AI for the Enterprise

How cognitive IoT technologies help drive better decisions in oil and gas

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We have all witnessed the fall of oil prices and its direct impact on the oil and gas ecosystem. The new normal of lower oil prices is pushing companies to seek new ways to preserve their top and bottom lines. In parallel, the need to accomplish that while keeping a sharp focus on safety and efficiency remains. The shortage of expertise/manpower that the industry is facing is another challenge that the oil and gas has to address.

In this context, many oil and gas companies are turning towards technologies like advanced analytics, Internet of Things (IoT) and cognitive computing as a way to overcome and offset some of these challenges.


And yet with this increasing reliance on technology comes a problem. Typical oil and gas facilities have more than 80,000 sensors in place, and a single reservoir will produce more than 15 petabytes of data in its lifetime. Quite simply, our industry is being overwhelmed by data, leading to vast volumes of dark and unexploited data. The growing number of connected devices plus large volumes of disparate data generated is leading to more confusion than clarity, making organizations ask themselves: ‘What is the cost of not knowing?’ and ‘What is the value of timely action?’

To explore the answers to these questions and to understand the opportunities Cognitive IoT technologies can offer the oil and gas industry, the IBM Chemicals & Petroleum industry team together with IBM’s Market Development & Insights analysts conducted in-depth interviews with clients from oil and gas companies and IBM subject-matter experts. Discover the findings of our discussions in our paper, ‘Exploring the power of Cognitive IoT in Oil & Gas’.

We believe that cognitive systems will help companies realize the full potential of IoT by delivering deeper insights in a more timely way than ever before. The capacity of such systems to understand, reason, learn and make prescriptive recommendations will help the industry ‘buy time’ – a commodity more valuable than oil itself.


Cognitive computing provides the key to unlocking this untapped data potential. Through an ability to understand, reason and learn from all forms of data and turn that into actionable recommendations companies are able to tackle previously unsolvable problems that would have taken engineers years to assimilate the data and evidence for. This in turn is delivering real outcomes and results to their businesses.

Through buying time, companies can improve operational efficiency while being good stewards of the environment. Our oil and gas clients have already begun to harness this power to shape their companies’ future. Woodside, an Australian oil and gas producer, has embarked on this journey, being able to save time, drive efficiency and reduce costs. How will your company explore the power of cognitive IoT to outthink oil & gas industry challenges?


Interested in continuing the conversation? Feel free to share your perspectives or feedback in the comments below.


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