Saudi ARAMCO, the world’s largest producer of oil and one of the biggest companies in the world by revenue, is turning its attention to quantum computing, and has struck a Memorandum of Understanding with French quantum computing firm Pasqal.
Under the MOU, the two companies will collaborate on quantum computing capabilities and applications in the energy sector. A statement from Pasqal read, “Objectives include accelerating the design and development of quantum based machine learning models as well as identifying and advancing other use cases for the technology across the Saudi Aramco value chain.”
That also includes exploring ways to further cultivate the quantum information sciences ecosystem in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The country’s last big piece of quantum news came in the summer of 2021, when Zapata Computing partnered with the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.
The oil and gas sector has been mentioned before as a target for quantum applications like quantum-enhanced sensing for monitoring of infrastructure. Pasqal said quantum computing “can be used to address a wide range of upstream, midstream and downstream challenges in the oil and gas industry including network optimization and management, reaction network generation and refinery linear programming.”
Pasqal and Saudi ARAMCO also plan to develop potential applications for quantum computing and artificial intelligence in these same areas, as well as other new use cases. Pasqal also plans to grow its operations and business opportunities in Saudi Arabia and across the Middle East.
“This is a very promising initiative for Pasqal and a perfect opportunity for us to show not only the energy sector, but the entire world, what our technology can do,” said Georges-Olivier Reymond, CEO of Pasqal. “It further confirms that our neutral atom technology is one of the most promising in the world.”