Falling demand and COVID-19 restrictions challenged the world economy in 2020, with the oil and gas industry being no exception. Expectations from 2021 are divided and it’s a tie score, generally speaking, as the tables can turn overnight. With this in mind, leading global oil and gas companies rather enthusiastically invest in technologies enabling faster response to fluctuant market and geopolitical situation.
Don’t know where to look first? For starters, it is worth to consider AI- and ML-based solutions – decision-making accelerators and best response advisers. Relying on qualitative KPIs, instead of quantitative ones, you increase oil production efficiency and profitability. Making much headway, AI can support business on many sides: security, profitability, production compliance control; even oil extraction can go faster.
Among other things, you can integrate AI-based solutions into logistics operations, since this technology has learned to detect oil spills at night as good as in daylight, being able to catch the sight of oil slick’s thermal image and reflected polarized light.
Technology boost with lower production costs
Production costs reduction is also firmly on the agenda of oil extraction. IT can help automate multiple business processes and efficiently support productive capacity uptime with minimum human involvement.
For example, solutions to run diagnostics and avoid expensive equipment downtime. Some technologies even reduce the time it takes to gather information on equipment health, such as digital twins or drone-based industrial inspections. Let’s take an inspection of a huge oil pipe as an example. To inspect this monster, you need to build scaffolding first. To accomplish that, you need to stop pipe’s work, erect scaffolding against it, and only then people will use it for two weeks looking for some defects: peeled paint, rust or a missing piece of the build. Each inspection engineer has to document every detail of the detected defect. However, using industrial inspection drones with special software and machine learning algorithms, you will reduce costs by 5-10 times, with only one person and one drone being needed to involve.
Or let’s take a look at the Digital Factory concept. It describes an enterprise that leverages IT in its every aspect: automated manufacturing, optimized business processes, services, and product promotion. The concept implies a single information environment turning hectic data from multiple sources into a structured data-driven representation of the enterprise. Decisions of a company like this are guided by complete and constantly updated information.
Oil & gas industry and remote work
The reality surprised the industry with transition of many non-production employees to remote work. However, this move helped develop communication networks and solutions for collaboration.
Remote work requires the automation of standard operational tasks. A corporate bot can perform hundreds of recurring and routine tasks instead of an employee, automating the execution of standard documents, certificate approval, etc. The bot is also a universal tool that can call 200 employees per minute and obtain any necessary information. Here is one of our case studies: in the morning, the bot collects staff work plans for a day or a week, and in the evening, it receives interesting insights or identifies why tasks were not completed. The voice bot collects and transcribes all information, then draws up a unified report and submits it to a manager, with a report summary also being sent to group chats in messengers. This way, managers always keep track of the events in their departments and monitor all tasks being performed, while saving personnel time otherwise spent on preparing routine reports.
Second example of such solution is a Remote Employees Control Assistant (RECA). It is an integrated system, which helps to ensure control over business processes, analyze staff activities, generate workflow reports and keep in touch with remote employees. It shows a detailed picture of each employee activities and prevents confidential information leaks.Gradual transformation of oil & gas production
Now is the most favorable time to benefit from investments in information technology. All it takes is a wise choice of implementation strategy and tactics, and relevant experts can help you make better choices to maximize the effect of your overall digital transformation.