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How AI Is Transforming the Oil & Gas Industry

Leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) technology is proving not just worthwhile but also transformative for those working in a multitude of industries. Oil and gas executives are no exception: Using disruptive technology applications like machine learning (ML) and predictive analytics can help industry insiders improve operations and could cut costs by $50 billion in upstream oil and gas activities alone. However, AI’s impact on the industry extends beyond cost savings, offering several potential benefits. It’s vital oil and gas executives understand what’s at stake — and what they stand to gain.

How AI shines

Big data is a core element of AI functionality, going beyond dated information buried in spreadsheets and moving toward up-to-date actionable intelligence. Oil and gas executives can collect and leverage big data in many ways to gain an edge. For example, according to the Engineering360 article, data-driven technology solutions such as wireless networks, remote sensors, and analytics software help industry insiders gather, track, and interpret data to maintain optimal production and efficiency. However, while incredibly valuable, AI goes far beyond smart data.

AI technology really shines in its potential to enhance human worker capabilities, freeing them up for greater strategic thinking and enabling smarter decision-making. Thanks to machine learning capabilities, AI-driven software can take vast amounts of unstructured data, such as seismic activity, and not only predict potential problems but also recommend solutions. In cases where data is incomplete or unreliable, AI-driven systems can use “fuzzy logic” to overcome data information gaps — essentially making sense of inconsistent data, a task that’s likely harder for humans to accomplish with the same accuracy levels. AI technology has the potential to propel the oil and gas industry into the future, reaching many aspects of the oil and gas production pipeline.

Making a business case

So, how are industry insiders employing this technology — and what are some specific use cases? More complex and seemingly popular AI applications in the industry include virtual assistants and intelligent robots. These robots, for example, are “designed with AI capabilities for hydrocarbon exploration and production, to improve productivity and cost-effectiveness while reducing worker risk.” Exxon Mobil Corp. executives are using robots to detect natural seeps on ocean floors, helping to preserve the ecosystem while they discover new resources. Others have introduced AI-driven platforms, called “cognitive workers,” that support operations in the field. These platforms, like IPSoft’s Amelia, help human workers complete tedious, hard-to-replicate, or even dangerous tasks.

Leaders of the AI software company Nervana Systems are harnessing AI to revolutionize oil exploration. They use deep learning to train an “artificial neural network how to find oil and gas using data from geoseismic studies.” Humans give examples using data sets, and the network then learns by example. Those at intelligent software technology company Kpler are geotracking energy vessels and using deep machine learning to model trends, according to the article.

Oil and gas executives in other companies incorporate digital oil field technologies into their production processes. By setting up IoT field devices that measure different data points, analysts can use AI technology to gather predictive intelligence, which can help to maximize efficiency and safety by pinpointing unsuspected safety problems and predicting potential failures.

While business use cases can highlight specific benefits, what are the overall advantages oil and gas leaders stand to gain? Here are four key ways in which AI technology can positively impact oil and gas operations:

  1. Improve operational efficiency.
  2. Employ greater safety measures and tactics.
  3. Elicit more cost savings.
  4. Leverage vital predictive intelligence.

The time is now: Industry-specific AI technologies are in place for savvy oil and gas executives looking to gain an edge. The first step to leveraging AI is to harness your company’s data. When starting a data analytics practice, consider master data management (MDM), system integration, and creating a data lake. AI requires smart data; once you’ve cleaned and organized your data, you can begin your journey toward AI-driven analytics, helping you achieve more strategic operations and greater efficiencies.

For more on the latest trends and developments shaping the industry and disrupting business, or to learn more about innovative solutions, visit Value Global online.

What Top 2018 Tech Trends Could Impact Your Business?

We’ve hardly scratched the surface of 2018, but it’s never too early to anticipate and prepare for technology trends and developments promising to shape the future of managed services — and the world. Although many of these developments pose beneficial opportunities for tech company leaders, they may also present challenges to those not ready for impending industry changes.

Here are the biggest trends of 2018 you need to know about and how they may impact your business.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning

It’s no secret implementing smarter, faster programs into company workflows can offer sweeping benefits. From accurate, adaptable analytics to automation and beyond, some major disruptive developments entail artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Gartner researchers predict having the ability to use AI will “reinvent business models” and user experiences over the next several years. Although virtual assistants like Alexa are mainstreaming AI, experts agree the greatest changes will occur through implementing narrow AI, which utilizes machine learning to fulfill specific, data-intensive tasks. For companies whose leaders utilize this technology, this means advances in predictive decision-making and augmented analytics, which use machine learning to prepare data and discover deep insights for a wide range of solutions.

Smart devices and the Internet of Things (IoT)


As with AI, advances in IoT applications promise to revolutionize analytics and networking. By increasingly and constantly connecting billions of IoT devices, business insiders are making leaps in data management and service automation. Perhaps more important, the amount of information and speed of analysis IoT offers is enabling many business professionals to work more efficiently and profitably than before. For example, truck manufacturers reduced their 180,000-truck fleet management costs by 80% thanks to versatile datasets they created using connected technology. IoT implementation benefits have prompted many industry power players, such as those at Microsoft, to invest heavily in IoT analytics, and savvy tech leaders are following suit.

Augmented world

augmented reality

It has become exceedingly clear in the last few years that virtual reality is useful for more than just video games. The technology underlying immersive digital worlds has disrupted many areas from user experiences to assistive technologies. Many major developments in augmented reality (AR), which provides visual overlays on physical objects, are proving their worth in the business arena. Gartner researchers predict that “mixed reality,” a technology that combines digital and real-world objects to create a virtual user experience while keeping users rooted in the present, is a key aspect of AR worth watching over the next five years.

Another AR-adjacent trend is the continued development of conversational platforms. Thanks to advances in AI and machine learning as well as AR, some company leaders have turned to chatbots for automating and streamlining their customer service interactions. Early conversational technology implementations were limited to highly structured, simplistic answers. However, according to the Gartner article, these platforms will likely evolve in the coming years as they become able to incorporate complex vocal and even visual data to complete user requests. More robust conversational technology stands to benefit those whose jobs span multiple industries by delivering advanced user-friendly interactive experiences.

Cloud services

Cloud services are becoming an obvious choice for many company leaders looking to streamline business operations. As a result, more and more business decision-makers are turning to MSPs, helping them to better understand, implement, and manage their cloud-based services with the added benefit of ongoing support. As a means to save costs, using public clouds is also becoming a go-to option for many. This, in turn, is driving an even greater demand for hybrid clouds. And as more business professionals better understand hybrid cloud advantages, flexibility, and value, many dub 2018 the “year of the hybrid cloud.” Based on increasing successes and demand, it’s likely cloud platforms will remain a force used for consolidating or eliminating antiquated on-premises business systems.

2018 should be an exciting year as many business processes are ripe for disruption as more and more company leaders recognize the benefits behind these technologies. Many are shifting their mindsets from the notion that these are simply buzzwords to understanding, realizing, and utilizing their value. Smart company leaders are already taking steps to corner these emerging technologies, working to innovate and increase value for their customers.

For more on the latest trends and developments shaping managed services and disrupting businesses, or to learn more about innovative managed services solutions, visit Value Global online.
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