Wintershall Dea Partners with IBM to Establish AI Center for Efficient Energy Production

In a significant move towards technological innovation and sustainable energy production, Wintershall Dea, a leading natural gas and oil company in Europe, has partnered with IBM Consulting to establish an AI Center of Competence (CoC). The collaboration aims to harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to optimize data utilization and drive process and production improvements across the enterprise.
IBM HQFollowing the merger of Wintershall and DEA (Deutsche Erdoel) in 2019, the need for AI to capitalize on data from across the organization became apparent. With a commitment to employee empowerment and environmentally responsible energy production, Wintershall Dea identified AI as a key enabler to coordinate data-driven initiatives throughout the company. The deployment of AI projects as both small “fireflies” and traditional large-scale initiatives allows the company to work efficiently, save costs, and invest in innovative energy production methods.

Kathrin Dufour, Senior Vice President of Digitization and Technology at Wintershall Dea, emphasized the importance of smooth and efficient data exchange, especially in the context of a standardized environment and a strong partner ecosystem.

To optimize their AI approach, Wintershall Dea adopted a centralized platform and methodology, partnering with IBM Consulting to support their data journey. IBM Consulting provided access to a wealth of AI expertise, as they had been collaborating with Wintershall Dea on previous projects for over four years. The technical foundation of the AI approach included a component-based architecture, utilizing state-of-the-art services for data management, data visualization, and Microsoft Azure’s OpenAI Service for AI model development and execution.

Ulrich Lorang, Vice President of Data Science, Data Governance, and Data Hub at Wintershall Dea, expressed satisfaction with the AI initiative’s progress and its impact on the company’s workforce and business objectives. The AI at Scale approach facilitated the formation of a CoC community comprising data scientists and Citizen Data scientists with diverse backgrounds, all contributing to data science projects within their respective teams on site.

Two main types of AI projects were pursued by Wintershall Dea: “fireflies” for quick and scalable problem-solving, and large-scale projects driving foundational technology leadership within the industry. “Fireflies” used Generative AI to efficiently summarize reports and extract key values from thousands of PDF documents, enhancing productivity across the company. Meanwhile, larger-scale AI projects, such as an AI-driven solution for maintaining gas and oil wells, demonstrated the company’s commitment to environmental protection and safer energy production.

Stephan Bloehdorn, Practice Leader AI & Analytics at IBM Consulting, praised Wintershall Dea’s dedication to leveraging AI at corporate scale and acknowledged their pioneering role in AI management.

Through their collaboration with IBM Consulting and their holistic approach to AI implementation, Wintershall Dea reinforces its position as a leading gas and carbon management company, driving efficient energy production with the power of artificial intelligence.

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