The world runs on gas. While the environmentally conscious have made some progress with renewables, the vast majority of world citizens still burn some sort of fuel to get what and where they need to. Right now, we couldn't function as societies without the likes of Shell and Exxon. But the oil and gas industry isn't what it used to be — like all sectors, it's changing as much as possible to stay in step with the public consciousness. Technology is facilitating most of these changes.
These industry insiders and keen observers detailed for us the most noteworthy trends taking hold in the oil and gas sectors. Here's what they have to say:
1. Ran Krauss, CEO and Co-founder of Airobotics
“Autonomous drone solutions are the inevitable future of the gas and oil sectors. These sectors benefit greatly from harnessing aerial insights received through applications such as surveying and mapping, inspection, & security and emergency response applications. Automated drones have greatly improved productivity, efficiency, and safety in such industries. No other technology can provide all of the benefits of fully-automated drone solutions nor can they collect the amount of high-quality aerial data drones can secure.”
2. Heena Purohit, Senior Product Manager at IBM Watson IoT
“Aging workforce is a key challenge faced by the industry. AI NLP can process unstructured and structured data across sources such as manuals, standards, safety procedures, reports, historical work logs, etc. and provide answers to questions asked by maintenance/operations technicians,
helping reduce time to action and ensure right procedures are followed.
Technicians can also connect with remote human experts through video and leverage AR to receive on-screen instructions. These interactions are recorded and made available for the AI to search through for similar incidents in the future.
This technology enables companies to capture tribal knowledge and share expertise across the organization.
3. Pierre E. Conner III, Executive Director and Professor of Practice, Tulane Energy Institute/ A.B.Freeman School of Business
“AI/ML/Data Analytics solutions will have the largest impact on the industry because the industry needs to become more efficient and new tech tools and the falling price of storing and processing data make it more accessible to all players in the energy value chain from small to large. Efficiency drives improved economics and decreases carbon footprint as well, by increasing efficiency. On major area of use is the collection of data for improved safety of operations and improved preventative (or just in time) maintenance, including inspections to improve safety and prevent accidents particularly in the midstream infrastructure.”
4. Dr. John Markus Lervik, Co-founder and CEO of Cognite
“There are two technologies currently coming together for a transformative impact on oil and gas. First is cloud, together with edge connectivity, that is unlocking unprecedented computational power across an ever-expanding IoT and enterprise data universe. Second is the fusion of modern machine learning with human-supervised rules engines, paving the way to contextualizing industrial data assets at massive scale by streamlining the process of assigning human and machine-readable meaning to data, thus creating a data fabric supportive of advanced analytics and rich digital twin experiences.”
5. Andy Beck, Managing Director at kglobal
“The rapid progress of technology such as smart data analytics, predictive analytics, machine learning and the Internet of Things (IoT) offers oil and gas, as well as all energy, companies the chance to increase performance, reduce risks and maximize revenue. Most oil and gas operators are starting to capture these opportunities and would do well to accelerate their efforts. By harnessing and leveraging continuous, decentralized and unstructured data from sensors in the field through IoT, companies can use digitization to create a competitive edge.”
6. Matt Beckmann, Managing Director at Ascent Consultants
“Anything that continues to address the carbon / climate issues. If the industry is able to develop new technologies that aid in carbon capture, it will allow it to stave off additional attacks from the “keep it in the ground” faction.”
7. Alex Shartsis, Founder and CEO of Perfect Price
“AI and machine learning have long been used in prospecting for new oil fields and were, in fact, revolutionary there. Today their impact will be felt in creating growth in a declining market, where the most advanced retail fuels companies will leverage AI and consumers’ willingness to pay dynamic prices to eke out profitability in a declining market.”
8. Meade H. Lewis, Founder and CEO of mIQroTech
“I believe that if these trends do not take hold, the oil and gas operators will have a massive barrier ahead of them; Land will be harder to acquire, assets will be more protested, and the problems of the 20th century will still plague the industry. At mIQroTech, what we are accomplishing is what the industry has been begging for: Data collection, data processing, and prediction modeling. We offer this in an all in one solution that is a fraction of the price point of other monitoring technologies. What this amounts to is mIQroTech being able to predict oil and gas pipeline leaks, using IoT and AI, years ahead of time. All nerd-talk aside, we are currently doing this with a projected 96% accuracy. This is changing oil and gas, making it cleaner and greener for everyone. This is changing energy.”
9. Geoffrey Cann, Oil & Gas Advisor and Author of Bits, Bytes, and Barrels: The Digital Transformation of Oil and Gas
“Although there are many technologies of interest in Oil and Gas, the technology that will have the greatest transformative impacts will be Cloud Computing. Oil and Gas is very data intense: the industry has been using sensors for decades and have developed massive databases. Placing data on the cloud allows it to be accessed in new and different ways. Cloud enables many other technologies such as blockchain, mobility apps and autonomy, and opens up the possibilities for entirely new business models in the industry.”
10. AJ Abdallat, CEO of Beyond Limits
“The value artificial intelligence can bring to the energy market is tremendous. When machine learning is applied to drilling, information from seismic vibrations, thermal gradients, strata permeability, pressure differentials, and more is collected. By analyzing this data, AI software can help geoscientists better assess variables, taking some of the guesswork out of equipment repair and failure, unplanned downtime, and even help determining potential locations of new wells. AI brings better predictive technology and efficiency to mining operations.”
11. Ian Cogswell, Consultant to Superior Honda
“Data storage and analytics tools based on blockchain technologies will greatly impact the way oil and gas companies operate. With instant communications between nodes in the supply chain, oil and gas companies
will be able to not only track and manage the journey of oil from the well to the gas station with more accuracy, but they will also be able to optimize their operations. This means reduced consumption in transportation, manufacturing, and testing. They will also be able to
improve their safety practices by identifying risk along the supply chain with more efficiency.”
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