oil and gas

Oil and Gas: A Quantum Future

Kevin Pomaski

Kevin Pomaski

Oil and gas companies lose millions of dollars every day, and obviously not because of the commodity price. It’s due in some cases to the inability of these companies to effectively process the massive amounts of data they collect and use to optimize their complex operations. That results in a lack of efficiencies in shipping and logistics, unnecessary bore holes for recovery and shifting capacity projections.

These potential profits can be recovered and mitigated with faster processing and the ability to solve hard problems in new, more effective ways.

Data is Money

As bytes have become petaflops; the pipelines become more clogged. Potentially thousands of catalogs of data resources are untouched or not being utilized due to lack of workforce or limited problem solving. Each piece of data, no matter how asymmetrical they seem, drives the machine of exploration, refining and deliver. Literally all oil and gas decisions are made by applying complex algorithms and software to the datasets to optimize efficiency. The success in these operations is the cornerstone to profitability and growth.

The past 60 years have seen unprecedented advances in both what data is available and the technology to process it. New solutions to old problems have been introduced and then replaced several times over. The difference between keeping a legacy technology and replacing it with the next best thing can come down to milliseconds in processing time.

What if the advantage could be not just milliseconds, but days of advantage?

What if a new technology offered a path to results that have not yet been conceived?

That is the promise of quantum computing systems.

Quantum: The Oil and Gas Advantage

For example, let’s look at one of the world’s largest and fastest commercial supercomputing facilities. The BP Center for High-Performance Computing (CHPC) contains 16.3 petaflops of computing power, having the ability to process 16 million billion calculations per second.

As a point of reference, these powerful systems can complete a problem in around a day that would take a standard PC 9 years to complete.

Now compare CHPC taking one day to solve a complex problem to a quantum processing unit (QPU) that can possibly solve the same problem in one hour or less. Now you see the possibilities.

The use of constrained optimization has been applied to thousands of use cases that pertain to oil and gas. Now imagine harnessing that level of computation to deliver critical insights to complex logistics and supply chain issues.

Another example of exploration of datasets is in the molecular chemical sciences and the advances that can be gained utilizing these advanced computing solutions producing results that may not have been considered due to limitations on classical systems. Virtually all field operations in oil and gas including financial and markets can benefit for these accelerated results.

The Bottom Line

Quantum computing is a completely different paradigm from classical computing. As it is rapidly emerging, it’s time to begin the exploration of its power.  Any other option will create a gap in competitive advantage versus those who have started to invest in the technology.

It will take time to train staff such as data scientists and programmers to be at a level of expertise required to manage the new systems. It will take a sound strategy to identify the correct hardware and software solutions to enhance current operations. To learn more about the different types of quantum computers and other quantum important information, read this article: Here

It is time to start asking the questions that will answer your future data problems. Quantum is the next step in computing evolution and the time to be a pioneer is now.