French oil major Total and Google Cloud have signed an agreement to jointly develop artificial intelligence (AI) solutions applied to subsurface data analysis for oil and gas exploration and production.
The agreement focuses on the development of AI programs that will make it possible to interpret subsurface images, notably from seismic studies (using Computer Vision technology) and automate the analysis of technical documents (using Natural Language Processing technology). These programs are expected to allow Total’s geologists, geophysicists, reservoir and geo-information engineers to explore and assess oil and gas fields faster and more effectively.
Under the partnership, Total geoscientists will work with Google Cloud’s machine learning experts within the same project team based in Google Cloud’s Advanced Solutions Lab in California.
Marie-Noëlle Semeria, Senior Vice President, Group CTO at Total, stated:
Total is convinced that applying artificial intelligence in the oil and gas industry is a promising avenue to be explored for optimizing our performance, particularly in subsurface data interpretation.
Kevin McLachlan, Senior Vice President Exploration for Exploration & Production at Total, added:
Our ambition is to give our geoscience engineers an AI personal assistant in the next few years that will free them up to focus on high value-added tasks.
Total started applying artificial intelligence to characterize oil & gas fields using machine learning algorithms in the 1990s. In 2013, the company used machine learning algorithms to implement predictive maintenance for turbines, pumps and compressors at its industrial facilities, generating savings of hundred million dollars.