Natural gas and oil company Wintershall Dea is partnering with IBM Consulting to create an AI Center of Competence (CoC) as it is developing AI use cases to enhance energy production efficiency.

Both companies have strong ties with Microsoft, with Wintershall Dea using Microsoft Azure for its data platform, and IBM Consulting collaborating with Microsoft on data and AI projects based on Azure.

The oil and gas company has initiated a comprehensive AI scaling initiative to leverage data effectively and enhance processes and production across the enterprise.

Wintershall Dea Digitization and Technology senior vice-president Kathrin Dufour said: “We are exchanging more data internally and externally than in the past.

“And a smooth and efficient data exchange is a crucial process for us as we are working in a standardised environment, and we want to make cooperation within our ecosystem as easy as possible. Harnessing AI is key to reach this goal.”

To optimise their AI strategy, Wintershall Dea adopted a centralised platform and methodology working with IBM Consulting to support the data journey.

The partnership with IBM Consulting gave Wintershall Dea with access to a pool of AI experience and the experts that have worked with the company previously.

The team at Wintershall Dea has developed a component-based architecture, utilising cutting-edge data management and visualisation services, Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service, and AI model development and execution on Azure. IBM adapted its IBM AI at Scale methodology for Azure to fully harness the capabilities of the existing platform.

With their AI at Scale approach, Wintershall Dea can create scalable AI projects from the outset.

At Wintershall Dea, two primary types of AI projects are conducted- small, easy-to-implement ‘fireflies’ and traditional large-scale projects.

Commenting on the collaboration, IBM Consulting Practice Leader AI & Analytics Stephan Bloehdorn said: “Getting to a maturity level where AI is routinely and effectively leveraged at corporate scale requires a dedicated effort that combines business strategy, organization, technology, and company culture.

“We are very happy that Wintershall Dea has the confidence in us to support their AI journey. With their holistic and integrated approach as well as their drive and energy to achieve real results at every stage of the journey they are a pioneer in AI management.”