We know by now that the possibilities and opportunities presented by artificial intelligence (AI) to both the security industry and beyond are nearly limitless; as one of the most exciting and fastest growing branches of computer science, AI has demonstrated its ability to provide exceptional efficiency and task adaptability to a wide range of markets. In areas that are seeing rapid growth and the need for increased productivity, users demand solutions that simplify and enhance processes in a cost-effective manner.

And the oil and gas industry is no exception: According to KPMG’s 2018 U.S. Energy Outlook Survey,¬†which polled 92 energy executives, the majority of respondents are looking to¬†emerging technologies like AI and intelligent automation to improve business operations. This comes as no surprise, as according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, world energy consumption will grow by 56 percent by 2040. requiring energy producers to embark on extensive exploration and production activities to meet this demand.

One major concern oil and gas executives face is ensuring the comprehensive security of a facility. As these sites are important components of our nation’s critical infrastructure, it is crucial to secure them from malicious attacks. Asset protection, perimeter security and protection from vandalism and theft are key priorities, but the dangerous nature and often expansive layout of these environments can make achieving these goals challenging.

Applying AI to oil and gas facilities greatly improves security by lowering operational risk and increasing situational awareness. Identification is strengthened through human detection analytics, and predictive capabilities ensure an effective, immediate response should an incident occur. Video analytics and on-board surveillance also amplify visibility, and a wide range of data gathered, such as license plate information, expands overall knowledge and intelligence.

But the advantages of AI-driven devices don’t stop there: their value can be seen in the ability to augment human capabilities and work alongside employees to make general operational decisions and reduce overall costs. In fact, KPMG’s survey showed that 51 percent of energy executives see technology replacing tasks so employees can focus on strategic activities.

Robotic and AI-powered solutions can perform mundane and repetitive duties, allowing workers to direct their time and energy to more critical, important tasks (thus, not taking jobs away, but rather doing the opposite). The use and power of data analysis enables these tools to easily and quickly extract relevant information that can be used in a variety of ways, ultimately equaling the same amount or more production with less people and therefore fewer expenses.

Whether through enhanced security or the practical allocation of resources, the oil and gas industry is already experiencing the benefits AI provides, and will only continue to profit as these technologies develop and become common in everyday applications.