Spanish energy company Repsol has confirmed it will team up with Google for applying artificial intelligence and big data technologies across its oil refineries, starting with the Tarragona refinery on the east coast of Spain, near Barcelona. This comes as a latest evidence to support the growing influence of oil and gas analytics, with all major oil companies adopting cost effective measures using available data tools.
For the uninitiated, major oil refineries consist of several divisions and platforms which perform operations like distillation of crude oil, processing plants where gasoline and diesel are obtained and units where oil is converted into more valuable products.
Repsol will use Google’s machine learning tool – Cloud ML to enhance the performance of the refinery by analyzing hundreds of variables throughout the divisions by measuring pressure, temperature, flows in the pipelines, processing rates and many other functional characteristics. This technology will be applied to each unit at Tarragona to boost performance.
Experts claim that the inclination of global consumers towards clean, sustainable and environment friendly resources has triggered traditional suppliers to become more profitable, propelling oil and gas analytics market trends.
As per sources, Repsol hope that post the AI implementation, its margins will increase by 30 cents per barrel at the aforementioned facility, after which the company will employ the technology across all the remaining refineries. If this venture delivers the desired outcome, it could reportedly lead to around $100 million additional proceeds from Repsol’s downstream business.
Repsol’s executive MD for downstream operations, María Victoria Zingoni, stated that this decision is a part of a larger project to improve industrial processes at the company and confirms that the AI technology has been applied to just 30 variables for now, to be increased to 400 later on. Despite various concerns surrounding the increase in use of artificial intelligence, Ms. Zingoni was confident and clarified that the application of AI is to enhance the capabilities of their employees and not to replace them.