Woodside investing heavily in artificial intelligence

In an effort to improve production in tough market conditions, Woodside Petroleum is investing heavily in artificial intelligence.

Woodside executive Shaun Gregory told delegates at a conference in Perth that the last 12 months had seen the company focus heavily on digital and the evolution of computing, artificial intelligence, and big data analysis.

"Four months ago we had nothing in analytics, today our analytics platform is larger than Twitter," Gregory said.

"Are we replacing humans? Absolutely not. People are now understanding what we are doing, bringing knowledge quicker to the humans.

"Our search for data that may today in Woodside have taken days, through AI takes a second, because it is just so efficient."

Gregory said Woodside were also working on developing algorithms in predictive modelling.

"We started a tiny pilot in October last year and we are now looking end-to-end, our entire value chain, so from exploration all the way through to the final marketing,” Gregory said.

"[Algorithms] are making a prediction, they can also self-analyse how successful they are, so they track their own success rate and they can publish themselves 'that I'm not good enough'."

Gregory said it was now possible to predict events that were going to occur in one week, one month, or three months’ time and intercept failures before they happen.

"So you get a whole lot more efficiency and maintenance and increased production."

Last week, Woodside posted a first-half net profit of $US679 million, a 38.6 per cent slide on the previous corresponding period.

The profit plunge was due to the fall in price of oil, which is trading at six-year lows.

Wooside CEO Peter Coleman said the company was focusing on cutting costs and improving process efficiencies.

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