Artificial intelligence (AI) has been used for more than two decades as a development tool for solutions in several areas of the E&P industry: virtual sensing, production control and optimization, forecasting, and simulation, among many others. Nevertheless, AI applications have not been consolidated as standard solutions in the industry, and most common applications of AI still are case studies and pilot projects.

In this work, an analysis of a survey conducted on a broad group of professionals related to several E&P operations and service companies is presented. This survey captures the level of AI knowledge in the industry, the most common application areas, and the expectations of the users from AI-based solutions. It also includes a literature review of technical papers related to AI applications and trends in the market and R&D.

The survey helped to verify that (a) data mining and neural networks are by far the most popular AI technologies used in the industry; (b) approximately 50% of respondents declared they were somehow engaged in applying workflow automation, automatic process control, rule-based case reasoning, data mining, proxy models, and virtual environments; (c) production is the area most impacted by the applications of AI technologies; (d) the perceived level of available literature and public knowledge of AI technologies is generally low; and (e) although availability of information is generally low, it is not perceived equally among different roles.

This work aims to be a guide for personnel responsible for production and asset management on how AI-based applications can add more value and improve their decision making. The results of the survey offer a guideline on which tools to consider for each particular oil and gas challenge. It also illustrates how AI techniques will play an important role in future developments of IT solutions in the E&P industry.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.