Artificial intelligence in oil and gas

16.02.2022 | AI

With new technologies being adopted by the energy sector, the offshore oil and gas industry has seen rapid changes in recent years. One of these exciting new technological fields shaping the industry is the field of artificial intelligence.

But what is artificial intelligence in oil and gas—and what uses does it provide for the industry?

What is AI in oil and gas?

AI is a driving factor for the optimization of operations in the oil and gas business. As these raw products are becoming more limited and running down, companies look for novel ways to extract these resources in a reliable, safe, and cost effective manner. AI not only helps with the ideal route planning for pipelines, but also the right components and methods of extraction.

During the refining process, AI in the oil and gas industry manages all the aspects around the safety of the equipment and the lifecycle of the process itself. It analyzes patterns and targets in order to obtain the correct quality and efficiency of the finished product.

Finally, if the truck crisis in the UK has proven anything, it is the fact that the distribution of fuel has to be carried out in a finite and efficient manner, so that the right amount of fuel goes to the right location at the right time, for the lowest possible cost. AI driven route planning can help achieve optimal routes in order to properly plan how much fuel goes when and how it reaches each location, whether it be heating oil, diesel, or gas.

Upstream vs downstream

The upstream, or extraction, element of the oil and gas industry is the profit driving portion of the business. Oil and gas is used for so much more than just fuel; plastics, medicines, farming resources, and so much more, are reliant on the success of the oil and gas industry. However, the extraction of these resources is now even more difficult than ever, and requires huge tools to achieve it. It is even more dangerous for the human element, with fewer humans willing to do the difficult and often deadly task.

AI in the oil and gas upstream business leverages robotics to fill the gap left by humans. AI can find the optimum, safest and most environmentally sound route to extraction of oil and gas, for a far lower cost than previously. Everything from pipe construction to drill management can be handled by AI today, using pattern recognition to analyze when equipment requires maintenance, to potential impacts in earth shift patterns.

In the downstream, or distribution, part of the oil and gas business, AI is assisting in analyzing how many customers require fuel and to which percentage. It can be used to analyze weather patterns to predict particular demand of home gas heating. This also drives the distribution of fuel from the terminal to pump. AI in oil for downstream, optimizes how the terminal produces and manages the quality of the fuel, be that through equipment maintenance, or through the exact amount of additives required in the fuel.

AI in the Oil and Gas industry, be it upstream or downstream, is allowing for huge strides in better safety, efficiency and ensuring a greener future.

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