Shell turns to AI in hunt for new oil reservoirs

Artificial intelligence (AI) is going to the bottom of the ocean, with oil and gas giant Shell announcing a partnership with big-data analytics firm SparkCognition in an effort to boost offshore oil output.

The companies, which previously partnered in 2019 to predict pressure in wells, will collaborate further in this project, with SparkCognition's AI algorithms being used to process and analyse large amounts of seismic data to help find new oil reservoirs.

The companies said that the goal of the project is to improve operational efficiency and speed while increasing production and success in exploration. They added that the process can shorten explorations from nine months to less than nine days.

The tech promises to generate subsurface images using fewer seismic data scans than usual. They said that using fewer seismic surveys would accelerate exploration workflow and save costs in high-performance computing.

In a statement, Gabriel Guerra, Shell's vice president of innovation and performance, said: "We are committed to finding new and innovative ways to reinvent our exploration ways of working."

Bruce Porter, chief science officer for SparkCognition, added: "Generative AI for seismic imaging can positively disrupt the exploration process and has broad and far-reaching implications."

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