Cenovus joins Massive Oil’s push into Massive Knowledge with Amazon and IBM offers

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CALGARY — Massive Oil is continuous its push into Massive Knowledge as Cenovus Vitality Inc. has struck offers with tech giants Amazon Net Providers and Worldwide Enterprise Machines Corp. in an try and harness the ability of cloud computing and decrease its prices.

I don’t need this to be our grandfather’s trade

Ian Enright, Cenovus vice-president and chief data officer

“I don’t wish to run our grandfather’s IT store. I don’t need this to be our grandfather’s trade,” Ian Enright, Cenovus vice-president and chief data officer, stated of the Calgary-based firm’s plans to maneuver its knowledge out of two native knowledge centres and into Amazon Net Providers’ cloud following a deal struck over the summer season.

The oil and gasoline producer can be planning to make use of Amazon’s cloud computing energy to course of and analyze its knowledge and run different software program packages in a transfer the corporate says will decrease prices and permit it to higher perceive the “tens of millions of knowledge factors” produced by its steam-based oilsands vegetation.

“Operating machine studying and analytics towards this stuff, as different industries have discovered, we actually really feel we’ll have the ability to improve our operations and our effectivity,” Enright stated.

“Proper now, we’re simply scratching the floor of the worth of that,” he stated.

Cenovus didn’t announce the take care of Amazon when it was struck, however described a broader push on the firm to undertake new digital applied sciences and minimize prices. In an interview Enright stated the corporate ran a “bake-off” between cloud computing suppliers in late 2018 and picked Amazon this 12 months for its huge transfer to cloud computing.

Actually, a sequence of current bulletins point out that extra Calgary-based oil and gasoline corporations are turning to cloud computing and big data in an try and modernize their companies because the vitality trade is attempting to shed its fame of being laggards in terms of adopting digital applied sciences.

This month, oilsands rival Suncor Vitality Inc. announced a similar partnership with Microsoft Corp. emigrate its knowledge, computing energy and processes to the Redmond, Wash.-based firm’s cloud providers and overhaul many features of its enterprise.

Whereas oil and gasoline corporations have been pilloried for being digital laggards, massive Calgary-based oil and gasoline corporations have been quietly integrating new digital applied sciences in a bid to chop prices as they’ve been pressured by low oil costs and a lack of export pipelines.

In 2017, Calgary-based pipeline large TC Vitality Corp. started migrating its knowledge and pc processing onto Amazon’s cloud providers and that transfer to cloud computing is now 90 per cent full, stated Eric Gales, Amazon Net Providers nation supervisor for Canada.

TC Vitality didn’t reply to a request for remark.

As we enter the subsequent chapter of digital reinvention, the oil and gasoline trade is primed for transformation

Ross Manning, IBM’s vice-president, Canadian vitality trade

Gales stated he’s seen a significant change in massive corporations’ attitudes in direction of digital applied sciences previously 4 years and stated the tempo of adoption has elevated dramatically.

“4 years in the past, I used to be nonetheless having conversations with clients about ‘why?’ Now, it’s about ‘The place do I begin?’” Gales stated.

Now he stated, lots of the main corporations within the Canadian oilpatch have a “cloud technique” as a result of “the case for the cloud has been made.”

At Cenovus, Enright stated he believes the transfer to Amazon’s cloud computing service will permit it to run a number of knowledge analyses concurrently — one thing it wasn’t in a position to do beforehand — and likewise minimize down the period of time it takes to investigate that knowledge.


A employee inspects pipelines at Cenovus Vitality’s Foster Creek plant.

Courtesy Cenovus Vitality

“Once you go to the cloud to have a look at reservoir simulations or modelling our greenhouse gasoline enhancements, issues like that, we are able to mannequin many issues concurrently,” Enright stated.

For instance, when Cenovus struck its $17.7-billion deal to purchase ConocoPhillips Co.’s Canadian belongings in 2017, it took the corporate practically 4 months to amass the pc servers it wanted to course of the info for the deal.

As the corporate integrates extra of its processes into Amazon’s cloud, Enright stated he’s assured the corporate may course of the identical quantity and complexity of knowledge in below three weeks.

On Monday, Cenovus additionally introduced a take care of IBM by which the Armonk, New York-based tech large will implement a collection of recent software program packages on the oilsands producer.

Enright stated the expertise will run within the cloud and is a part of the broader push to cloud computing and quicker choice making aided by digital applied sciences.

“As we enter the subsequent chapter of digital reinvention, the oil and gasoline trade is primed for transformation, with corporations turning to new platforms that may maximize the worth of their belongings, decrease working prices and proceed to enhance on their sustainable operations,” IBM’s vice-president, Canadian vitality trade Ross Manning stated in a launch.

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