The right adoption of artificial intelligence, big data and mobile technology will help to drive planning and forecast in the Nigerian oil industry, the Executive Operations Director at Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, Mr Effiong Okon, has said.
Okon said the technologies would also address risks associated with the business.
He said these at the 43rd Society of Petroleum Engineers’ Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition in Lagos, where he delivered a presentation, titled ‘Transforming big data and technology to business value: Challenges and strategic options’.
According to him, leveraging cloud computing and big data promotes accurate forecast of oil production for planning, which in turn drives operational excellence (production optimisation and asset performance).
Okon said the use of predictive and data-driven maintenance for production and cost efficiency had helped to reduce ‘mean time to repair’ and increase ‘mean time before failure’ in the industry.
He said for drilling, operators could get predictive analysis through smart drilling; guarantee early identification of drilling anomalies, hazards to well control problems; develop more enhanced oil recovery techniques and real-time data through ‘logging while drilling’ and ‘measurement while drilling’.
He added that in the area of exploration and appraisal, technology had made it possible to obtain big data from sensors attached to equipment used during exploration/appraisal activities.
The Seplat executive director said the company had continued to make conscious efforts to drive operations using contemporary technologies with the right investments.
According to him, Seplat’s investments in technologies are driven by measurable and justifiable value accruable to the company.
He said, “With the right technology, we can identify rock and fluid properties through magnetic resonance imaging; locate new oil fields through wide azimuth towed streamer acquisition; and analyse big data through ground penetrating radar for cost efficiency.
“It also applies to oil/gas transportation while connecting pipelines, sensors, leak detection, alarms and emergency shutdowns, and using drone technology for pipeline surveillance. Internet of Things is revolutionising midstream pipeline operations through Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition-based applications.”
Okon said operators in the refining space could now analyse economic indicators and weather patterns for forecasting demand, pricing and resource allocation while optimising integrated refineries and leveraging machine learning for predictive analysis and self-diagnosis by refineries.
He added, “These technologies have a huge role to play in the future of the oil and gas industry. The need for smart, cost-efficient ways to access unconventional reservoirs is undoubted. It requires the combination of technology and thinking that redefines how firms manage and execute a more harmonised approach to life.
“Blockchain revolution is starting here and now. There is huge potential to reduce risk of fraud, error and invalid transactions in energy trading and enable interoperability. To revolutionise joint ventures, risk management, contracting and regulatory compliance, this is critical to unlocking the efficiency potential of distributed energy generation.”
According to Okon, technology will be a facilitator in the transformation of oil and gas companies, and this demands that companies make confident, data-driven decisions using relevant, accurate and trusted information platforms.