Since the first oil
well was drilled technology and people have been the driving factor in the
success of this industry. The combination of grit, ingenuity and a good set of
tools have always been a successful combination. Today we are using technology
to make us better, smarter, and faster. Computers and software have allowed us
to take leases faster, run title with more speed and accuracy, create reports
and run sheets for our clients, and deliver projects more organized and ready to
drill than ever before. Now it is time to introduce another tool for our
toolbox that will change the way we do our daily jobs. Artificial Intelligence,
or AI, is here and it is making its way into our everyday lives like never
before. The words alone call into mind images of robots taking over the world
or The Jetsons cartoons with robot nannies and machines that do our everyday
chores for us. If you own a smartphone or have bought Google Home or Alexa you
are using Artificial Intelligence. It is here and it is the future of our
business.

So
what is Artificial Intelligence?

If you look up the
definition of Artificial intelligence you will find many answers but this one
seemed to me to be the best answer. AI is the theory and development of
computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human
intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making,
and translation between languages. You may also hear the words Machine Learning
used to explain this technology. AI and Machine Learning allow computers to
gather and assess large amounts of data via scanned documents, reports, or data
sets and solve problems similar to the ways a person would. Most systems that
are available today allow you to build modules within the system and train them
to capture data. Over time AI becomes smarter and will need less human
involvement to get the desired results. This makes AI a technology that will
change our lives as it becomes smarter. It is not designed to replace the human
but to make the human more efficient and accurate without human issues like
becoming tired, overworked, and, well, day to day life in general. Keep in mind
that you can over train AI and Machine learning and the desired results will
not match those of a human. 

How
can we use AI in Oil & Gas Land?

          The first area that we all can use this
technology is gathering data from contracts to build our land databases to
import information into our land software. Today a Lease Analyst or Landman
will enter data into land software from the contracts and lease packages that
we create for our employers and clients. This has been a very effective way of
doing business for a long time, but requires man hours and money with some
projects lasting years to complete. If you didn’t set up all the data
initially, you will need to evaluate the data a second time. If we use AI and
machine learning technology, we can allow
analysts to analyze information instead of performing data entry, increasing
efficiency by up to 900%! We can also train new employees faster and let AI to
do the heavy lifting. Contracts
may have exhibits, addendums, and other supporting documentation. It is
important to intelligently break the file into its individual instruments.
There may also be a need to place different contracts from a large collection
into different processing flows, this is based on identifying differences in
contract type, date, geographic region, etc. AI can also detect the point in
the contract where the main body of the contract ends and the addendum begins.
Knowing this can help us decide where boilerplate language from the body is
later altered or overridden in the addendum. These are just some of the things
AI and Machine Learning can do.

What
are some other things AI can do for the Land Professional?

          AI and Machine Learning can also extract data from contracts
such as terms, dates, names and addresses, legal descriptions, recording
information, and clauses and place them in data sets so that we can use that
data in our land systems. Contract clause extraction is particularly beneficial
as the clauses in our contracts guide the way we behave in our business.
Understanding your contract clauses can save companies from missing deadlines
and obligations as set forth in the contracts we use to do business. For many
years we would use a Sr. Lease Analyst or Sr. Landman to read clauses and set
them up for our software’s to report back to us critical time sensitive items.

“Often
two versions of a contract will have two very similar paragraphs, with only a
couple words difference. Grooper AI consistently identifies when the meaning of
the provision has same intent or a very different implication, which could have
otherwise been easily overlooked by staff members.” Tony Benson- Grooper

By using contract clause extraction
AI and Machine Learning can use the words of a clause to identify information.
AI would read the sequence of words “100 feet below the deepest depth drilled”
and instantly identify the clause a Horizontal Pugh or Depth Severance,
whichever you trained the AI machine to identify the clause as. This technology
allows us to now capture huge amounts of data from our contracts like never
before. This allows companies to ask more of their data to make decisions from
inception to drill and beyond.

Possibilities
of Leveraging the Power of AI

  • Distinguish minor details in text and phrases that lead to
    very different interpretations

  • Find more results using full-text search to locate specific
    content in a repository

  • Create consistent data sets and give your users the ability
    to perform more granular searches

  • Discover the contracts that exist throughout your
    organization located in content repositories, file shares, and email

  • Identify and purge duplicate contracts, or compare
    near-duplicates for possible differences in intent hidden within the body of
    the contract

  • Visibility into your data reduces risk and ensures that
    obligations are met

  • Protect your organization from or during litigation

  • Gain valuable insight to feed predictive analytics,
    maximizing deal value

  • Improve procurement processes by evaluating trends of
    vendors who are providing the most competitive rates

  • Increase contract profitability by not missing deadlines and
    protecting contract renewals or amendments

  • Predict the net impact of regulatory changes and maintain
    compliance

  • Reduce time, cost and manual efforts in contract review

  • Increase accuracy by eliminating human error

In
conclusion, early adopters of AI and Machine Learning will likely develop a
significant competitive advantage, and the adoption rate of new technology is
exponentially growing faster than it was a few decades ago. Mainstream adoption
in the Oil & Gas industry of these new technologies is expected in the next
three to five years.  Oil & Gas companies,
Landmen, Mineral Owners, Operators, Lawyers, Deal Makers and more will soon
experience significant efficiencies that will translate into competitive
advantages. It is likely time to consider how you and your company could begin
to harness the power of AI and Machine Learning to remain relevant in our
industry.

AI for the Oil & Gas Land Department