Innovate or perish

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Modern-day discovery in the oil & gas market

Innovate or perish. This is sage advice that rings true for companies in all industries, but particularly for the oil & gas sector, where game-changing disruptions seem to threaten to jeopardize the profitability of many firms.

Since mid-2014, oil prices per barrel have fallen by more than 50 percent due to collapse in demand.  In combination with the strengthening U.S. dollar, firms have faced significantly reduced sales and profits.

Short-term tactics that impact long term growth

Many firms have adapted by reducing exploration, production output and workforce. However, this tactic impacts growth on both local and national levels. Proven reserves are at an all-time high, but the replenishment rate for these reserves is declining due to lower exploration activity. This can negatively impact a firm’s market valuation, making its borrowing costs go higher.

Most conventional oil wells have fixed and generally higher break-even costs compared to shale wells.  As producers have shifted their upstream focus to shale, the use of fracking has become more common. Fracking and wastewater disposal are cited as factors in increased seismic activity in certain geographies. As a result, heightened environmental concerns and more stringent EPA and Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) rules are driving more detailed impact studies, safeguards and standards.

Transforming industry economics with IBM Storage

As a longtime solutions provider in the oil & gas industry, the IBM Storage team understands the pain and challenges in this sector. To prosper in this environment, our clients in the oil & gas industry are optimizing decision making for profitability while reducing operating costs. Advances in cognitive, cloud and infrastructure technologies can help to address these challenges by enabling solutions ranging from accelerated data collecting to deeper insights across operations. IBM Storage provides innovative technologies that can help oil & gas companies do the following:

  • Cut operating costs. With oil prices currently hovering around $50 per barrel, it is imperative to reduce operating costs without disrupting business, losing market competitiveness or compromising growth. IBM Storage can help oil & gas firms create more efficient technology infrastructure that is automated, cost-effective, integrated and cognitive.
  • Drive more intelligent upstream and downstream analytics. With less investment in discovery, oil & gas developers should look for greater insights into where they drill. Beyond discovery, more accurate reservoir simulations and seismic analyses may be needed to maximize production. This means being able to do more simulations with more data without adding cost, just what IBM Storage is designed to help our clients accomplish.
  • Access and monetize data faster. Disruptive technologies, including remote sensors, drones and imaging technologies are increasing the volume and frequency of data collected by oil & gas organizations in both upstream and downstream operations. In addition to the challenge of supporting these newer technologies, storing, managing and unlocking the full value of this collected data is complex. The intelligent data management, agile and open infrastructure and more cost-effective storage that IBM can provide gives these enterprises competitive advantage.

Why IBM Storage?

The breadth and depth of the IBM software-defined storage portfolio can help oil & gas companies:

  • Lower IT infrastructure costs by building storage solutions using mature, deeply integrated components.
  • Simplify IT by implementing pre-validated VersaStack-converged infrastructure solutions that incorporate market-leading Cisco and IBM compute, network and storage components.
  • Increase data throughput, performance and scalability for deeper insights into petroleum reserves and operations by deploying award-winning IBM Software-Defined Computing.
  • Build agile hybrid cloud solutions with IBM Transparent Cloud Tiering and IBM Cloud Object Storage.
  • Manage even the largest data sets by leveraging the power of IBM tape solutions for data protection and long-term retention.

Our collaboration with industry leaders is a key factor in providing oil & gas enterprises with cost savings and competitive advantages. For example, IBM is teaming up with Schlumberger, the world’s leading provider of technology for reservoir characterization, drilling, production and processing within the oil and gas industry.

Through this initiative, we deliver IBM Petroleum Solutions for ProSource, which address the government, producer and engineering firm needs for an integrated seismic data repository that is easily accessible, cost effective and simpler to use. The IBM Solutions for ProSource combine the Schlumberger ProSource seismic data repository platform with VersaStack-converged infrastructure, IBM Storwize arrays, IBM Spectrum Storage and IBM tape systems. These help to lower costs of both implementation and operation and to accelerate strategic decision-making workflows in upstream and downstream operations.

IBM Storage solutions for the oil & gas industry help energy producers and service providers of all sizes build more cost-effective, faster and integrated seismic analytics and data infrastructure that supports HPC, big data and new workloads. Whether the goal is to increase production output, make more accurate drilling decisions, or accommodate changes in business priorities, IBM Storage can help.

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