April 11, 2019

AI oil well technology drives up production by 1.5%

By Lucy Ingham

An AI oil well technology has successfully boosted production by 1.5% in trials without the need for additional expenditure.

Developed by Finnish-Russian artificial intelligence (AI) and industrial internet of things (IIoT) company Zyfra Group, the technology consists of electrical submersible pump (ESP) software unit that uses AI to recommend different modes of well operation.

The software analyses vast amounts of data on historic oil well production, and compares this against current key operating parameters, including the guarded oil flow rate, current frequency and levels of intermittence in the pump’s operation.

From this it determines the mode the well should be operated in at any given time that is likely to produce the most oil in a set period.

The technology has already been tested at 500 oil wells in western Siberia, Russia, over the course of three months. It has so far proved highly effective, boosting production by 1.5% and leading to additional profits of $2m.

AI oil technology key to extending well lifespans

With the availability of oil a growing problem, and many wells proving increasingly difficult to extract the remaining resources from, the AI oil technology has the potential to be hugely beneficial to the industry.

“Scientists regularly claim that the era of oil will end soon and that readily available hydrocarbons are almost exhausted,” explained Dmitry Krikunov, AI team leader in oil & gas at Zyfra.

“The digitalisation of the oil and gas industry will help simplify extraction of hard-to-recover oil while at the same time extending the lifespan of the oilfield by more than one decade.”

Given the potential financial benefits of the technology, Zyfra is anticipating considerable interest, particularly in Russia, the US, Canada, Southeast Asia, Northern and West Africa and the Middle East.

“The primary motivation for investing in digitalisation is to improve efficiency,” added Krikunov.

“According to Gartner, the ‘smart oil deposit’ concept could help oil companies to cut costs by 5% and enhance production volumes by 2%. CERA calculates that ‘smart oil and gas deposits’ could cut production costs by 1-6%, shrink oil-well downtime by 1-4% and reduce labour intensity by up to 25%.”

Read more: Life after peak oil: Middle East producers prepare