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AI Technologies Disrupting the Oil and Gas Industry

Innovation in Oil and Gas Industry
Innovation in Oil and Gas Industry
Artificial intelligence is the latest technology in the oil and gas industry that is taking the sector to new heights. This new application of digital technology is allowing oil and gas companies to lower costs through more efficient extraction and accurate predictions of potential breakdowns before they occur. 

Once soaring high, oil prices have struggled to regain their peak value following the U.S. shale revolution. This has layered on increased pressure for companies to cut costs and increase the utility of production. Luckily, AI is offering a level of scientific accuracy all its own. Oil and gas companies have begun implementing the innovative technology into their production, refining, and maintenance operations, and they are seeing great results.

AI can lend a hand from the beginning of the production process to the moment these fuel sources hit the market. This starts with macro predictions, where AI software predicts trends for the market, the weather, and even the investment environment, taking into consideration each company’s particular production capabilities. Next, AI can lend a big hand in the drilling process, which can be costly and precarious without the proper hardware and software. Thanks to AI analysis, geoscientists to better evaluate appropriate drilling locations find the correct rate of penetration for maximum extraction. What’s more, the delivery of this information can all be given in real time, allowing for companies to carry out risky operations with the certainty of safety backed by AI’s data collections. 

When it comes to refining and processing these fuels, AI can predict future unforeseen maintenance issues by continually monitoring the integrity of pipes and wells to avoid future breakdowns. This is made possible by the collection of real-time data along with the predictive analytics and cognitive security. The same goes for transport and logistic issues, which can be predicted through case-based reasoning, a subset of AI that analyzes past mishaps and attempts to predict and then divert them from reoccurring.

A variety of these innovations in oil and gas industry changes are being implemented by Chevron, one of the world’s biggest players in the oil sector. The company has implemented AI technology to analyze its past historical drilling activities and improve its location accuracy. The company has already seen a production increase of 30 percent as a result. Chevron is also using the application of this technology to detect breakdowns before they occur, avoiding the unplanned shutdown that can cost millions of dollars per day. The trend is spreading in the oil and gas industry as BP’s investment arm, BP Ventures, just invested $20 million in an AI development program in June of 2017. Similarly, ExxonMobil signed a collaboration with MIT in 2016 to design AI robots for ocean exploration. The company has committed $25 million to support this effort over the next five years.

The oil and gas industry was reshaped over the past decade with the addition of adoption of new hard technologies like directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing. The wave of digital transformation through artificial intelligence is the next step for this sector, which needs to keep up with emerging technology trends if it expects to reach historic profit margins. As times are changing, oil and gas companies need to remain ahead of the curve to survive. The key to market success will be in the adoption of AI.

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