SparkCognition, a global leader in artificial intelligence (AI) software solutions perfected for business, today announced a technology collaboration with Shell to accelerate the pace of imaging and exploration of subsurface structures using generative AI technology. By using advanced AI algorithms to process large amounts of data and automate the analysis, we aim to improve the efficiency and speed of exploration workflows, leading to potentially increased production and higher success rates.
The traditional approach to subsurface imaging and data analysis is time-intensive and costly, relying on terabytes of data, high-performance computing, and complex physics-based algorithms to analyze and identify exploration opportunities. The proprietary generative AI approach being developed by Shell and SparkCognition uses deep learning to generate reliable subsurface images using far fewer seismic shots—as little as 1% in completed field trials—than traditionally necessary while preserving subsurface image quality. This offers substantial workflow acceleration and HPC cost-saving opportunities, opening the door to novel applications and further innovation.
“The technology collaboration is part of Shell Exploration’s broader digital innovation goals, which seeks to leverage cutting-edge technologies to improve safety, efficiency, and sustainability across its operations,” said Gabriel Guerra, Vice President of Innovation & Performance at Shell. “We are committed to finding new and more innovative ways to reinvent our exploration ways of working. Collaborating with SparkCognition and leveraging their expertise in generative AI is opening an exciting opportunity to deliver a new wave of innovation at Shell.”
“Innovation is crucial in the quest for a net-zero future, and the oil and gas industry will play a vital role in this effort. Breakthroughs, like the use of AI for exploration, are instrumental to meeting the growing energy demands today as we work to reduce our carbon footprint tomorrow,” said Lord John Browne, Chairman of SparkCognition. “I applaud Shell and SparkCognition on achieving this key milestone as oil and gas will be a critical part of our energy mix for decades to come, and finding the most efficient and sustainable way possible to identify new reserves is essential.”
The patented approach to O&G exploration is being applied to other complex problems where a reduction of data and time can have significant implications. This includes opportunities in on-shore exploration, satellite imaging for weather patterns, national security, and threat assessment.
“We are thrilled to partner with Shell to bring the power of generative AI technology to oil and gas exploration,” said Bruce Porter, Chief Science Officer, SparkCognition. “Generative AI for seismic imaging can positively disrupt the exploration process and has broad and far-reaching implications across industries—driving greater efficiencies, lower cost, and accentuating sustainability initiatives.”