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Woodside Energy

How IBM’s Watson IoT helps an Australian energy company save millions.
Learn how Woodside Energy retains the knowledge of its senior experts and passes it to new employees.

Woodside Energy and IBM

Known for its world-class energy capabilities and global portfolio, Woodside is Australia's largest independent oil and gas company. A critical secret to their success is hiring great people and then developing and enabling them to be even better.

However, the company faced a challenge that many other asset-intensive organisations will be familiar with; Every time an experienced, highly-qualified technician retries, their experience and knowledge walk out the door with them. Woodside, like many other complex businesses, didn’t have a robust mechanism to retain the knowledge of senior experts and make it possible for junior employees to locate, analyse, and learn from it. As a result, work was often slow, mistakes happened, and productivity was not at the level is needed to be to stay competitive.

IBM’s Watson IoT Platform was the solution that Woodside needed. Today, Woodside harnesses the power of IBM Watson technology and cognitive computing to extract meaningful insights from 30 years of complex engineering data to enable fast, fact-driven decision making on complex projects – not matter who the technician on site is.

"That is the real value of cognitive technology. We get to answer better questions, tougher questions faster and with more accuracy."
- Shaun Gregory, Chief Technical Officer, Woodside Energy

The Results


10M Cost Savings

AUD 10M savings in employee costs because of faster access to and more intuitive analysis of engineering records.


75% Reduction in Time

75% reduction in time spent by the geoscience team reading and searching through data sources.


Accelerated Learning

Accelerates expertise by giving staff unlimited access to 30 years of tribal knowledge.

Think big, start small, learn fast

Woodside Energy had a big IoT vision for their business. However, they also understood the importance of starting with a small achievable project and growing from there.

The Watson for Projects instance was Woodside’s first IBM Watson deployment. To start, the organization worked with IBM to create the corpus of knowledge at the centre of the solution by uploading approximately 30 years’ worth of documents related to activities in constructing and running its facilities. The goal was to set Watson up so the system can not only provide valuable insights but also continuously learn and improve.

How Watson learned, in five easy steps:

1. Woodside trained Watson

Watson absorbed over 600,000 pages of documentation, from reports to correspondence.

2. Watson was tested

The machine learning model was continuously updated to be able to analyse a higher volume of records.

3. Woodside launched Watson

Over 80% of employees adopted Watson for their day-to-day work.

4. Watson got results

Employees used to spend 80% of their time researching problems and 20% fixing it. Watson has reversed that.

5. Watson keeps learning

Woodside encourages employees to provide feedback, whether they’re brand new or have years of experience. Watson uses that feedback to learn and improve continuously.

"I think that’s the most exciting thing about cognitive is that it keeps learning. Once Watson’s been taught and gotten better at an answer, it is immediately available to all employees no matter where they are."
- Shaun Gregory, Chief Technical Officer, Woodside Energy

Providing Woodside with a competitive advantage.

Today, Watson enables Woodside to mine their millions of documents, serve up relevant insights to their engineers instantly, and does it all in the language that engineers speak and understand. However, Watson does more than just saving Woodside time and money. Finding the right advice faster gives Woodside a competitive head start, leading to safer and better decisions across the company, and ultimately more energy getting to more people in more effective ways.

Follow in Woodside Energy’s Footsteps

If you are interested in exploring how the Watson IoT Platform can give your organisation a competitive edge in the same way that it is doing for Woodside, get in touch with us today.