In the carbon-intensive oil and gas industry, digital technology like AI is helping to reduce emissions, save money, and increase operating efficiency.
The oil and gas industry faces the dual challenge of meeting increased energy demand while reducing its carbon footprint. While renewables like wind and solar are now more widely used, fossil fuels are expected to remain the largest energy source in 2050, according to the United States Energy Information Administration.
To assist in addressing this dual challenge, many companies in the oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) sector are turning to digital technologies like cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) to extend the life of aging wells, improve efficiencies, and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with their operations.
Remote monitoring and automated adjustements
One market leader in AI-powered optimization for the E&P sector is Ambyint. Based in Calgary, AB., Ambyint combines AI, advanced physics, and subject matter expertise to help its customers across Western Canada and the U.S. to optimize artificial lift systems on their variety of wells.
What we’re doing is providing our customers with technology at scale that gives them actionable data on what’s occurring at their wells, plus the ability to automate any corrective action they need to take.Benjamin Kemp, CEO of Ambyint
Ambyint’s technology easily integrates with existing energy production companies’ systems, such as supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and production accounting, providing real-time ingestion and contextualization of oil and gas operations data. For artificial lift optimization, the solution helps operators find setpoints likely to increase productivity and avoid unnecessary downtime across all types of artificial lift — all 100 per cent remotely.
“What we’re doing is providing our customers with technology at scale that gives them actionable data on what’s occurring at their wells, plus the ability to automate any corrective action they need to take,” says Benjamin Kemp, CEO of Ambyint.
The result is maximum return on the well with minimal effort, leading to multiple benefits. “You reduce net energy used in the process of extracting the energy resource, in addition to reducing the number of trips to the field for your operations and engineering teams, hence lowering costs, GHG impact, and your occupational health and safety risks,” says Kemp.
A customer success story
Solving liquid loading challenges
CNX Resources Corporation — a leading natural gas developer and producer in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia — recently used Ambyint’s AI-enabled technology across several of its horizontal gas wells in the Marcellus Shale. “They were experiencing a significant number of liquid loading events with their plunger lift wells,” says Kemp. Liquid loading occurs when water or gas condensate accumulates in the well bottom. “This resulted in the need for regular venting of the wells to prevent pressure build-up, causing the release of methane, a greenhouse gas, as well as production slowdown and reduced workforce efficiency,” says Kemp.
CNX deployed Ambyint’s cloud-based lift optimization application to optimize well productivity with improved analytics and autonomous management. “As a result, they were able to reduce the volume of methane emissions on their set of natural gas wells by 48 per cent and increase production by 4 per cent without the need for additional hardware,” says Kemp. The ability to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as CNX did, has positive implications for companies from a regulatory compliance perspective, and this is where Ambyint is seeing increased interest from customers. “Ambyint started out with the idea of making wells more productive and cost less to run, but over time we’ve found that our technology is materially helping our customers to meet their sustainability commitments and improve ESG (environment, social, governance) reporting” says Kemp. “That’s good news when you consider they’re at the heart of a business that is consistently challenged about its environmental impact.”
To learn more about Ambyint’s well automation and optimization solutions, visit ambyint.com.