Back in 1889, the oil and gas industry started in India started, and the first oil deposits in the country were discovered in the state of Assam. India imports about 82% of its oil needs, and this cost the government a lot of money, and they wish to bring down this number to 67% by 2022 through local exploration, renewable energy, and indigenous ethanol fuel.
It looks like an easy process for a regular John that the oil is transferred from the underground tank to the nozzle of the filling machine and goes to our car. But the whole process of getting that fuel from the underground storage and making it usable is complex. It is a complicated task to understand the oil reservoir dynamical system as it requires a lot of mathematics, statistics, and computer science knowledge along with petroleum engineering expertise and geoscience. The oil reservoir is the subsurface pool of hydrocarbons that are present in the fractured rock formations.
One person who decided to put his 10+ years experience and knowledge of the field to use is Ajitabh Kumar. He believes that this work can be done in India at the highest level, and this motivated him to launch his startup, Visage Technology as the playground for talented researchers and engineers. He began this startup intending to develop a computational modeling tool to understand the oil and gas reservoirs through simulation and study.
The journey before Visage Technology
Born in Muzaffarpur, Bihar, Ajitabh has quite an impressive profile with a long list of degrees. He started his journey from Kendriya Vidyalaya, Muzaffarpur, and then moved to Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan Vidyashram, Jaipur, for high school. Then he went on to pursue his bachelor of technology in Petroleum Engineering from the Indian Institue of Technology (Dhanbad). Then he moved abroad for his master’s degree in Petroleum Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin.
With this, he worked as an intern for several companies and then completed his Ph.D. in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M University. He then started working in Chevron as a research scientist, and in 2012 he went to the Indian School of Business for an MBA in Finance and Strategy.
What is Visage Technology?
Founded in 2019 by Ajitabh Kumar, Visage Technology is a startup that is working on developing a computational modeling tool for oil and gas reservoir simulation study. The modeling tool will be used by the companies that are operating in the oil and gas sector to assess the surface of the reservoir and design a plan to proceed accordingly.
This software would work on top of the commercial oil reservoir simulator, and it will assist the engineers and managers who are working on several other studies like history matching, sensitivity analysis, production optimization, and uncertainty quantification.
The initial challenges and current collaborations
For developing software that involves such technicalities, continuous learning is required, and awareness regarding the latest development in various fields is essential. This task involves a tremendous amount of research, and it can be a challenging task for the people working in the area.
In conversation with TimesNext about their collaborations, Ajitabh tells us that currently, he is working on developing a core team and finalizing the prototype. The next step would convince an oil company to try and validate the products. All this planning and implementation would take more than six months, i.e., by 2020.
The first milestone and current growth of the startup
For working on such a complicated project, the first milestone they achieved was when they finalized the prototype and development of that is the milestone they have accomplished. They are confident that the prototype would be ready for testing in the coming two-three months.
Currently, they are working on the MVP and are planning to onboard the first partner in the first half of 2020.
Vision for the company
At Chevron, he was working with a team of 30 members who worked on the oil reservoir simulation products. In a group of 30 members, about 20 were PhDs, and rest had masters degrees from top universities. He wishes Visage to be such a company where talented researchers and motivated individuals come together under one roof to work on developing a cutting edge solution for the oil and gas industry.