Gas company ExxonMobil has signed an agreement with IBM to develop next-generation energy and manufacturing technologies using quantum computing.
The two have partnered to advance the use of quantum computing to innovate energy solutions.
The agreement makes ExxonMobil the first energy firm to join the IBM Q Network.
The IBM Q Network is community of Fortune 500 companies, startups, academic institutions and national research labs, working to advance quantum computing and explore practical applications for science and business.
Advancing quantum computing is expected to help the energy firm to address some challenges, which can not be solved by today's ordinary computers.
For instance, the development will help:
1. Optimise a country's power grid
2. Perform more predictive environmental modeling and highly accurate quantum chemistry calculations to discover new materials for more efficient carbon capture
The deal falls under efforts by ExxonMobil to partner with research firms and a variety of institutions to expand research and development on energy efficiency and carbon emission reduction technologies.
The energy firm is currently working with 80 universities in the US, Europe and Asia on research and development and piloting of innovative technologies.
Vijay Swarup, vice president of research and development for ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company, said:“Quantum computing can potentially provide us with capabilities to simulate nature and chemistry that we’ve never had before.
"As we continue our own research and development efforts in the areas of energy and chemical manufacturing, our agreement with IBM will allow us to expand our knowledge base and potentially apply new solutions in computing to further advance those efforts.
“The advancement of new breakthroughs, coupled with the creative application of current technologies available to us from outside the energy sector, will be critical in addressing the dual challenge of producing energy to fuel economies and meeting consumers’ needs while managing the risks of climate change.
“Much of the success in our own ingenuity is facilitated by the innovation of others outside our industry, from three-dimensional printing to quantum computing. The many partnerships we lead or participate in around the world provide us with opportunities to exchange ideas and collaborate, applying our own unique experiences, knowledge and strengths toward a potentially successful breakthrough in lower-emission energy production or a more efficient manufacturing process.”