While Microsoft has made much of their goal of not only being a net-zero carbon company, but also to reverse their historic emissions by 2030, the company has actually been deepening their partnerships with oil companies, claiming that improving their efficiency ultimately helps reduce their carbon emissions ( and of course makes Microsoft billions in the process.)
The latest oil company to sing Microsoft’s praises is Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) who says they are seeing real benefits from fast-tracking a move to Microsoft technologies.
Part of this was basic office technologies, which allowed the company to continue working efficiently from home during the lockdown and monitor equipment on deep-water vessels.
Another part was however the use of Microsoft’s artificial intelligence technology to process its myriad of geological data, with the aim of eliminating dry holes during exploration and reach commercial production at offshore wells faster while reducing costs.
“We increased and sped up the use of artificial intelligence on drillships,” said Fernando Lemos, Microsoft’s chief technology officer in Brazil. “
Petrobas is one of the few companies pumping more than 2 million barrels of oil per day and a May 19 Greenpeace report called out Microsoft for “connections to some of the world’s dirtiest oil companies for the explicit purpose of getting more oil and gas out of the ground and onto the market faster and cheaper.”
Microsoft, however, defended the move, saying:
“The significance and complexity of the task ahead is incredible and will require contributions from every person and organization on the planet. That’s why we are committed to continuing to work with all our customers, including those in the energy industry, to help them meet today’s business demands while innovating together to achieve the business needs of a net zero carbon future.”