Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to disrupt the oil and gas sector in a number of ways.
AI can be used to automate processes, such as drilling and refining, which can reduce costs and increase efficiency.
It can also be used to analyze data from sensors and other sources to improve safety and reduce environmental impacts.
AI can even be used to optimize production and distribution, as well as to predict demand and supply.
Finally, in the area of alternative energy sources, AI can even be used to develop new products and services that could reduce the need for future dependence on oil and gas.
Recently, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) was noted to have said that the oil and gas industry would adopt and leverage associated opportunities should artificial intelligence (AI) disrupt the sector.
Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Simbi Wabote, speaking in Abuja, stated that instead of fighting changes that may come with AI in the oil and gas sector, industry players, especially in Nigeria, should prepare ahead and take advantage of technological disruption.
“AI is an opportunity. As AI is coming, people are learning about the opportunities it will offer.
"When I visited Total in France, they showed me a picture of what the future of FPSO will look like.
"Today, you have about 150 people managing FPSO but they showed me a future of FPSO where there will be nobody onboard and it will be operated from anywhere.
"That is the future but also an opportunity. There will be an industry that will build the technology that is associated with the FPSO. I am not afraid of AI,” Wabote said.
He disclosed that the board was already planning for future opportunities as AI emerges, adding that the country and practitioners must be ready for the changes that would come with the development.
Wabote noted that the fourth edition of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Opportunity Fair (NOGOF) 2023 would explore such emerging opportunities in the oil and gas industry, linkage sectors as well as the entire African continent.
Wabote said previous editions of NOGOF have made a tremendous impact on the Nigerian oil and gas industry, pointing to the ongoing Nigeria LNG Train 7 project as one of the visible benefits.
He explained that 50 per cent of the entire $5bn project scope is currently being executed in-country through Nigerian vendors and that was achieved because key officials of the Nigeria LNG showcased the opportunities inherent in the project at the 2019 edition of NOGOF, thus enabling indigenous companies to prepare themselves adequately.
Indeed, there is no gainsaying the fact that the revolutionary angle to AI lately is sure to sweep every sector.
This then suggests that rather than tinker with the thought of seeking associated solutions in the event of AI disruption, it is best to embrace, eat, drink, and dream AI.
Nothing short of holistic adoption of the technology would suffice.
This is because process automation so heavily embraced by the oil and gas sector in its operations is deeply enmeshed in artificial intelligence.
It is therefore counter-intuitive to imagine resorting to alternative solutions when AI holds sway.
This much said, the oil and gas sector's only choice now is to be as proactive as ever as regards the AI revolution.