Get ready, oil business. Here comes AI

TXOGA, TIPRO say new technology is big and getting bigger

The sun shines through the clouds as it begins to set behind a pumpjack, March 30, 2022, outside of Goldsmith, Texas. (Odessa American File Photo)

Artificial intelligence was a big emphasis at the recently concluded CERAWeek energy conference in Houston and the Texas Oil & Gas and Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners associations say AI will only become more prominent in the oil and natural gas industry.

“The clear and consistent message at CERAWeek from many of the top leaders in our industry was that while there is a strong commitment to achieve a lower emissions profile, oil and gas will continue to play a dominant role in meeting energy needs for decades to come,” TXOGA President Todd Staples said. “Leaders from different industries also commented on how artificial intelligence has been and is likely to continue to be utilized across industry sectors.

CERA stands for Cambridge Energy Research Associates.

“In fact a Microsoft executive made the comment that AI has the potential more than the adoption of the Internet, personal computer or smart phone to fundamentally change how we live our daily lives.”

Staples said from Austin that AI and data centers will demand significant sources of electrical generation.

“For Texas to continue to grow and prosper, our infrastructure must expand and we will require more transmission and generation to meet the growing demand,” he said.

TIPRO President Ed Longanecker said the Ernst & Young Global professional services partnership in London, England, reports that 92 percent of oil and gas companies are investing in AI or are planning to do so in the next five years.

“Used to optimize exploration and drilling while also streamlining production and logistics, the industry reports seeing progress in efficiency, safety and sustainability using AI,” Longanecker said from Austin. “According to Mark Mills, a distinguished senior fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, every billion dollars worth of cars sold drove $100 million dollars of fuel per annum, every billion dollars worth of aircraft, $200 million, and every billion dollars of AI, $800 million of energy per year. AI is by far the most energy consumptive technology ever introduced.

“We are only scratching the surface with current AI applications and we will see a massive increase in energy demand in the coming years. The U.S. must invest in more dispatchable energy including natural gas and related infrastructure to meet the growing demand here and abroad.”