AI Looking To Revolutionise The Oil And Gas Industry
The oil and gas industry is not typically seen as an AI innovator but the annual growth rate of AI in this sector is 12.66 per cent. Leading this surge is the Austrian oil and gas giant OMV which initiated their phase of digital innovation and AI by investing $566 million a year ago. This has allowed them to reduce their production costs from $15 per barrel of oil equivalent down to $7 per barrel.
However, their priority is not just operational efficiencies and their focus is a range of issues from sustainable health to safety practices. Particularly using AI in evaluation and exploration of oil and gas reservoirs and reducing the number of workers on the rig by managing it remotely instead. OMV is even partnering with industry rivals Aker BP to develop its AI. Together, the two companies will collaborate on projects that explore how to set up and execute wide-scale digital transformation processes.
Also pioneering AI into the oil and gas sector is the world leading firm ExxonMobil who are collaborating with 80 universities in the US including MIT to design AI robots for ocean exploration. They aim to implement AI in deep-sea exploration to boost natural seep detection capabilities. Natural seeps occur when oil escapes from rock found on the ocean floor. An estimated 60 per cent of oil underneath the earth’s surface in North America is due to natural seeps. AI with the ability to navigate these oceanic regions and detect oil seeps can contribute to protecting the ecosystem and serve as indicators for robust energy resources. ExxonMobil has already contributed $25 million to support energy research conducted by just MIT.
The potential for AI in the coming decades in the oil and gas industry is immense especially with oil and gas resources depleting and air pollution rising. This will force firms to look for new innovative and more environmentally friendly methods of oil extraction and exploration including the use of AI.