Big tech always seems to be on the side of the environment and on the lookout for alternative energy sources, so why have they teamed up with the oil industry? Experts have predicted that the world will soon run out of accessible and affordable oil. As soon as things look darkest for the industry of fossil fuels, new tech is discovered and implemented to keep the industry going.

oil and tech business
© William Potter /

Big Oil

In the old days of the oil industry, this new tech came in the form of better pumps and drills. Today's new technological advancements in artificial intelligence are showing that computer algorithms can constantly improve on themselves, automating the discovery of new reserves and make extraction a lot easier. 

In 2018, the oil and gas industries spent around $1.75 billion on AI. That sum is expected to grow to $4 billion by 2025. Thanks to Vox, we know big tech companies are reaching out to oil companies, developing AI for them and, at the same time, publicly celebrating their initiatives on sustainable resource initiatives. 

Big Tech?

Vox reached out to Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Total for comment. As can be expected, none of these companies responded. 

The Deals 

Many of these deals marrying big tech to big oil were made in 2018. At the height of public awareness of the threats posed by climate change, AI is being implemented by big tech FOR big oil to streamline, improve and render oil and gas extraction operations much more profitable, according to Gizmodo. These deals are not secret, and many of them have been openly reported in the media, but big tech's new love affair with the fossil fuel industry has, so far, escaped wider public scrutiny and criticism.