Shell Unveils AI Tool To Drill For Gas

On Wednesday, British oil and gas company Shell announced that it will be using artificial intelligence technology provided by UK analytics firm SparkCognition to increase output in its deep-sea oil drilling while accelerating subsurface exploration, Reuters reported.

In a Wednesday press release, the companies announced their “technology collaboration” to use SparkCognition’s generative artificial intelligence technology to increase the pace of exploration and imaging of “subsurface structures.”

The use of generative artificial intelligence will also reduce the costs associated with searching for deep sea oil by creating a faster process.

Shell’s Vice President of Innovation and Performance Gabriel Guerra said in the press release that partnering with SparkCognition and using the company’s expertise in generative artificial intelligence will “deliver a new wave of innovations” for the energy giant.

The more standard approach to analysis and imaging for deep-sea oil exploration requires “terabytes of data,” as well as complex algorithms and computing to “analyze and identify exploration opportunities.”

But generative artificial intelligence technology will create subsurface images that rely on fewer seismic data scans than usual to find deep sea oil, creating a more productive and efficient process, the companies explained.

Seismic technology uses sound waves to explore subsurface areas. Reducing the number of seismic surveys needed not only accelerates exploration but also saves on the cost of high-performance computing.

SparkCognition CEO Lord John Browne explained that in the “quest for a net-zero future,” innovation plays a crucial part and the energy industry has a “vital role in this effort.”

Browne said technological breakthroughs like using artificial intelligence for oil and gas exploration are “instrumental” to meet today’s “growing energy demands” while companies work toward reducing their carbon footprint.