Equinor, Shell in Digital Solutions Alliance

Ole Jørgen Bratland Torbjørn F. Folgerø, chief digital officer in Equinor - Photographer: Ole Jørgen Bratland
Ole Jørgen Bratland Torbjørn F. Folgerø, chief digital officer in Equinor - Photographer: Ole Jørgen Bratland

Energy majors Shell and Equinor have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on digital collaboration 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 optimization, and supply chain management, Equinor said Thursday.

“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 realize value by applying digital technologies,” says Torbjørn F. Folgerø, chief digital officer in Equinor.

OSDU is an initiative previously launched by Shell. Equinor has, as part of OSDU, shared all subsurface and operating data from the Volve offshore field, in what has been described as the most comprehensive Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) data release ever made. 

Bulding on others' strengths

Equinor said Thursday that the deal with Shell would be further detailed on a project basis. It will enable the companies an agile foundation to explore specific digital initiatives and projects, the company said.

"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,” says Alexander Boekhorst, vice president for digitalization and computer science in Shell.

Equinor recently increased its 2025 improvement ambition by 50%, from 2 to 3 billion USD 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 400 million USD in 2019, mainly due to earlier start-up of Johan Sverdrup and increased uptime on assets connected to our integrated operations center," Equinor said.

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

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