Oil Industry Tapping into AI for Energy Production

NVIDIA’s artificial intelligence technology (AI) is starting to make inroads into the oil and gas business, with the company’s graphics processing units (GPUs) now being used to boost productivity and reduce the costs of finding, extracting, processing and transporting fossil fuels.

In 2018, NIVIDA has announced two partnerships that involve using GPUs and related technologies in the oil and gas industry, as noted by The Motley Fool.

GPU-enabled AI technologies could play a variety of roles in different key tasks performed by oil and gas providers. For example, such technologies could “predict failures and identify rock formations, as well as mine 3D models to create efficient environment scans, which can aid procurement of drilling permits,” NVIDIA said.
Like many industries, the oil and gas business gathers much more data than it can utilize effectively. AI provides a way to quickly and efficiently process this data, searching for underlying patterns.

For example, the average offshore drilling rig generates 50 terabytes of data annually. However, less than 1 percent of that data is analyzed, according to Baker Hughes, a GE Company that provides oilfield services.

NVIDIA and Baker Hughes announced in January that they would use GPU technology to help oil and gas companies process these vast reserves of data. Baker Hughes will employ NVIDIA’s portfolio of AI solutions, including the company’s DGX-1 AI supercomputer, DGX Stations and Jetson AI modules. This will allow the deployment of AI in all venues, from the data center to the edge.

The Jetson modules could be deployed in edge applications like drones that conduct pipeline inspections, The Motley Fool speculated.

NVIDIA in February announced that Italian energy firm Eni had quadrupled the computing capacity of its Green Data Center by employing NVIDIA’s HPC4 supercomputer. The HPC4 incorporates 3,200 NVIDIA Tesla GPUs, making it the world’s most powerful industrial computing system, according to NVIDIA.

“NVIDIA’s Tesla GPU-accelerated computing platforms have been instrumental in supporting Eni’s exploration activity, improving our ability to turn around advanced seismic imaging tasks in a shorter time and with a higher accuracy,” said Luca Bertelli, Eni’s chief exploration officer, in an NVIDIA blog.

The use of AI could be a key competitive advantage for oil and gas firms that deploy the technology rapidly and effectively.
“In this age of AI and Big Data, the winners and losers in many industries will largely be determined by how quickly and well they collect, analyze, and use data to improve the productivity and efficiency of their operations,” The Motley Fool noted.

Allen Kim is head of ecosystems at Veritone. He oversees developer partnerships, the cognitive engine ecosystem, and media ingestion for the Veritone platform. Learn more about our platform and join the Veritone developer ecosystem today.