The balance between technology support, AI and human intervention in oil and gas operations – How to get it right

The balance between technology support, AI and human intervention in oil and gas operations – How to get it right®

Oil and gas operations are facing increasing complexity, challenges, and competition due to the energy transition, market volatility, and environmental pressures. To thrive in this dynamic environment, oil and gas companies must optimize production efficiency, reduce costs and carbon footprint, and enhance safety and compliance. Utilizing the right technology support and AI-driven solutions can play a pivotal role in achieving these objectives while ensuring that the dignity of field workers is preserved.

At EZ Ops, we understand the realities of working in the field, and our mission is to help operators make better decisions and identify the most impactful work to perform. Our current platform, built by operators for operators, empowers field teams to excel, increasing production, reducing costs, and ensuring safety and compliance through augmenting with a digital assistant to generate maximum human performance.

According to McKinsey, technology support can improve production efficiency by 10 to 20 percent for offshore platforms and 5 to 15 percent for onshore assets.

Challenges in balancing technology support and human intervention

While technology support offers numerous advantages, it also comes with some challenges that need to be addressed thoughtfully:

Understanding the right level of support:

There is no one-size-fits-all solution, and different tasks require varying degrees of technology support. It’s essential to strike a balance to avoid inefficiency and frustration. 

The key lies in finding the right balance between technology and human involvement. Over-reliance on technology can lead to inefficiencies, lack of creativity, and potential technical issues. On the other hand, avoiding technology altogether might hinder progress and overlook opportunities for optimization.

Managing the human-technology interaction:

The roles and responsibilities of field workers may evolve with technology support, necessitating new training, communication, and collaboration methods. Careful attention to the psychological and social aspects of the human-technology relationship is crucial. 

Adapting to changing conditions:

Technology support may not handle unexpected events or situations that require creativity and intuition. Regular updates and alignment with evolving technology are necessary. 

For example: In pipeline operations, unexpected events like leaks or equipment failures might not be entirely handled by automated monitoring systems. Regular updates and AI learning from past incidents need to be integrated into a system to improve its response to unforeseen situations while maintaining the human operator’s critical decision-making role.

Benefits of technology support in the oil and gas industry

Technology support involves leveraging AI and data analytics to enhance decision-making and operational performance. Here are some of the benefits EZ Ops brings to oil and gas operations:

Maximizing asset and well integrity:

EZ Ops technology helps detect anomalies, and optimize maintenance schedules, reducing unplanned downtime, extending asset life, and preventing environmental incidents. 

The field operations software offers a data integration service that allows producers to securely connect third-party data sources and existing systems to EZ Ops, such as production accounting software, emissions tracking and asset management software. In addition, EZ Ops has an API integration service that allows to invite cloud-based software partners to work with EZ Ops to bring data together.

Increasing production: 

The software uses machine learning technology for task prioritization and cost/production prediction. By streamlining operations and optimizing well performance, the platform equips field teams to boost oil and gas recovery rates, reduces flaring and venting, and minimizes water usage and disposal.

Reducing costs

Technology-driven automation of processes, data analytics, and optimized workflows can enhance coordination, eliminate bottlenecks, and reduce operating expenses, thereby improving margins.

We estimate that we have saved our customers around $48 million in time saved and operating costs while reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 4,880 tonnes.

In addition, EZ Ops provides a user-friendly and intuitive platform, we also offer field training and support to help field workers adopt the software and use it effectively with a rate of 100% of adoption. EZ Ops also respects the human autonomy and expertise of field workers by using AI to prioritize and suggest activities, not dictate them. We aim to enhance the performance and satisfaction of field workers, not replace them. 

Operator using EZ Ops for operations

Preserving the dignity and impact of field workers

At EZ Ops, we acknowledge the value of field workers and the challenges they face with outdated processes and tools. Our platform empowers them to make informed decisions and ensures they have the data and support they need to perform at their best. By bridging the gap between field teams and the head office, we demonstrate the importance and impact of field workers’ contributions.

In summary, EZ Ops technology support doesn’t replace field workers but amplifies their capabilities. By using AI-driven tools, operators can make well-informed decisions, significantly impacting production, costs, and safety. We firmly believe that with EZ Ops, field workers have the means to excel and drive success for the entire organization.

To learn more about how EZ Ops can optimize your oil and gas operations, schedule a free consultation with us today.

Patrick Herren picture

About Patrick Herren, Director of Customer Experience

Pat’s been operating oil and gas assets for the past decade and knows firsthand the demands of the job working in the oil patch as a former production operator.

Pat leads our on-boarding and training team, providing responsive helpful service that has earned EZ Ops a 100% adoption track record in the field.