Digital transformation in Oil and Gas

The evolving role of AI in oil and gas operations.

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Putting the ROI in AI.

How oil and gas companies can set themselves up for success.

Predictive maintenance. Asset performance management. Optimized production and scheduling. Improved physical security. These use cases for artificial intelligence (AI) in the oil and gas industry can lead to long-term improvements in operational efficiency and resilience. And right now, that’s critical. Recent external pressures, including price fluctuations and escalating use of renewable energy resources, are compelling companies to find and implement innovative solutions that give them a competitive advantage.

With a growing number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices being used in the oil and gas industry to gain better visibility into production sites, they need new ways to collect, store, and analyze the massive data flows generated. AI applications, along with cloud and edge computing, play a pivotal role in providing insight and driving performance.

The AI conundrum.

AI is one of the top three investment priorities for energy enterprises, according to a recent report from IDC.1 A whopping 95% of organizations agree that AI is an important or critical tool to help achieve operational efficiency gains.

But that hasn’t necessarily led to AI adoption. Oil and gas executives may recognize the importance of AI and other technologies, but there’s a gap between perception and actions. In fact, IDC says 42% of oil and gas companies have no plans for AI implementation. Others are struggling with the ROI on investments they’ve already made. The energy industry is essentially split on the topic: of companies who have invested, 68% say they realized little or no value from their energy projects and could not justify the expenditure, while 31% say they achieved a rapid payback.

Executives may struggle to decipher the technology roadmap for AI projects or to identify use cases where AI produces tangible results and real ROI. But for those on the fence, here’s a hint: the energy industry’s asset-heavy nature makes asset performance management a great place to start your investigation.

Essential integration.

Oil and gas companies can’t integrate AI effectively with a siloed model. For the best outcomes, companies must combine investments in AI with enabling technologies like cloud, wireless connectivity, and edge/industrial IoT devices that capture operational data.

As an example: to monitor the flare stack on a product site, a company may select AI-enabled video analytics. But that solution requires sensors and cameras, robust wireless connectivity for data transmission, and cloud and edge computing for analysis. Since data is the core of AI, investments in data infrastructure and management are also a must-have.

Filling your knowledge and skill gaps.

By taking a holistic approach, oil and gas enterprises can put digital transformation into action in their operations. That said, executives often feel their companies don’t have the necessary skills internally to successfully deliver complex AI projects in the field.

Success likely means looking outside the organization for partners with deep experience on relevant use cases in the energy industry and with a scale and breadth of knowledge across 5G, edge computing, IoT, AI, and machine learning. T-Mobile has network capabilities that can ensure smart, safe, efficient, and enhanced operations. Robust, consistent 5G connectivity can deliver the performance, latency, and reliability oil and gas companies need for digital transformation.

T-Mobile has America's largest and fastest 5G network, imagined for tomorrow but ready to give you an edge today. At T-Mobile for Business, we’re focused on providing your business with connectivity solutions and dedicated, exceptional service you need to help you stay ahead. To learn more about how T-Mobile is fueling digital transformation for today’s energy companies, visit our energy industry page.

About the author:

Headshot of Natacha Baroni

Natacha Baroni is the Head of Energy Product Marketing at T-Mobile for Business, with over a decade of experience enabling customers in the energy industry improve efficiency, digital transformation, and safety. Specializing in marketing and product management, Natacha uses her experience to bring industry and customer perspectives into the development of business initiatives and go to market strategies to best meet industry needs.

Natacha holds a B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and an MBA from Olin Business School – Washington University in St. Louis.

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