Engineering

Published on March 17th, 2022 | by Sunit Nandi

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Could New Advances in Technology Stave Off the Recent Global Oil Crisis?

Many people didn’t anticipate the far-reaching impact of the war between Russia and Ukraine that broke out a couple of weeks ago. While many people were worried about the possibility of a Third World war, fewer people considered the risk of gas prices going out of control.

Global gas prices are going through the roof right now. In the United States, the national average price is $4.31 a gallon. This has pushed inflation to its highest level since 1982, when stagflation was taking its toll on the economy.

A lot of factors are driving this crisis. Obviously, one of the biggest is that the United States recently banned oil imports from Russia. Russian oil imports account for around 7% of all oil used in the United States. European countries are even more dependent on Russian oil.

Gas and oil prices are expected to keep going up for the foreseeable future. President Biden, industry leaders and oil industry expertsare trying to brainstorm new solutions to this rapidly growing crisis.

One of the biggest silver linings is that new technology is helping solve oil supply issues. The question is whether or not these technological advances will be sufficient to eliminate the problem entirely. Oil well services can also help by providing turnkey oil and gas solutions.

Technological changes that can help mitigate the crisis

Here are some of the breakthroughs in technology that could help address the global gas and oil crisis.

Low earth orbit satellites

Low earth orbit satellites are among the biggest technological developments to impact the oil industry. They are changing the way oil companies conduct oil exploration campaigns.

As their name suggests, low earth orbit satellites are satellites that are relatively close to the earth surface. They are able to identify the most likely geographic areas where oil might be located. Utilizing these satellites will help oil drilling companies focus on drilling in areas where they will extract the most oil. If they rely on them heavily enough, they will maximize production to the point that the current global oil shortage can be at least somewhat tempered.

McKinsey research shows that low Earth orbit satellites are among the technological developments that could increase oil exploration revenue by $180 billion without making any infrastructural improvements. This could be one of the most important ways to scale drilling efforts and maximize oil production.

Automation through robotics

Robots have been invaluable for many companies in different industries. However, the oil industry has been among those most dependent on robots in recent years. Robots have become a lot more sophisticated over the past decade, which is going to significantly improve oil drilling capabilities.

The benefits of using robots to drill for oil is twofold. Robots are able to handle dangerous tasks that would not be suitable for humans. They are also able to perform these tasks a lot more efficiently.

One of the biggest benefits of using robots for drilling for oil is that they can make extracting oil from smaller sites a lot more feasible. There are probably a lot of untapped oil reserves in areas that were previously not worth the cost or safety hazards. We don’t know how much oil can actually be extracted from these areas, since drilling companies have been reluctant to use them before. However, they will probably find it is much more abundant than expected.

Machine learning to identify great potential drilling areas

Machine learning technology is also shaping the future of the oil industry. Many oil companies are using machine learning to identify the most suitable places to drill.

These algorithms can take a number of different factors into consideration, such as:

  • The proximity to areas where other oil companies have drilled before
  • Prevalence of oil in the region in question
  • Details about the types of rocks and known fossils in the area
  • Indicators that the area will be safe to operate drilling equipment on

There is no question that machine learning technology is becoming particularly important in the oil industry. More oil companies will invest in it to scale their drilling capabilities.

New technology could potentially offset the oil crisis caused by the war between Russia and  Ukraine

The recent war in Europe has created tremendous uncertainty in terms of global security and economic stability. One of the biggest problems has been a drastic spike in oil prices. This problem is not likely to go away anytime soon.

Fortunately, new advances in technology could help stave off this crisis. Oil companies are using technology to increase oil production considerably, which could help keep gas and oil prices from raising more than they otherwise would.

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About the Author

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I'm the leader of Techno FAQ. Also an engineering college student with immense interest in science and technology. Other interests include literature, coin collecting, gardening and photography. Always wish to live life like there's no tomorrow.



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