Digital technologies could boost the volume of oil and gas produced globally by five per cent, while reducing costs by ten per cent, according to the International Energy Agency. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is at the forefront of this digital disruption, introducing new ways to manage data and machinery in the Oil & Gas Industry.
A brief look back
For more than a century, industry experts have been warning that oil supplies will run out. In 1908, Theodore Roosevelt announced ‘imminent exhaustion’ of US oil fields. In 1956 scientist M. King Hubbert predicted US oil production would peak around 1970.
These predictions have proven false. The discovery of new oilfields and technological innovations have unlocked methods to efficiently extract oil and gas for longer than expected. The most recent example is the shale boom – where technological advances in hydraulic fracking have allowed the US to rely entirely on its own oil production. Now AI is set to similarly disrupt the industry.
The benefit of AI
AI has the potential to improve oil and gas production while lowering costs. Advances in quantum computing, machine learning and AI have delivered tools which can be used to troubleshoot underperforming wells, enhance reservoir modelling and carry out preventive maintenance before problems arise. Technology is also being used to optimise well design, improve drilling and completion. Machines are being developed to carry out tasks on unmanned, automated drilling platforms.
A cleaner future
There is nothing inherently green about digital innovation. However, increased oil and gas production brought on by advances in AI could make it easier for countries to meet clean energy targets, particularly if Governments continue to focus on practices such as routine gas flaring that cause environmental damage by burning off natural gas. On remote oil rigs and isolated oil fields, there is often no suitable infrastructure in place to transport this natural gas. Instead, excess gas is often flared to avoid significant build-ups of pressure and reduce the risk of explosion.
To meet emissions targets while benefitting from increased production through AI, oil and gas companies need to constantly monitor and measure their natural gas output, ensuring flaring is not carried out routinely – only when necessary for safety reasons.
Ultrasonic technology is the most accurate tool for flare gas measurement. Fluenta’s FGM 160 Flare Gas Meter uses ultrasonic technology to provide accurate measurement data in real-time, allowing operators to better identify the processes that result in the most gas flaring and effectively monitor and report emissions.
For more information on Fluenta’s FGM 160 Flare Gas Meter, click here.