Digital oilfield

Artificial Intelligence Gains Traction Across the Industry

Artificial intelligence is already part of the work done in an office near you, and, before you know it, it will be in your office as well. Gaining familiarity and an understanding of it will serve you well.

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Sometimes things just fall into place due to unexpected circumstances. Originally I had selected the papers for this selection because they cover a topic that all of us will encounter in our work sooner rather than later: artificial intelligence (AI), the area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans.

As I shared my choice with a colleague earlier this year, we discussed how quickly AI would become a part of our daily routine. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit and many of us began working from home. Suddenly it became obvious how much technology had developed in recent years. Video conferencing with multiple parties no longer required fancy equipment; we could do it from our computer at home.

The same colleague said last week that he is now convinced AI will be an integral part of our work environment very soon rather than soon. How soon nobody knows, but as the selected papers show, it is already being used and so we should become familiar with it.

The other coincidence is that the papers I selected were all presented at the 2019 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC). And there was no way I could have envisaged that this selection would be issued when 2020 OTC was cancelled. So, for those of you that crave OTC content, here is some good material to digest. 

The first sentence in the OTC 28974 abstract is compelling: “This paper provides … an overview of artificial intelligence and machine-learning applications relevant to optimizing platform operations”. The paper does just that, but unfortunately it could not yet describe all the benefits as the exclusive monitoring of the platform’s operations by its onshore control room had not yet begun.

However, late last year an update was presented at an SPE event and SPE 194590 is also included in this selection.

OTC 29384 addresses the same topic, but with a broader perspective—the application of AI to optimize oil and gas production.

OTC 29358 covers the next step in how engineers will be dealing with documents. No longer will we be operating in just a paperless office, but in an environment with smart documents, where the content can be mined. And AI can play a major role in getting us there.

I hope that this introduction encourages you to read these papers. Just as the topic of big data, which was covered in the selection published in November 2018, AI is something we better become familiar with. It is already part of the work done in an office near you, and before you know it, will be in your office as well.

Click below for a synopsis of these papers:

Artificial Intelligence Converts Drawings to Data

Artificial Intelligence Optimizes Oil and Gas Production

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Complements Condition Monitoring

Artificial Intelligence Improves Business Outcomes for Offshore E&P