Artificial Intelligence and Geoscience Total and Google Join Forces to Develop AI Solution

Editor: Alexander Stark

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.

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Total and Google join forces on AI project
Total and Google join forces on AI project
(Source: Pixabay / CC0 )

Paris/France — 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 would allow Total’s geologists, geophysicists, reservoir and geo-information engineers to explore and assess oil & gas fields faster and more effectively, the company said in a statement. Under this partnership, the oil company's geoscientists will work side-by-side 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 announced in a statement that Total was convinced that applying artificial intelligence in the oil and gas industry was a promising avenue to be explored for optimizing their performance, particularly in subsurface data interpretation. This project builds on the strategy being developed at Total, where AI is already used, for example, in predictive maintenance at facilities.

Artificial Intelligence Applied to Exploration & Production

The French group started applying artificial intelligence to characterize oil & gas fields using machine learning algorithms in the 1990s. In 2013, they used machine learning algorithms to implement predictive maintenance for turbines, pumps and compressors at its industrial facilities, thus generating savings of several hundred million dollars. Today, teams are exploring multiple machine learning and deep learning applications such as production profile forecasting, automated analysis of satellite images or analysis of rock sample images.

Jean-Michel Lavergne, Senior Vice President, Strategy, Business Development, R&D at Total Exploration & Production, explains in this video that the partnership aims to use artificial intelligence to interpret subsoil data.