AI Tech Increasingly Leveraged in the Oil & Gas Industry

POINT ROBERTS, Wash. and VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Feb. 28, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --, a global investor news source covering Artificial Intelligence issues a special edition of The AI Eye, looking at advancements in artificial intelligence in 2019 and beyond.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology is penetrating many industry verticals in various ways, and the oil & gas sector is no exception. Recent data from market research site Mordor Intelligence reveals that the AI in the oil & gas market will exhibit a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.14 percent from 2018-2023. And as the technology improves, the array of applications correspondingly increases, ranging from “streamlining the overall production process” to “controlling the wastage across the endpoints”.

An instance of a comprehensive AI solution in the space is the collaboration between NVIDIA Corporation (NasdaqGS:NVDA) and Baker Hughes, a GE Company.  A blog post from NVIDIA claims that the two companies’ partnership “spans the operations of oil companies. And it does so using the full breadth of our AI solutions”.

This includes NVIDIA DGX-1 AI supercomputers in data centers for model training; NVIDIA DGX Stations for supercomputing at the desk side — or even on remote offshore platforms where bandwidth is limited; and NVIDIA Jetson AI supercomputers-on-a-module for real-time, continuous deep learning and inferencing at the edge.

More recently, Universal mCloud Corp. (TSXV:MCLD.V) (OTCQB:MCLDF), an AI Analytics, IoT connected asset care cloud solution company, signed a three-year global licensing agreement with Fulcrum Automation Technologies Ltd to deploy the former’s AssetCare platform in the oil, gas, and refining industries, targeted at $15 million USD. According to their website, mCloud’s AssetCare works “through a combination of AI-driven control and optimization, and mobile asset management capabilities delivered on smartphones, tablets, and digital eyewear”. Explaining the platform, mCloud President and CEO Russ McMeekin said:

"We created AssetCare with the objective to serve a diverse portfolio of critical assets. The application of AssetCare in the oil, gas and refining markets presents a strong opportunity for mCloud to broaden its reach, achieve higher margins and address the industry's need for deep energy analytics. mCloud will leverage its Founders' decades of experience working with many of the global Fortune 50 companies in the market and will greatly benefit from Fulcrum's strong presence in the industry."

Accenture (NYSE:ACN), which boasts over 40 years of collaboration with software company SAP SE, recently announced plans to co-develop the latter’s SAP S/4HANA Cloud solution designed to help oil and gas companies significantly cut operational costs and create new revenue opportunities. According to the announcement, the SAP S/4HANA is a: “portfolio of intelligent cloud services that set new industry standards with more transparency into operations and cash flow through cutting-edge technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), mobility and blockchain”.

Frank Westerhof, general manager of Enterprise Platforms at Shell (NYSE:RDS-A), who are providing input for the cloud solution said:

“Delivery of oil and gas industry requirements within SAP S/4HANA Cloud will enable us to accelerate our strategy towards a standard SaaS ERP platform. We are very happy to see SAP collaborate with Accenture to develop these industry requirements, given Accenture’s 40 years of experience in the oil and gas industry.”

And Shell, one of the five biggest oil & gas companies in the world, have themselves had considerable involvement with AI. A report from the Wall Street Journal last year said Shell: “will use technology from C3 IoT and Microsoft Corp.’s Azure to predict when maintenance is needed on compressors, valves, and other equipment; help steer drill bits through shale deposits; and improve the safety of employees and customers. Shell also is using artificial intelligence tools from Bonsai, a company Microsoft bought earlier this year that builds software to help computers run autonomously”.

Like many other industry verticals, AI is advancing in the oil & gas sector with considerable speed and vigor, and even from within the industry, as with Shell.

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