AI speeding up oil extraction and boosting US crude output

A new report has highlighted all the different ways artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the oil industry

For offshore drillers like Nabors Industry Ltd, artificial intelligence (AI) is transformative. AI from Houston-based software developers Corva LLC is able to autonomously control a drilling rig, which helps to increase drilling speed by at least 30% while also significantly reducing the volume of commands needed to operate the rig.  

“This is all automated — the driller doesn’t have to press anything,” Rafael Guedes, the company’s director of performance tools, told Bloomberg. “Now you can use your brain power for something else.”

According to the outlet, companies like Nabors Industries Ltd, which are utilizing AI in order to become more efficient, save between 25 and 50% on costs.

Bloomberg report that AI is also being tested in offshore oil fields, with companies like SLB reporting significant time savings. Jesus Lamas, president of SLB’s well construction unit, told Bloomberg that in the next 3-5 years, all their wells will be autonomously controlled by AI.“We need to do something different,” Lamas said. “We need to lower the cost of a barrel, we need to increase efficiency and we need to decrease the CO2 emissions per barrel.”

‘A lean operator’

 Another company that spoke to Bloomberg is Hilcorp Energy Co, a private oil and gas producer based in the US. Machine learning is utilized at this company by predicting equipment failures before they happen, which in turn prevents company downtime. The company estimates that it can prevent approximately half a billion cubic feet of gas production from going off the line by using machine learning to predict equipment failures.

“We always want to be a lean operator,” Lisa Helper, a geologist, said at a company conference quoted by Bloomberg. “Utilizing AI and machine learning in the field, in the office, then eventually through subsurface analysis has enabled us to keep a very tight, optimal workforce.”

Featured Image: Photo by Jan-Rune Smenes Reite via Pexels

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Charlotte Colombo