“The oil and gas industry has been a pioneer in finding and then adapting new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning,” said Maana Founder and CEO Babur Ozden in an interview with Energy Intelligence. He pointed out that just a few years ago, geologists and technicians would spend months studying data from a potential drilling site. “Now, that same work can be done in a matter of hours or a day,” added Ozden.
In the early days of this new era, the buzz-word was “silos,” or electronic storage sites where information could be stored, sorted and sent to the right person from either the drilling rig or the C-suite. “The oil and gas industry is now looking at ways of taking huge amounts of data and then making sure that not only is it available to decision makers in the upper levels but to everyone.”
With the process of digital transformation, it will be people who direct computational analysis – not computers directing people – especially evaluating advanced analytics and decision making. “The idea of robots and AI systems running refineries or gas processing plants may be a bit overwhelming and may be what everyone looks at. But the key element is and always will be the subject matter expert (SME) who can guide all of that data to the right place,” Ozden said. “Otherwise, you just have all of this critical data floating around that no one knows how to use.”
The Human Element is the Most Important
Joining in the Energy Intelligence interview was Saudi Aramco Chief Technology Officer Ahmad O. al-Khowaiter, who added, “The workforce is the key. It always has been and always will be. Otherwise all of this technology is for nothing.”
Helping to guide that information flow, Ozden said, is the subject matter expert (SME). Both he and al-Khowaiter agreed that the oil and gas industry must make changes to, not only attract, but retain this new-age workforce.
“We have to learn from other industries when it comes to keeping these new workers,” al-Khowaiter said. “That means attracting workers who might not want to come to an industry that has a reputation for slashing employees during the inevitable bust cycle.”
“There has been some talk about the jobs that automation and digitalization might eliminate, but I think you will see that there are other jobs that are being created,” Ozden explained. “There will never be a day, I believe, when the human element is not the most important element when talking about this issue.”
Maana’s Knowledge Platform is unique because it recognizes the value of balancing human intellect and expertise with powerful computational analysis and Machine Learning for the oil and gas industry. See how the Platform is designed at https://www.maana.io/knowledge-platform/
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