Hiring Heroes: How Woodside Energy works with IBM Watson

By | 2 minute read | September 11, 2017

Key points:
– Woodside Energy has been working with Watson to make decades of expertise available to its engineers.
– Watson ingested the equivalent of 600,000 pages of information, or 30 years of knowledge
– Watson helped reduce the time spent searching for expert knowledge by 75%


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Woodside Energy is Australia’s largest independent oil and gas company and an industry leader in implementing new technologies and tools to improve safety and efficiency. They are globally recognized for their success in oil exploration, development, production and supply. This 63-year-old organization has been breaking ground for years, and not just with their drilling rigs.

Surfacing answers and critical information when employees need it

The leading-edge strategy behind Woodside’s success is the way they grow and empower their workforce. The offshore energy industry itself is greatly demanding, requiring real-time, 24/7 monitoring from crew members. With some of the largest structures on Earth, built in some of the most remote parts of the ocean, Woodside’s employees need real-time access to critical information to keep things running smoothly and ensure the safety and operational efficiency of all their employees and oil rigs.

After more than half a century of creating, collecting and archiving engineering research, ideas, breakthroughs and explorations, it became apparent that Woodside would need to enlist help to continue to not only leverage that knowledge but also literally put it to work. Experienced and expert employees retired from the company, taking their insights with them, and left decades of documents for new hires to learn from. Woodside needed to replace its heroes, and get the new recruits up to speed in a short amount of time.

Having every new employee comb through technical evaluations, employee reports and decision logs would have been time-consuming, costly, frustrating and in the end ineffective. Fortunately, Woodside learned about IBM Watson and now relies on its AI-powered technologies to search and analyze historical, scientific and experiential materials quickly and accurately, surfacing answers and critical information whenever employees need it. Not only does Watson serve as the much-needed resource to newly hired heroes, but it also provides Woodside employees with additional insights hidden within the massive archives of their institutional information to enable better decision-making.

“With Watson, we’re asking more questions because we have more answers. We’re making smarter decisions, because we can learn more every time we make one.”
— Woodside Engineer

In a high-risk industry, every action on an offshore platform costs time and money

Watch this video to see the real impact of IBM Watson for Woodside Energy:


Using all of the knowledge mentioned in the video, from metric units to frame specifications, Woodside engineers determined what information was uploaded to Watson. Then, these same heroes tested Watson on what it had learned. Like the video said, “We teach Watson to think like an engineer. Watson teaches us to think like 1000 engineers.”

Watson’s cognitive computing abilities are partnering with Woodside’s knowledge base to create a meaningful, impactful and expanding resource for the engineers that needed it most. Without having to change their infrastructure or hero culture, Woodside Energy became a cognitive business. “Woodside Energy is turning what it knows into what it can accomplish with Watson.”

Learn more about how Woodside and Watson are working together to make hundreds of oil rigs safer and more efficient than ever before.

Discover how Watson can help you drive employee performance in a world of ever-growing data.  


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