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Huawei says AI can amplify oil production

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By Usman Oladimeji

AI can effectively help navigate through energy transformation.

According to Huawei, advanced technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) have the ability to assist oil and gas-producing nations like Nigeria in boosting oil output, effectively navigating energy transformation, and swiftly rebounding from the economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. During a roundtable discussion held alongside the MWC Technology summit in Barcelona, Spain, Matamela Mashau, the Chief Technical Officer of Huawei in South Africa, expressed his thoughts. The event organized by Huawei, titled MWC Media Roundtable Briefing (Oil & Gas), focused on showing industry stakeholders its advanced oil & gas solutions.

During his presentation, Mashau emphasized how digital and intelligent technologies are playing a crucial role in reshaping the oil and gas industry. He highlighted the importance of utilizing distributed fibre sensing and AI technologies for inspecting underground pipelines that cannot be easily accessed through manual or drone methods. As reported, the COVID-19 pandemic had a notable effect on the extractive sector. The global economy experienced a major impact in 2020 due to the pandemic, resulting in a historic drop in oil demand and subsequently causing oil prices to plummet to slightly over $20, marking the lowest levels seen in decades.

Nigeria’s oil sector GDP growth has declined persistently.

Oil prices have subsequently surged dramatically, jumping from $76 per barrel in January to $130 per barrel in 2022. Deloitte reports that global petroleum consumption has dropped by almost 25% since the pandemic, but is slowly rebounding to pre-COVID levels three years later. In the case of Nigeria where its oil industry is a major source of foreign exchange earnings and national revenue, accounting for 90% and half respectively, have seen a persisting decline in the sectors GDP growth. One of the contributing factors is the lack of proper infrastructure for oil and gas, leading to decreased efficiency in the industry.

The country’s oil industry has faced challenges due to insufficient infrastructure, particularly in the midstream and downstream sectors. During the MWC media roundtable, it was announced that Sonatrach and Huawei have partnered to establish an innovation centre focusing on developing a smart solution for inspecting oil and gas pipelines. This collaboration is intended to enhance oil exploration efforts in Nigeria. Mashau and Sana Lallali, managers at Sonatrach Joint Innovation Centre, have developed an advanced solution that leverages advanced technologies to reduce operational expenses and maintenance costs, detect pipeline deterioration early, and quickly identify fibre cuts.

NLNG collaborated with Huawei to install advanced Wi-Fi 7 APs.

Yumna Audu, the Head of Business and IT Services at Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG), emphasized the importance of equipping Nigeria’s gas company with innovative IT systems. She disclosed that NLNG collaborated with Huawei to install advanced Wi-Fi 7 APs on campuses nationwide to achieve this goal. Audu expressed confidence in their ability to set industry standards in the global oil and gas sector through upgraded wireless, application, and OM experiences. The impressive speed of Huawei’s Wi-Fi 7 APs, reaching 3.16 Gbps in actual testing, caught our attention in the office.

Audu stated that while the plan from the golf club is to deploy two Huawei Wi-Fi 7 AP, deploying just one is sufficient to provide full signal coverage and fast access. These APs also seamlessly work with our devices on the network, leaving us pleased with the test outcomes. Lallali, the manager of Algeria’s state-owned oil company Sonatrach Joint Innovation Centre, revealed that the country boasts a network of approximately 43 oil and gas pipelines, along with 14,000 kilometres of optical cables.

Related Article: FG target 2.5 million bpd oil production

Officials mentioned that despite the expense of traditional manual inspections, it is challenging to access real-time information on the pipeline’s operational status, making it inefficient. Lallali explained that they collaborated with Huawei to develop a fibre sensing inspection solution, which utilizes Huawei’s pipeline fibre alert system and service management procedures for live networks. During construction near a pipeline, the optical fibre running alongside the pipeline records vibrations and sends them to a monitoring device located in a station or equipment room in order to accurately determine the position.

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