Nvidia and GE subsidiary Baker Hughes want to bring the power of artificial intelligence to bear on the oil and gas industry – and do so throughout the space, covering everything from locating new oil sources, bringing it up to the surface, refining it for use and even delivering it to the end customer.
Baker Hughes is working with Nvidia on making this happen using its range of AI-enabling GPU tech, including both its Nvidia DGX-1 supercomputers, which are large, data center powerhouses, to its DGX Stations for desktop supercomputer capabilities, and even the Nvidia Jetson AI, its platform for computing at the edge, which enables deep learning processing locally, rather than routing it through the cloud.
Nvidia’s full range of options is key to making this work – the oil and gas industry has needs that range from solving massive computing problems via simulation and data processing to anticipating new drill spots and how to deal with seismic activity at drilling sites, for instance, but it also needs platforms that can work installed on offshore platforms where connectivity is sketchy at best, and not incredibly bandwidth-rich, either.
Part of this work is about locating and maximizing the return on natural resources, but it’s also about making sure the equipment runs and runs well, with models that predict wear and maintenance schedules, which could stop major malfunctions before they ever occur. That has benefits in terms of cost, for sure, but also in terms of the safety of site personnel working on rigs and using potentially dangerous hardware regularly.