On Oct. 20 and 21, Aramco participated in the Global AI (Artificial Intelligence) Summit, hosted virtually from Riyadh.
Guided by the theme “AI for the Good of Humanity” and hosted by the Saudi Data and AI Authority and sponsored by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, the summit highlighted that a new normal is shaping the world, with AI at the center.
Bringing together some of the world’s leading decision makers, technologists, innovators, and investors, the Global AI Summit was a unique global platform to explore what the new global era means to AI, how AI’s transformational potential can be best used to create a better future for all, and what this means for policy and decision makers interested in leveraging that potential, for the good of humanity.
A wide range of talks, panel sessions and town halls sought to deliver concrete recommendations on how to develop impactful national AI strategies in a post-recovery context and insights into AI innovations and investment trends.
The summit illustrated how data and AI are massively transforming the world we live in, from businesses to industries, to human lives.
We recognize the need for creating an appropriate technology enabled collaborative environment for our teams to continue the AI technology innovation.— Ahmad A. Al Sa’adi
Leveraging advanced technologies
Senior vice president of Technical Services, Ahmad A. Al Sa’adi, highlighted in his speech to Summit delegates that nations who understand the power of transforming data into useful knowledge will enjoy a strong and prosperous future. “In fact, there is a marathon underway involving the world’s foremost economic powers to take the lead in this area,” he said.
Al Sa’adi noted that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was blessed with massive hydrocarbon resources and Aramco recognized at an early stage the importance of leveraging advanced technologies to best manage these resources.
“Back in the 80s, we built a flagship reservoir simulator, called POWERS, to simulate our reservoirs at the highest resolution possible. This effort — undertaken with the aid of supercomputing — was unparalleled at that time. Currently, TeraPOWERS, a trillion cell model incorporating AI, to further increase hydrocarbon recovery as well as discovery, is already in operation.”
Al Sa’adi also noted that similarly, in Aramco’s surface operations, early deployment of neural networks and inferential models in refineries planted the seed for contemporary advancement in the use of AI and machine learning at the company.
Al Sa’adi pointed out that Aramco continues to progress its digital transformation journey, where data and infrastructure are cornerstones for digital transformation, built around three pillars:
1. Data and Infrastructure
3. Capabilities Building
Data and infrastructure
As a result of deploying more than 100,000 Internet of Things and smart devices, virtual reality solutions, cybersecurity operations, and data analytics, Al Sa’adi highlighted that the company’s data storage capacity will quadruple by 2025. In addition, the company has invested in a world-class, scalable data center and its computing infrastructure will increase by four times.
“On the technology front,” Al Sa’adi said, “we recognize the need for creating an appropriate technology enabled collaborative environment for our teams to continue the AI technology innovation.” He noted that the company has established the Fourth Industrial Revolution Center to foster innovation and fast track AI solutions’ development and deployment.
Al Sa’adi noted Aramco’s focus on building capabilities and developing talent to take the full advantage of digitalizing. “We have already started several programs, including hosted master degrees with KAUST, Georgia Tech, and IE University in Spain,” he said.
In closing, Al Sa’adi noted that Saudi Aramco has both a progressive AI strategy and an active execution program leading to real results, while creating economic value.
“I’m proud that Aramco and the Kingdom are at the forefront of the AI revolution,” he said.
AI in action at Khurais
At Khurais, Saudi Aramco has deployed 40,000 sensors covering more than 500 oil wells over a huge geographical area. With predictive models designed to forecast well behavior, Aramco is able to take real-time action to control and optimize production. With this technology, we have been able to reduce overall power consumption by 18%, reduce maintenance costs by 30%, and cut inspection times by around 40%.
Khurais recently became Aramco’s second facility, after ‘Uthmaniyah, to receive the prestigious World Economic Forum Global Lighthouse Award for being a leader in the adoption and integration of cutting-edge technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Photo Caption: During the AI Summit, Ahmad A. Al Sa’adi noted that Aramco recognized early on the importance of utilizing and leveraging advanced technologies to best manage the Kingdom’s hydrocarbon resources.