As the world gathers to fight climate change, let’s recognize the critical role of HPC, AI and Cloud Computing

Published by: Srini Chari

This week in Glasgow, the COP26 summit will bring global leaders together to accelerate action towards combating climate change. This is happening as energy consumption, mostly with polluting fossil fuels, is at an all-time high. This may seem good for the oil, gas, and coal industries, but it isn’t. The grave reality is that the fossil fuel industry is under immense pressure to mitigate climate change and decarbonize since high levels of energy consumption are causing unsustainable levels of C02 and other greenhouse gases.


So, the energy industry is undergoing a profound transition from fossil fuels to renewable and clean energy sources. As oil and gas companies decarbonize, they are looking into new and economically viable solutions including potentially becoming carbon-neutral energy companies.  For this they are investing heavily in physical infrastructure and boosting investments in High-Performance Computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI) to innovate and quickly solve critical problems in this transition.


Oil and gas companies have always used HPC (seismic processing and reservoir simulation) and certain forms of AI technology (analytics) for decades to improve decision-making regarding exploration and production, and to reduce investment risks particularly as fossil fuels become harder to extract. Now as oil and gas companies transition, they must be able to handle newer interdisciplinary workloads in Geophysics, Computer-aided engineering (CAE), Life sciences, Combustion/Turbulence models, Weather modeling, Material science, Computational chemistry, Nuclear engineering, and Advanced optimization.


For this oil and gas companies are increasing their investments in HPC, AI and other innovative and agile solutions to handle exploding compute/storage requirements. As the use of AI and HPC continues to grow in the energy industry, cloud computing is making is easier to process spiky workloads and improve overall user experience. So, many oil and gas companies are using hybrid cloud solutions with several deployment options.


The harmful impact of climate change is becoming more severe day by day, threatening the survival of the planet. The entire world is coming together to fight it.  Oil and gas companies are doing their part and transitioning to renewable energy sources. This transition is hard and expensive but is made easier with novel applications and extensions of proven HPC and AI solutions oil and gas companies have used for years. As the world focuses this week on climate change, let’s also recognize the critical role HPC and AI play in solving one of mankind’s most pressing challenges.


You can learn more by reading this Hewlett Packard Enterprise whitepaper that Cabot Partners recently helped create.