AWS and IBM join forces to reduce data barriers in the energy industry

Zach Marzouk

15 Nov, 2021

AWS and IBM are joining forces to combine their cloud tools for oil companies to use to help them manage their data while allowing them to overcome barriers like data residency requirements.

The two companies will combine the IBM Open Data for Industries for IBM Cloud Pak for Data and the AWS Cloud to serve energy customers. This is built on Red Hat OpenShift and will run on the AWS Cloud in order to make it easier for customers to run workloads on the platform and on-premises.

The collaboration, which aims to reduce data barriers in the energy industry, will allow customers to run OSDU Data Platform applications, an open source data platform for the energy industry, while addressing data residency requirements.

The companies claim that their energy customers are facing pressure to reduce greenhouse gases as demand for affordable energy continues to rise. To do this, companies need new products to help them drive efficiencies to free up capital, time, and resources to invest in new sustainable energy sources for the future.

IBM and AWS said that data and digital technologies can help navigate this transition, although an IBM survey from last year found that less than half of oil and gas executive respondents are using data to drive this innovation. The two companies underlined that this is partly because most of the digitisation efforts have been in proprietary closed systems, hindering the ability to combine and maximise the value of data.

“Much of the data needed to solve the complex energy challenges, such as superior subsurface decisions, already exists, yet is untapped. This is because one of the greatest values of that data is derived when it can be effectively combined, but usually this data is locked by data residency requirements, legacy applications or proprietary data formats,” said Bill Vass, vice president of engineering at AWS.

“By collaborating with IBM and leveraging Red Hat OpenShift, we will be able to offer customers a global, seamless offering with the flexibility to run on virtually any IT infrastructure and drive longer-term digital innovation.”

In October, Amazon also announced it invested in three companies developing sustainable technologies through its $2 billion Climate Pledge Fund programme. The fund was announced in 2020 to support sustainable investments, and these latest funding agreements brought its portfolio of companies to 11.