Digitizing Oil & Gas: How Ambyint Brings AI-Powered Efficiency to Well Optimization
Ambyint, a Calgary- and Houston-based startup focused on oil & gas well optimization and automation, provides an artificial lift automation and optimization solution to engineering and operations teams that scales production workflows using artificial intelligence, machine learning, and physics-based mathematics. AWS recently caught up with Ambyint CEO Alex Robart to learn more about what trends he sees in the oil & gas industry, how Ambyint differentiates itself, and where the company goes next.
What trends are you seeing in your industry and sector?
It goes by many names – Industry 4.0, Digital Transformation, or the Digital Oilfield – but investment in better, more real-time, actionable information and automation remains a macro trend in oil & gas. Oil companies have initiatives within digital transformation that often includes artificial intelligence as an accelerator for improved analytics capabilities.
Because there are more wells than people to manage them, it is difficult to visit wells on a frequent basis due to remoteness, weather, and well economics. Coupled with the fact that operators are placing cash flow improvement as their number one priority in light of oil price volatility and tight capital markets, digital transformation with artificial intelligence as a centerpiece is becoming more commonplace.
How are you different from your competitors? How do you fit into your ecosystem?
Our competition tends to fall into two categories – incumbent solutions and generalized AI. Incumbent solutions at best optimize production for only a small percentage of the wells they touch. We know this because we see empirically, based on our work across most major producing basins, that 75% of wells overpump and 10% underpump, with only 15% of wells “dialed in.” Our real-time, physics-based approach for AI brings every producing well into an optimized state and maintains that state as well conditions change. Incumbent solutions – many of which have been employed for 20 years or more – are typically analytics tools with limited visibility into continuous production optimization variables.
As for other AI-based technologies, few take a physics-based approach to optimization. With the advent of horizontal wells, the physics of production becomes significantly more complex. Sophisticated optimization requires understanding the physics of these wells, which is at the heart of Ambyint’s AI and machine learning technology.
What AWS services are you using and what benefit are those services providing to you?
Ambyint Infinity uses AWS Lamda and EMR to scale automatically and securely compute resources and data storage. AWS is a preferred partner for Ambynt’s software as a service offering into the oil and gas industry.
The following represents Ambyint’s architectural integration with AWS services.
What’s on your roadmap for the rest of this year? What is the most critical initiative you’re working on now?
Ambyint will continue to build innovative, value-creating production optimization solutions for rod pump and plunger lift wells and expand into other artificial lift types over the course of 2020. Scaling across all lift types means providing visibility; anomaly detection; failure prediction; well, workflow, and design optimization; and control automation so that production is more deterministic, efficient, and optimized for every stage of the well lifecycle.
The most critical initiative we have underway is expanding support across all artificial lift types. Operators face a brutal market characterized by high oil price volatility and tight capital markets. Due to these market conditions, operators are investing in technology that improves cash flow positions and reduces production risk. As operators own assets with a mix of artificial lift types and wells will have different lift types over their lifetime, operators want single source options to cover the entire asset field.
What’s one unique thing that most people don’t know about what your company does?
There is a secret room in the back where we keep a small herd of mutated komodo dragons. We cannot reveal what mutation they have, but we can say it will change the culinary world as we know it. In all seriousness, though, Ambyint is primarily known as a production optimization solution provider within North America; however, we also have customers spread across the world including LATAM, APAC, and the Middle East. Deploying sophisticated physics models with AI enables Ambyint to provide value scalably across producing basins all over the world.