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The application of artificial intelligence (AI) in the oil and gas industry is increasing owing to the introduction of big data technologies, the digitalization of the industry via the adoption of methods like predictive algorithms, systems of automation, analytics, and many others. The oil and gas industry is involved with the exploration, production, storage and transport of the oil and gas, and the handling of refineries. AI is relevant in each of the components of oil and gas from advances in censoring and software, to managing the vast data amounts that have been collected. Companies like ExxonMobil are using AI-powered robots to detect oil seeps and reduce exploration risk and avoid harm to marine life. Royal Dutch Shell PLC has tested an AI system in order to track equipment sensors at the largest refinery in Europe in its Rotterdam refinery, and to find out where repair workers can be properly serviced.
Self-learning robots that can be submerged to explore oceans have been created and help in the detection of natural seeps in ocean floors. These robots will not only help in protecting the ecosystem but also in searching for and locating oil reservoirs.
AI solutions can also create models that will make more accurate predictions of behaviors and outcomes and identify failures in the system even before they occur. This is the premise behind predictive maintenance, which is revolutionizing all industries that involve heavy equipment. Since AI was introduced in the oil and gas industry, there has been a decrease of human error as AI machines are more accurate and less prone to error. AI is available 24/7, hence increasing reliability and productivity in oil and gas.
In order to digitally automate exploration and development activities, AI has already been implemented in a variety of companies within the oil and gas sector. There is a lot of potential in the use of AI in the industry as it’s widely accepted by more companies.