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Microsoft Locates Worldwide Oil and Gas Business in Dubai; Positions to Tackle Tough Industry Challenges


Seven years of vertical focus drive momentum and depth in industry-specific initiatives.

HOUSTON — Speaking from the Cambridge Energy Research Associates’ CERAWeek 2009 gathering in Houston today, Albrecht (Ali) Ferling, Ph.D., managing director, Worldwide Oil and Gas Industries for Microsoft Corp., announced that the leadership for the company’s worldwide oil and gas industry business is now located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, one of the most international cities in the world and a rising hub for global business. Ferling previously directed the company’s global industry initiatives from Vienna, Austria.

“Our industry is facing unprecedented challenges that demand a truly borderless response,” Ferling said. “From Dubai, Microsoft will be centrally located for ready access to our customers in the prevailing and emerging energy centers of the world. Future demand growth will come largely from countries like China, India and the Middle East. Dubai, located midway between Central Europe and the Far East, is ideal for business travel to all oil capitals, from Houston to Beijing. And with the power ultimately shifting from consumer to producer in the global energy equation, the Middle East is an important location for Microsoft and our partners.”

Ferling cites the worldwide economic downturn and credit crisis, along with the resulting industry trends including increasing mergers, acquisitions, consolidations, pricing pressures, continuing cost escalation and the drive for productivity enhancements as key focus areas for Microsoft and its global network of software and integration partners.

“We have oil and gas initiatives in more than 70 countries, and every day we see innovations arising from our partner ecosystem that give operators and service providers the tools they need to grapple with today’s industry,” Ferling said. “We are 100 percent focused on solving real-world field challenges that stand in the way of global energy supply and demand.”

Ferling points to Microsoft’s progress in high-performance computing (HPC) as a prime example. “Just a year ago, Microsoft’s HPC capabilities ranked 116 among the world’s fastest supercomputers,” he said. “In November our technology, run by the Shanghai Supercomputer Center and Dawning, broke into the ranks of the top 10. That means that geoscientists the world over now have the advantage of reduced costs and complexity, a rapid development environment for HPC applications, and seamless scale from workstation to clusters through a familiar Windows desktop environment.

“These solutions help to reduce risk in decision-making across the entire oil and gas value chain,” Ferling continued. “For example, offshore oil and gas operator, Dubai Petroleum Establishment (DPE), requested a fast and cost-effective solution for running its reservoir simulations to reduce the uncertainty in its drilling and production operations. The combination of Windows HPC Server 2008 with proprietary reservoir software will give DPE use of 3-D modeling with high-performance computing speed. The solution offers extraordinary and ongoing price advantages over similar open source offerings.”

In outlining Microsoft’s vision for oil and gas, Ferling set out the company’s ongoing priorities. “We’re continuing to tackle the creation of technology solutions for some of the industry’s top priorities — better collaboration, unified communications and role-based productivity — to fundamentally change the way people work by introducing novel workflows that maximize scarce labor talent and bring the information to workers wherever they are,” he said.

As evidence of this commitment, Ferling listed several top priorities underway at Microsoft today. These include initiatives to help the industry do the following:
• Drive corporate performance and manage risk and compliance to reduce time-to-decision across the oil and gas tiered value network
• Accelerate the process of innovation to improve time-to-oil by leveraging new technologies, global collaboration teams, and new alliances and partnerships
• Enable a resilient and high-velocity supply chain performance network to respond flexibly to market changes and new opportunities across multiple enterprises and organizations, from the wellhead to the pump
• Build flexible and integrated refining and petrochemical operations to achieve high-quality performance at lower cost
• Observe and serve customers globally with insights into their specific needs

“Over the past seven years since Microsoft created a business dedicated to the oil and gas industry, we have moved from residing solely on our customer’s desktops to accompanying them deep into field operations,” Ferling concluded. “As Marathon digitizes its oil fields, as Schlumberger launches leading-edge software, and as many other oil and gas companies move forward into the future, Microsoft and our partners are there with the technology solutions they need to succeed in the vital task of securing the supply for the world’s energy demands. That in a nutshell is Microsoft’s vision for our global oil and gas business — whether it’s in the Middle East, the Gulf of Mexico or anywhere else exploration and production are taking place.”

More information about Microsoft in oil and gas is available at

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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