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Vietnam Uses AI/ML for Petroleum Exploration

The Vietnam Petroleum Institute (VPI), a member of the state-owned oil and gas group PetroVietnam, is deploying artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to identify the presence of fractured granite basements. The technology has an accuracy rate of over 80% and helps save exploration time and costs.

The discovery and successful exploitation of fractured granite basement reservoirs at Bach Ho (White Tiger) and other oil fields in Vietnam have changed the traditional oil and gas exploration perspectives. The identification of fractured granite basements using traditional methods needs specialised equipment that may require the suspension of oil well drilling and lengthening of the rig rental duration (the current rental is about US$ 65,000-US$ 68,000 per day).

To optimise this process, the VPI has worked out a fracture prediction solution that applies AI and ML to accurately detect the presence of fracture systems based on real-time data. Relevant data will be used as inputs into ML algorithms, and then models will be classified, ranked, and assessed to find out the best for fracture prediction. The VPI has tested the accuracy of this prediction model on drilling data of 12 wells in some fields with similar geological structures, showing a prediction accuracy rate of more than 80%.

The results from the machine learning operations (MLOps) platform are expected to help improve drilling effectiveness, ensure safety for the process, and shorten the rig rental duration. Depending on each contractor’s drilling plan, the saved expenses can reach hundreds of thousands of US dollars.  According to the Data Director of the VPI, the fracture prediction model makes use of the oil and gas sector’s existing data to develop optimisation algorithms to create new values and guarantee security and safety.

The application of AI/ML to oil and gas exploration is the next milestone in the implementation of PetroVietnam’s digital transformation strategy. In July, the VPI built Oilgas AI, an ecosystem using AI/ML to gather, demonstrate, and analyse specialised data about crude oil, petrol, liquefied petroleum gas, and natural gas. It offered solutions that would help businesses make quicker and more effective decisions during their daily operations, as well as build long-term plans and strategies.

PetroVietnam has been developing and perfecting appropriate and effective solutions while coordinating with socio-political organisations in promoting digital transformation at its subsidiaries. In a resolution on digital transformation to 2025, with a vision to 2030, issued in February this year, PetroVietnam viewed digital transformation as a must to increase productivity, quality, efficiency, and competitiveness.

Digital transformation is seen as a strategic task of PetroVietnam and is especially important for the group’s businesses and units. The work is hoped to help the firm promote innovation and improve business performance and competitiveness, as well as its leading position in the oil and gas industry, thus contributing to the country’s digital economy.

During the first half of 2022, PetroVietnam pumped out 5.48 million tonnes of crude oil, surpassing the H1 target by 23%. Meanwhile, gasoline production exceeded the plan by 14%, and fertiliser production surpassed the target by 8%. Production and supply of gas, electricity and other energy products also reached a high level. The H1 revenue was estimated at US$ 20 billion, up 55% year-on-year and double the goal set for six months.

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