Artificial intelligence (AI) is set to have the biggest technological impact on the oil and gas industry over the coming years, according to Microsoft's oil and gas director for the Middle East and Africa.
Speaking at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition Conference (ADIPEC) on Wednesday, Omar Saleh said technology disruptions over the past three years had been a "wake-up call" for all oil and gas firms.
He said AI would be of "massive importance" over the next to five to 10 years, before adding that of any technology, AI would also have the most impact on the oil and gas sector overall.
The U.S. shale revolution paved the way for a three-year oil price downturn that sent crude spiraling from more than $100 a barrel in 2014 to about $60 today. That has piled pressure on the oil-dependent economies of OPEC nations and forced a round of production cuts this year.
On Tuesday, Baker Hughes GE CEO Lorenzo Simonelli said "continuous disruption" in the oil and gas industry should be viewed positively.
Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that Omar Saleh believes AI will have the greatest technological impact on the oil and gas industry over the coming years.