A systematic review of data science and machine learning applications to the oil and gas industry

Zeeshan Tariq, Murtada Saleh Aljawad, Amjed Hasan, Mobeen Murtaza, Emad Mohammed, Ammar El-Husseiny, Sulaiman A. Alarifi, Mohamed Mahmoud, Abdulazeez Abdulraheem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


This study offered a detailed review of data sciences and machine learning (ML) roles in different petroleum engineering and geosciences segments such as petroleum exploration, reservoir characterization, oil well drilling, production, and well stimulation, emphasizing the newly emerging field of unconventional reservoirs. The future of data science and ML in the oil and gas industry, highlighting what is required from ML for better prediction, is also discussed. This study also provides a comprehensive comparison of different ML techniques used in the oil and gas industry. With the arrival of powerful computers, advanced ML algorithms, and extensive data generation from different industry tools, we see a bright future in developing solutions to the complex problems in the oil and gas industry that were previously beyond the grip of analytical solutions or numerical simulation. ML tools can incorporate every detail in the log data and every information connected to the target data. Despite their limitations, they are not constrained by limiting assumptions of analytical solutions or by particular data and/or power processing requirements of numerical simulators. This detailed and comprehensive study can serve as an exclusive reference for ML applications in the industry. Based on the review conducted, it was found that ML techniques offer a great potential in solving problems in almost all areas of the oil and gas industry involving prediction, classification, and clustering. With the generation of huge data in everyday oil and gas industry activates, machine learning and big data handling techniques are becoming a necessity toward a more efficient industry.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4339-4374
Number of pages36
JournalJournal of Petroleum Exploration and Production Technology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Generated from Scopus record by KAUST IRTS on 2023-09-20

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Energy
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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