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Equinor and Shell have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on digital solutions

image 5Digital work process. (Image source: Ole Jørgen Bratland)

The companies aim to develop solutions and methods together through the exchange of expertise within areas like data science, artificial intelligence and 3D printing.

The collaboration is expected to entail co-innovation across the whole value chain, such as maintenance, production optimisation and supply chain management.

Torbjørn F. Folgerø, a chief digital officer in Equinor ASA, said, “We are already collaborating closely in the Open Subsurface Data Universe (OSDU) initiative and see many mutual benefits as both companies have applied cloud-based digital solutions as an approach to our industry’s digital transformation. Such collaborations are increasingly important to strengthen safety, reduce carbon emissions and realise value by applying digital technologies.”

The agreement will be further detailed on a project basis. It will enable companies with an agile foundation to explore specific digital initiatives and projects.

Alexander Boekhorst, vice-president for digitalisation and computer science in Shell, commented, “Open Innovation is key to accelerating digital innovation across the energy industry. Collaborating and building on others’ strengths is critical to deliver competitive and affordable technology. We are excited about this opportunity to co-develop digital technology with Equinor.”

Equinor recently increased its 2025 improvement ambition by 50 per cent, from two to three billion mainly due to scaling digital solutions across our global portfolio faster than expected contributing to increased production as well as reducing maintenance, drilling and facility cost.

The speed of implementation of new digital solutions has already delivered a cashflow impact of more than US$400mn in 2019, mainly due to earlier start-up of Johan Sverdrup and increased uptime on assets connected to our integrated operations centre.

“Forming new partnerships and working closely with our suppliers is critical to further deliver on our improvement ambition,” said Folgerø.