FG Moves to Use Artificial Intelligence to Tackle Crude Oil Theft, Vandalism

Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja

The federal government is working towards ensuring that pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft are tackled through the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that solves complex problems in ways that are similar to human logic and reasoning, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Ambassador Nicholas Agbo Ella, has said.

A statement issued yesterday by the Director of Information in the ministry, Mrs. Oluwakemi Ogunmakinwa, disclosed that the permanent secretary stated this in his opening remarks at a one-day stakeholders’ engagement with the theme: ‘Mainstreaming Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence into the National Petroleum Policy’, organised by the ministry in Abuja.

The permanent secretary noted that AI is the science and engineering of creating intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs that can process information and produce outcomes autonomously.
He explained that the interactive session would no doubt fill up the gap that still exists in the National Petroleum Policy (NPP) by introducing or mainstreaming Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) into National Petroleum Policy (NPP) for effective operations within Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Director of the Midstream and Downstream Department in the ministry, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar stated that the engagement aimed to explore the transformative potential of advanced technologies in shaping the future of our petroleum industry, saying that in recent years, the world has witnessed an unprecedented acceleration in technological advancements, particularly in the fields of artificial intelligence and machine learning.
“These cutting-edge technologies have the power to revolutionize the way we operate in the Midstream and Downstream sectors, from optimizing supply chains and refining processes to enhancing safety and reliability in our operations.

The adoption of this technology will also help to reduce the security issues affecting the oil and gas infrastructure in our country,”  Abubakar stated.
The director pointed out that the stakeholders’ engagement would delve into various aspects of incorporating machine learning and artificial intelligence into the National Petroleum Policy.

Participants at the event were drawn from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources (MPR), Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), and Federal University of Technology, Minna, while a communiqué would be adopted at the end of the Stakeholders Engagement.

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