An AI startup keeps mega-machines at peak performance

Inefficiencies can creep into oil drilling rigs in multiple ways. Changes in the soil structure underground, for example, may require adjustments in the revolutions-per-minute, torque and pressure on the drill bit. An intelligent machine can do this round-the-clock better than a human.

Artificial intelligence (AI) could help with smarter decision-making. Trying to bore through a rock that’s too hard can damage the drill bit, which would entail a shutdown to replace it. But going around the rock may be inefficient if you can drill through it by applying more pressure. Such contretemps can add to the expenses.

“Every additional day beyond the planned time for drilling an oil well costs $75,000 to $5,00,000," says Derick Jose, co-founder of Flutura, whose AI product Cerebra helps oil and gas companies increase the uptime of their mega machines. Excess capacity is another money guzzler. Oil companies maintain standby fleets of critical equipment to avoid stoppages that drain money.

Sumit Chakraberty


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