE:OMV) achieve spectacular efficiencies across its operations, according to its digital technology leader.

Speaking at the Ignite 2019 conference organized by software firm Cognite, in Oslo, Norway on Wednesday (June 12, 2019), Markus Berghofer, Vice President of Digital Excellence at OMV, revealed the company which began its current phase of digital innovation little over 12 months ago, has reduced its production costs from $15 per barrel of oil equivalent down to $7 per boe.

"Various operational efficiencies have brought that about, not least digital. We have pledged €500 million ($566 million) towards digital innovation in the run-up to 2025. The drive is not just about operational efficiencies; it's about a range of issues from sustainable health and safety practices to attracting new talent to the oil and gas industry via a strong digital presence."

OMV's Schwechat oil refinery in Austria: Company says deployment of AI and Big Data are helping lower oil production costs (Photographer: Akos Stiller/Bloomberg)

© 2015 Bloomberg Finance LP.

In 2018, OMV's daily production stood at ~427,000 boe per day. Away from oil and gas production, the company operates three refineries with a total annual processing capacity of 17.8 million tons and more than 2,000 filling stations in ten countries. It also runs gas storage facilities in Austria and Germany.

Berghofer said OMV's current digital drive enjoys strong backing from Chief Executive Officer Rainer Seele, Johann Pleininger, Executive Board member responsible for Upstream and Deputy Chairman of OMV, and the company's board.

"As a technologist you cannot ask for more. The commitment goes all the way to the top. We are carefully looking at where we have to adapt our organization, and every business segment is seeing digitally-driven changes. OMV has also established a digital academy to nurture talent and upskill colleagues."

Berghofer himself has undergone a change of title, adopting his current one as of January 1, 2019 stepping up from his previous industry title of 'Vice President of Upstream Information Management and Business Projects.'

That's because the company is undergoing holistic transformation banking on three pillars – "business agility, digital capabilities and digital ways of working."

"It's not digitization for the sake of it. We are tying digitization projects to money. For instance, AI and advanced analytics are becoming major factors in the evaluation and exploration of oil and gas reservoirs. Digital technologies are also being used to get people off the rig to have it managed remotely."

Markus Berghofer, Vice President of Digital Excellence at OMV, speaks at the Ignite 2019 conference in Oslo, Norway on June 12, 2019

© Stig Jarnes

OMV is also partnering with industry rivals to share digital know-how. In May, it inked an agreement with Aker BP (OSL:AKERBP), an Olso-listed oil and gas joint venture of Norway's Aker and UK oil giant BP, committing "to share digitization competencies and technology across borders and advancing both companies' agendas."

Together, the two companies will collaborate on projects that explore how to set up and execute wide-scale digital transformation processes. Aker BP will share best practices from Eureka, their digital transformation program that started two years ago.

The insights will purportedly "advance the digital maturity of OMV Upstream" and also benefit a wide range of suppliers and partners connected to OMV's operations. In turn, the Austrian company will share the insights from its digitalization program DigitUP to advance the digital transformation of Aker BP.

Underpinning OMV's own Big Data drive is its partnership with Cognite to provide cross spectrum access to data and information, Berghofer said.

"We intend to operationalize data analytics and machine learning and to roll it out across operations – from Norway to Yemen, from Libya to Austria – integrating them seamlessly with existing infrastructure to make all relevant data instantly available as a comprehensive set in the cloud."

By subsequently harnessing the data, Berghofer said OMV would be able to easily monitor critical machinery, move from scheduled to predictive maintenance, increase production, and improve its health and safety.

"Imagine all data, all systems just one click away for anyone, anywhere in the world within the OMV team. The possibilities are immense and the value of it [to the corporate ecosystem] cannot be understated.”


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