For years, the oil and gas sector has been one of the world’s most lucrative industries. Even with the triumphant rise of technology companies such as Apple, Google, and Amazon, 6 of the top 10 largest companies by revenue are in the oil and gas industry. Coincidentally, it is because of those same rising tech giants that the oil and gas industries have had to adapt and change.
Technology is impacting every industry imaginable, and oil and gas is no exception. And in order to compete with the tech giants of the world, as well as the growing shift towards renewable energy sources, oil and gas businesses are looking for ways to implement technologies to streamline processes, cut costs and increase profits. So, what kind of tech can we expect to see infiltrate oil and gas companies?
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
This technology, in short, allows for computer software to carry out any process that would normally require human thought or decision. Artificial intelligence, combined with machine learning, can be a tremendous boon to anybody, offering automated methods of carrying out certain tasks, cutting costs on workforce, or simply aiding a pre-existing workforce to complete work more efficiently. And AI is making major improvements in oil and gas, particularly in locating new areas for drilling. For example, ExxonMobil is working with MIT in order to find new drilling locations within the ocean using artificial intelligence. AI can assist in cutting down on the time it takes to thoroughly search an area for oil reserves.
Imagine having instant access to all of your company’s folders and materials so that you can openly collaborate on projects. That is the reality that cloud computing brings. With cloud computing, information is stored in a large server (the cloud) that can be remotely accessed at any point in time. This means that you can create a spreadsheet of your company’s financial stats and share that information instantly with any employee. They can then also collaborate and work alongside you from anywhere in the world. This technology allows companies to pitch ideas faster and streamlines any timeline process.
With 3D printing, any three-dimensional design can be “printed” in a matter of hours. These prints range in size and complexity, from small sculptures all the way to actual houses. The oil and gas industry can benefit drastically from this technology. Probably the most practical use would be the creation of small, cost-effective models that can assist for maintenance and execution. Engineers can test new or replacement products to ensure size and fit before spending hundreds of thousands of dollars actually replacing the equipment.