The promising potential of artificial intelligence is already being realized in multiple businesses and industries. Now, can the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) in oil and gas help overcome its limitations and maximize profits?
Oil is one of the most valuable commodities in the energy sector. Several well-established businesses in the oil and gas sector have been earning huge profits by producing fuel and other products from crude oil such as lubricants, paraffin wax, and petroleum jelly. However, the global crude oil reserves are depleted to a record low level according to reports.Additionally, the price of oil has reduced by 40% in US raising concerns for oil and gas companies. Hence, companies in the oil and gas sector are experimenting with modern technologies to maximize their efficiency and revenue.
The utilization of artificial intelligence has proved to be beneficial in several industry sectors such as healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and agriculture. Similarly, the introduction of AI in oil and gas companies can evolve the industry sector. Several industry giants are already deploying AI in oil and gas business operations. The development of AI has led to the rise of various applications such as precision drilling and automated inspections to benefit oil and gas producers. Implementation of AI can improve the efficiency of various operations and enable informed decision-making. Looking at the potential of AI, the adoption will significantly increase in the oil and gas sector soon. Reports suggest that AI in the oil and gas market will be worth $2.85 billion by 2022. Artificial intelligence can also help in finding new oil wells and reserves.
The advent of AI in the oil and gas industry will lead to the development of the following applications:
One of the major operations for any oil and gas company is drilling and mining raw hydrocarbons for producing fuel and other products. Drills have to dig into precise spots in the earth to obtain crude oil and finding such spots can be complicated. Additionally, drilling operations involve high risks of accidents, oil spills, and fires. In offshore drilling, the drills can dig wells that are thousands of feet in depth. At such depth, the water temperature can reach freezing levels and damage the drilling equipment.
Oil and gas industry giants utilize artificial intelligence for precision drilling. By leveraging AI in oil and gas operations, companies can design algorithms to guide drills on land mass and ocean floor. The AI systems will be trained using historical data of drilling operations. The drills can also collect data such as pressure, temperature, and seismic surveys in real-time with the help of smart sensors. AI-powered precision drilling can enable better control of the rate of penetration (ROP) enhancement and identify risks beforehand. With this approach, oil and gas companies can effectively reduce drilling costs and risks involved in drilling operations.
Oil and gas companies are always looking for innovative techniques to optimize their production. With the help of production optimization, oil and gas businesses aim to improve efficiency and maximize profits. However, traditional techniques prove to be ineffective in improving revenue.
Oil and gas companies can train AI systems using large volumes of raw production data. Leveraging AI in oil and gas companies will enable automatic pattern recognition and classification to refine production data for generating analytics. With the help of analytics, AI systems can develop estimation and prediction models. Using this approach, oil and gas companies can capture and analyze the dynamics of the production procedure. Also, AI can help separate reservoir effects from production control responses like gas lift rates, choke positions, network routing of the wells, and artificial lift equipment. With this approach, business owners can identify areas of inefficiency and develop strategies to maximize production.
Oil reservoirs are at the core of running an oil and gas business. These reservoirs need to be managed and maintained to improve the longevity of the production cycle. Several technicalities such as seismic interpretation, geology, reservoir engineering, and production techniques are involved in reservoir management. Handling all these technicalities require multiple dedicated teams. However, business owners may wish to cut down their costs and deploy a standalone solution.
Oil and gas companies can train AI systems with historical data about seismic surveys, geological information, and production techniques. By leveraging such data, AI systems can be applied in the characterization and modeling of reservoirs and field surveillance. Also, utilizing AI in oil and gas companies can help business owners find new sources of crude oil and prospective drilling sites.
Oil and gas companies have to carry out frequent inspections for risk assessment and monitoring the condition of their equipment. Failures in identifying abnormal equipment behavior can result in equipment failures or accidents at work sites. To avoid these problems, business owners are constantly finding alternatives to manual inspections.
Implementing AI in oil and gas companies can simplify inspection procedures. AI-powered robots can be trained with the help of normal equipment behavior. The AI system will identify anomalies in the equipment using pattern recognition. With this approach, AI-enabled robots can carry out frequent inspections to detect abnormal behavior in the equipment. Also, oil and gas companies can utilize AI-enabled drones to inspect pipelines. These drones can record footage in real-time and detect cracks or leaks in the pipelines. Additionally, in emergency situations such as gas leaks, leveraging AI in oil and gas companies can prove to be life-saving. AI-powered robots can intervene in emergency situations and make informed decisions about mitigation strategies. Using this approach, oil and gas companies can ensure the safety of their work sites.
Potential customers may visit an oil company’s website to buy their products such as lubricants, grease, paraffin wax, petroleum, microcrystalline wax, refined asphalt, and refined bitumen. Usually, customers have to search through a large database to find their required product. These customers may need help and guidance with various products. Also, oil and gas companies may have discounts on certain products that their customers are unaware of.
Oil and gas companies can deploy AI-powered chatbots with the ability of natural language processing. These chatbots can interact with customers and help them find their required product by providing crucial product information and suggest similar products. Customers can also resolve their queries about the products and deliveries with the help of chatbots. Furthermore, websites can conduct surveys using chatbots to collect customer feedback. Therefore, by implementing AI in oil and gas company websites, businesses can improve their customer experience.
Gas stations are at an enormous risk of accidents, fires, and explosions. For instance, a gas station in Arkansas had an accidental fire. Upon investigation, the fire department found that the fire was caused due to a cigarette. The whole incident was caught on a CCTV camera at the gas station. Such incidents can prove to be fatal and destroy gas stations and the area surrounding it. However, intelligent cameras can reduce the extent of potential damage.
AI-powered cameras can detect hazardous activities at gas stations such as smoking. These cameras can be trained using images and videos of dangerous activities. After identifying such activities, the cameras can alert gas station staff to take emergency measures and notify nearby pumps. These cameras can also notify emergency services in case of fires or explosions. The AI-powered cameras will rely on edge computing to analyze data locally and avoid delays caused by cloud-based data exchange. By utilizing AI in the oil and gas industry, companies can enhance the safety of their gas pumps.
The untold potential of AI in oil and gas will help transform the industry sector. But, the combination of modern technologies such as big data, AI, and IoT will help explore newer possibilities in oil and gas industry. These technologies can work together to develop advanced applications that can help monitor the equipment and predict industry trends. With this approach, business owners can develop strategies to stay ahead of emerging industry trends.
Naveen is the Founder and CEO of Allerin, a software solutions provider that delivers innovative and agile solutions that enable to automate, inspire and impress. He is a seasoned professional with more than 20 years of experience, with extensive experience in customizing open source products for cost optimizations of large scale IT deployment. He is currently working on Internet of Things solutions with Big Data Analytics. Naveen completed his programming qualifications in various Indian institutes.