A Houston-based tech startup focused on artificial intelligence in the oil and gas industry is planning to expand its operations and go on a hiring spree after closing a $15 million Series B funding round.

Leahy said engineers typically have two options for determining the future production rates and structure of an oil reserve: using mathematical computations to make predictions, which lacks certainty, or using more expensive and advanced 3D modeling that is more accurate but takes months to produce results.

More A-I: Backed by Big Oil, tech startup Maana launches partnership with Microsoft.

Its software products combine machine learning and artificial intelligence with the physics of how oil, water and injected fluids flow in the subsurface.

The software also allows engineers to quickly predict mechanical equipment failure, relationships between completion design and initial production and how the reservoir will respond to the injection of water, steam and other substances used in oil production.

Tachyus customers range from small independent oil and gas companies, to state-owned oil companies and a large super major oil company.

“Leveraging the strength of machine learning and AI are really expanding the scope of technical problems oil and gas operators can attack,” Leahy said.