Oil & Gas Giants: U.S. O&G Market: Shale, Policy Change & Artificial Intelligence

The United States’ Oil & Gas Industry has been steadily growing since the 2008 Recession – in large part due to the “Shale Revolution”. A Federal Reserve study showed that the shale industry was responsible for driving “10 percent of the growth in the U.S. economy’s gross domestic product from 2010 to 2015,” significantly aiding the United States’ rebound from the recession. The Shale Revolution has afforded the U.S. the opportunity to be less dependent on overseas oil and to drive growth in stateside natural gas production allowing the U.S. to rise to the top of the Liquified Natural Gas exporters globally.

As the U.S. continues to look away from imports and focus its efforts on domestic production for the future, all eyes are on shale. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, shale accounts for at least 40% of U.S. dry natural gas production.

FIGURE 1 
The shale revolution 
Permian • Appalachian • Eagle Ford 
Bakken 
Jan 
2012 
Haynesville 
• Anadarko 
Niobrara 
— Oil share 
O 
c 
o 
O 
O 
25 
20 
15 
10 
5 
0 
Jan 
2007 
US shale 
45 % 
40% 
35% 
30% 
25% 
15% 
c 
o 
O 
c 
o 
c 
u 
Jan 
2008 
Jan 
2009 
Jan 
2010 
Jan 
201 1 
Jan 
2013 
Jan 
2014 
Jan 
2015 
O 
Jan 
2016 
Jan 
2017 
Jan 
2018 
Jan 
2019 
production was 
10% of the world's 
daily oil 
consumption in 
2018. 
Economic value 
added by the US 
shales since 2006 is 
of Nigeria's 201 8 
GDP. 
Number of new firms 
that entered the US 
shale business in the 
past decade is 1.8)( 
of all newly listed 
companies on the 
LSE in 2018. 
O 
C02 emissions 
avoided due to the 
shale gas boom 
during 2006-18 is 
1.8)( of total 
emissions from South 
and Central America 
in 2018. 
Note: Economic value added by the mining sector in the United States is used as a proxy to highlight the economic impact 
of shales. 
Sources: US Energy Information Administration, Drilling Productivity Report, July 201 9; US Energy Information Administration, 
"US energy-related C02 emissions expected to rise slightly in 201 8, remain flat in 201 9," February 8, 201 8; IMF 201 8 World 
Economic Outlook. 
Deloitte Insights I deloitte.com/insights
Source: Deloitte

How have U.S. exports been impacted by COVID-19 as a whole?


Fortunately, the U.S. gas exports are less susceptible to volatile markets because of the nation’s swing supplier status coupled with contracts that allow for scrapped deliveries. World Oil reports that, “American gas exports are rising to fresh records every month as new facilities come online,” but particular attention must be paid to trade relations between the US & China as, “China is the fastest-growing LNG importer, and the U.S. is ramping up exports.”

However, the shale industry has not been entirely immune to the negative impacts of COVID-19, particularly decreased demand. Deloitte’s suggestions for navigating the great compression in shale oil production was for operators to, “work with their vendors to not only automate and digitize operations to realize new savings, but also to shorten value chains and create new pathways for the impending energy transition.” Automating and digitizing to realize savings is critical to the long-term success of the US as a top O&G exporter and, as a relative newcomer on the global O&G stage, the U.S. has the unique opportunity to be on the cutting edge with speed to adoption of digital. 


The change in administration, and President Biden’s ambitious efforts on climate change, represent a much bigger risk to U.S. Oil Production than the effects of COVID-19.


US oil production under a Biden government 
Million barrels a day 
— No drilling 
— With federal drdling 
201 q 
aoao 
2021 
aoaa 
2023 
SSP
Source: S&P

With President Biden’s impending plans to cut US oil production, in favor of more environmentally friendly and sustainable energy production, the U.S. O&G Industry must brace for economic and employment impacts. Supply constraints will cause a significant financial issue for producers as a result of President Biden’s suspension of “the sale of oil and gas leases on federal land, where the U.S. gets 10% of its supplies.”

How will producers be able to rebound from this supply and labor constraint?

They must turn to digital in order to extract savings from their existing value chain.

Deloitte reports that more than 70% of global traditional jobs in the O&G market that were lost as a results of COVID-19 may not return by 2021 if the industry does not make changes. According to oil industry leaders, Biden’s policy to decrease drilling activity in offshore federal waters will, “satisfy a few special interest groups [and will ultimately] end up producing more global emissions while killing thousands of high-paying American jobs.”

As we face increasing uncertainty around workforce conditions due to COVID-19, the need for process automation increases drastically. In order to cope with policy change and COVID-19, not just in the U.S. but also the global O&G industry, margin improvement and the future of work must be addressed through the implementation of Artificial Intelligence. 

Artificial Intelligence provides an immediate solution to workforce displacement for continued operations while implementing benefits such as downtime reduction and reduced fuel consumption.


Value chain optimization is key for the shale industry’s continued growth and ability to stabilize regardless of the current demand deficit and restrictions from President Biden’s administration. Aside from well-design, a popular area for mid-stream optimization efforts, there are a host of other measures that holistic Artificial Intelligence, like Maestro AI, can address within the mid-stream value chain. Maestro increases profitability in O&G by solving key operational challenges across the value chain through an unrestricted ability to dynamically observe, evaluate, compare and control real-time operational performance, ensuring maximized production that exceeds quality standards, increasing yield while minimizing resource consumption.

To learn more about Maestro and individual case studies in the Oil & Gas sector, please contact us

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AI & COVID-19: Stabilize & Survive

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, why are corporations accelerating rather than delaying their digital transformation initiatives? The pandemic’s unprecedented impact on demand, workforce, supply chain, short-term costs and liquidity has forced corporations to take immediate, strategic action to maintain operations. In exploring their means of stabilization and survival, corporations found that Artificial Intelligence is uniquely positioned to ensure business continuity in the short-term, with its proven value in improving employee safety & security, short-term costs and liquidity.

While no industry has proven immune to the pandemic, the depth and breadth of its disruption in the manufacturing vertical clearly demonstrates why corporations have adopted transformational technologies over traditional solutions to beat COVID-19. Manufacturers have felt the acute pressure of COVID-19 in their plants and across their value chains.

  • Demand: Sharp declines in demand across non-essential product segments have disrupted each step of the value chain, driving significant earnings adjustments; essential goods producers are struggling to continue operations with heightened risk, and to satiate demand with unprecedented operating and supply chain limitations.
  • Supply Chain: Despite the geographic diversity of supplier networks, sudden overseas supplier shutdowns and domestic fulfillment delays have disrupted if not halted downstream activity, depleting on-hand inventory, prompting a rapid search for market alternatives, and driving material and part shortages, price increases, and an expected spike in upstream transportation costs as restrictions lift.
  • Workforce: Rapid adoption of new distancing protocols, shift structures and offsite resourcing arrangements have ensured employee safety & security, but constrained operating efficiency, quality, throughput and yield; deferred critical asset maintenance and replacement have increased downtime risk and may increase mid-term CAPEX obligations.
  • Short-Term Costs: Essential and non-essential product manufacturers have made significant adjustments to minimize variable costs, maintain business operations, and operate in an environment of significant macroeconomic and trade policy uncertainty, including layoffs, furloughs and temporary plant closures.
  • Liquidity: With strong macroeconomic headwinds, demand and supply side disruption, and constrained operational agility, liquidity is a principal concern of manufacturers that will not be alleviated at the moment restrictions are lifted, but gradually as the supply chain and broader economy rebound.

How is Artificial Intelligence empowering corporations with substantial value chain disruption to act fast and weather the storm?

Elutions’ highly-automated and autonomous Artificial Intelligence solution, Maestro, leverages historical data, deploys rapidly and delivers immediate improvements in safety & security, short-term costs and liquidity. The following Artificial Intelligence use cases are paramount to ensuring business continuity in manufacturing.

  • Remote Operability, Operational Automation & BEP Adherence: By enabling remote asset and process control, visualization and planning, and automated system-driven asset and process optimization, corporations ensure operational continuity, resilience and efficiency, improving employee safety & security, reducing labor requirements and operating costs, and increasing cash-on-hand.
  • In-Line Quality Assurance & Scrap Reduction: By enabling automated quality prediction and dynamic operating parameter adjustment at each stage of production, manufacturers autonomously ensure end-product quality, minimize scrap and rework, and optimize the Unit Cost of Production as conditions change, improving operating margins, yield (revenue), and liquidity through minimized waste.
  • Dynamic Downtime Prevention & Predictive Preventative Maintenance: By enabling dynamic, system-driven alternate control sequencing in the event of a sensor, asset or process failure, corporations autonomously avoid unplanned downtime, associated repair and replacement costs, and foregone revenue. With system-driven Predictive Preventative Maintenance and automated Work Order creation, corporations minimize downtime and production risk, extend asset use life, generate significant savings through right-time, right-size maintenance, and improve safety & security through truck-roll consolidation.
  • Market, Demand & Capacity Driven Procurement & Inventory Management: By continuously predicting raw material costs, sales and capacity alongside the live environment, and enabling automated procurement and IM directives, corporations optimize operating productivity, inventory levels, and the margin value of Inventory on-hand. Similarly, by continuously predicting replacement part costs, process demand alongside forecasted utilization, and automating replacement part purchasing, corporations optimize part inventory levels, reduce short-term costs and improve liquidity.

Beyond short-term survival, corporations have placed their bets on Artificial Intelligence to thrive in the mid-to-long-term. Stay tuned for more market intelligence on how AI is helping corporations build resilience and optimize operations.


Up Next for NCW: Digitization and Chemical Manufacturing


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