March 4, 2024

Quantum computers could power oil and gas in the future

Quantum computers could power future oil and gas calculations.

This is according to data and analytics company GlobalData, which made the statement in a statement recently sent to Rigzone.

“The oil and gas industry has relied on traditional computers to address its mathematical challenges for decades,” the company said in the statement.

“Despite significant improvements in the speed and accuracy of classical supercomputers, they can sometimes fall short when calculations involve multiple variables,” GlobalData added.

“This limitation could be overcome with quantum computers, which can theoretically perform some of the most complex calculations,” the company continued.

In the release, GlobalData included a chart showing quantum computing venture funding deals from the first quarter of 2018 to the fourth quarter of 2022. According to that chart, the total deal value increased from less than $50 million in the first quarter of 2018 at almost $600. million in the third quarter of 2021. This figure rose to around $400 million in the third quarter of 2022 and just under $200 million in the fourth quarter of last year, the chart revealed.

The release also highlighted GlobalData’s thematic report on quantum computing in oil and gas. An overview of the report posted on GlobalData’s website highlighted that quantum computing technology is still in the research and development phase, but noted that “its potential use cases in the oil and gas industry are numerous and are likely to expand.”

“Several promising application areas have been identified and companies are collaborating with technology players to advance their research,” the report summary states.

In the statement, GlobalData noted that quantum computers use the properties of quantum physics to store data and perform calculations. There are many technologies with the potential to build their fundamental quantum bits (qubits), however, it may be more than a decade before quantum computing enters the commercial mainstream, the statement states.

“Leaders in the oil and gas industry are experimenting with the quantum computing devices that are available today,” GlobalData oil and gas analyst Ravindra Puranik said in the statement.

“This would help them better understand this technology. It would also give them a first-mover advantage when such computers are actually available,” Puranik added.

Puranik stated in the statement that upstream use cases remain the focus area of ​​most companies.

“In this regard, Baker Hughes has filed several patents on the application of quantum computing in oil well drilling,” Puranik said.

“In addition, companies such as TotalEnergies, ExxonMobil and Shell are leveraging quantum simulations to identify materials suitable for carbon capture technologies, which are key for the energy sector to achieve carbon neutrality and mitigate climate change,” the analyst added.

As the technology is still in an early stage, companies have refrained from making major acquisitions, Puranik said in the statement.

“However, venture funding deals have shown promise, with total deal value remaining above $150 million after peaking in the third quarter of 2021,” the analyst added.

Quantum and the elders

In November 2022, Eni revealed that it and PASQAL, which it described as a leader in neutral atom quantum computing, would develop quantum solutions for the energy sector.

In a statement posted on its site at the time, Eni announced the establishment of a collaboration to develop next-generation high-performance computing solutions for the energy sector through quantum computing.

“Through its full-stack approach, PASQAL is developing unique and proprietary quantum algorithms to enhance existing HPC workflows for a wide range of energy applications that Eni is currently investigating across its entire value chain (upstream, downstream, chemicals and renewable energy), Eni said in the statement.

Eni highlighted in the statement that the collaboration builds on Eni’s 2021 Series A investment in PASQAL through Eni Next. PASQAL is using this funding to manufacture its current 100-qubit commercial quantum computer and develop its next-generation systems, Eni said in the statement.

In October last year, Saudi Aramco announced that it and IBM intend to establish an “innovation center” in Saudi Arabia.

“The collaboration aims to support high-tech-driven economic growth in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by leveraging emerging technologies in hybrid cloud, artificial intelligence and quantum computing to address goals including the circular economy, materials, the supply chain, sustainability, security and digitalization. “Aramco noted in a statement posted on its website at the time.

As part of the plans, Aramco and IBM will collaborate to identify potential opportunities for the application of technologies to address sustainability challenges, Aramco said in the statement. The planned Innovation Center aims to bring together consulting and technology experts from IBM to work alongside Aramco experts in identifying novel and potentially impactful uses of the technology, the statement added.

In March 2022, QuintessenceLabs, which describes itself as a pioneer and leader in quantum cybersecurity solutions, announced that it had recently raised additional capital in a round led by Chevron Technology Ventures.

“This investment further supports QuintessenceLabs’ commitment to providing quantum security solutions and services to support security communities around the world,” the company said at the time.

“The Canberra-based company will use the funds in its mission to deliver advanced quantum-enhanced cybersecurity solutions to large enterprise customers around the world,” he added.

In February 2021, BP announced that it had joined the IBM Quantum Network to advance the use of quantum computing in the energy industry.

“By joining the IBM Quantum Network as an industrial partner, BP will have access to IBM’s quantum software and expertise and cloud-based access to the most advanced quantum computers available through the cloud,” the company said in a released statement. . on their website in February 2021.

In the statement, BP said it will work with IBM to explore the use of quantum computing to solve business and engineering challenges and explore potential applications to boost efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.

In May 2020, Leiden University revealed that Shell had entered into a five-year collaboration with the institution and VU Amsterdam to advance the field of quantum computing “and figure out how to use it across Shell’s businesses.” During the same month, TotalEnergies, then called Total, announced that it was stepping up its research into carbon capture, utilization and storage technologies by signing a multi-year partnership with British startup Cambridge Quantum Computing.

“This partnership aims to develop new quantum algorithms to improve materials for CO2 capture,” TotalEnergies stated at the time.

In January 2019, ExxonMobil said it had signed a partnership agreement with IBM to advance the potential use of quantum computing in the development of next-generation manufacturing and energy technologies. As part of the deal, ExxonMobil became the first energy company to join the IBM Q Network, the company noted in a statement posted on its site at the time.

To contact the author, please email andreas.exarheas@rigzone.com

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