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18 Apr 2024

The Journey of AI in the Oil & Gas Industry

Oil Gas AI Digital Solutions web

As the backbone of the global energy landscape, the oil & gas industry has undergone many transformations to overcome challenges and keep powering the world. However, the imperative call for sustainability, safety, and cost-efficiency has evidently grown louder than ever, putting the industry on an exciting path towards innovation.

My journey at Kent, overseeing Global Innovation and Digital Engineering, has allowed me to see the Oil & Gas industry's evolution up close. In this transformative era, I've witnessed firsthand how artificial intelligence (AI) is not just an auxiliary tool but a fundamental force driving us toward a future where technology and human skills merge seamlessly. The industry's adventure with AI is marked by a massive financial leap, with billions pouring into AI investments, showcasing a strong yearly growth rate. This isn't just about spending money on tech; it's a powerful statement of the industry's trust in AI as a key player in shaping its future. An EY survey highlights this shift, revealing that over 92% of oil and gas firms are investing in AI or planning to do so shortly. Yet, the question arises: Are industry leaders fully harnessing AI's potential?

From exploration to distribution

The integration of AI across oil & gas is working its magic from underground exploration all the way to delivering energy right to the world’s doorsteps. This isn't just a small change; it's a huge transformation that's connecting all the dots in the industry. AI is helping every step in the process to get smarter and more efficient, bringing a new era of innovation that's changing the game for everyone involved.

The journey begins underground, where AI-enhanced seismic data interpretation and subsurface characterisation reveal hidden resources, guiding precision drilling and reservoir simulation to optimise extraction.

While developing the field, AI helps us meticulously craft exceptional asset designs, refining project cost estimates, and bolstering planning processes, guaranteeing that every infrastructure piece built is ready for both today's needs and tomorrow's challenges. During production and operations, AI is used to predict when maintenance is needed, avoiding unexpected breakdowns and ensuring that production stays smooth and uninterrupted.

The story of AI's influence progresses into the refining and processing phases, where it meticulously adjusts operations to maximise output and efficiency. Moving on to transportation and storage, AI's attentive monitoring and logistics optimisation plays a crucial role in protecting these vital components of the industry, ensuring that everything runs smoothly from start to finish. Finally, as products reach the market, AI helps with demand forecasting and pricing optimisation, ensuring that the industry's pulse is in harmony with global demand fluctuations.

Safety and sustainability

AI's application extends to bolstering worker safety and asset security. For instance, autonomous operations and remote monitoring systems are minimising human exposure to dangerous environments and enhancing operational efficiency, helping the industry to protect its most valuable asset—its workforce.

Yet, AI's influence in the oil and gas sector isn't confined to safety and efficiency; it is increasingly playing a crucial role in the energy transition. AI is helping us to responsibly decarbonise and steer the Oil & Gas industry toward a more sustainable future through smarter resource utilisation, boosting energy efficiency, monitoring emissions, and preventing and detecting spillage.

At Kent, this narrative of AI-driven transformation is not just theory but practice. Kent’s end-to-end digital solutions embody AI's versatility, from assessing the maturity levels of assets and enterprises to implementing digital design, EPC 4.0, digital twin, IOCs (integrated operations centres) and remote operations solutions, emphasising the creation of digital oil fields, and more. Our ongoing efforts on AI autopilot for autonomous operations signifies Kent's commitment to pushing the boundaries of what AI can achieve in the oil & gas sector.

Oil Gas AI Digital Solutions

In conclusion, the oil & gas industry's embrace of AI, marked by substantial financial investments, highlights the transformative power of technology. This journey isn't just about innovation; it's a clear indicator of the industry's commitment to evolving and achieving excellence. Efficiency, safety, and sustainability are no longer separate objectives but interconnected pillars supporting a collective vision for a better future. Partnering with experts who know how to implement and maximise AI investments is crucial. This will ensure that the industry keeps pace with technological advancements and secures a leading position in harnessing AI's full potential.

This article was originally published in Oil & Gas Middle East, in April 2024. See original article: The journey of AI in the oil & gas industry - Oil & Gas Middle East (

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