The current pandemic has shown the oil and gas sector how dependable enterprise operations can be upended almost overnight. Workforce routines at extraction sites and refineries have been disrupted, causing unplanned outages, as we saw at the Sharara oilfield. With supply chains interrupted, parts manufactured in traditional source markets could not be delivered on time, delaying essential maintenance. Border closures and an unprecedented drop in demand have further constricted already tight economic operations.
Not only do these conditions look set to continue over the short term, but other challenges loom over the foreseeable future. A supply glut and a depressed outlook for hydrocarbon prices have been forecast over the medium term, and over the long-term, oil demand could peak within two decades as fuel demand drops and pressure to act on climate change mounts.
Success in a post-pandemic world will require innovative thinking and action at scale. Two transformative new technologies will shape a sustainable future for oil and gas and its partner industries, and for the world around us. These are artificial intelligence, or artificial intelligence, and cloud computing.
Artificial intelligence has been with us for over three decades. As it becomes more sophisticated, with wider use cases, it allows organisations to improve productivity. With unified smart analytics that bridge complete data stacks, teams can leverage mathematical thought processes across all their activities. Individuals are thus afforded scale and capacity that would otherwise have been unavailable: knowledge, data-led intelligence, and the capacity to recognise new opportunities.
Artificial intelligence enables people to make better decisions – and even recommends courses of action – that enhance the capabilities of human staff. Overall, McKinsey predicts that artificial intelligence will drive a 2% growth in manufacturing and energy for the next decade – or $1 trillion every year.
Artificial intelligence can produce increasingly more complex insights and recommendations for human workforces quicker and with less chance of error. If artificial intelligence underpins better decision making, cloud is the glue that binds it all together.
As an example, consider ENEL, which uses next-generation predictive maintenance to leverage artificial intelligence-driven simulation and forecasting. As soon as an issue is flagged up via predictive maintenance, technicians can seek answers to several follow-up questions.
Are there enough system resources to make it the next planned outage, or is an emergency maintenance shutdown required? What is the best time for maintenance to reduce adverse impacts on operations? What knock-on effect could an outage have, and what preventative actions can alleviate it?
The cloud helps scale the benefits of artificial intelligence across the entire range of enterprise operations as opposed to the past, when narrow artificial intelligence was infused into various products. This broader artificial intelligence leads to general artificial intelligence – the ability to make a complex decision using combinations of different types of artificial intelligence, to learn something in one place and apply it elsewhere.
- A supply glut and a depressed outlook for hydrocarbon prices have been forecast over the medium term.
- Over the long-term, oil demand could peak within two decades as fuel demand drops.
- Success in a post-pandemic world will require innovative thinking and action at scale.
- Two new technologies will shape a sustainable future, and these are artificial intelligence, cloud computing.
- Artificial intelligence enables people to make better decisions and recommends courses of action.
- McKinsey predicts that artificial intelligence will drive a 2% growth in manufacturing and energy for the next decade.
- Artificial intelligence can produce insights and recommendations for workforces with less chance of error.
- If artificial intelligence underpins better decision making, cloud is the glue that binds it all together.