Artificial Intelligence and Geoscience: Total and Google Join Forces

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

Jean-Michel Lavergne
Senior Vice President, Strategy, Business Development, R&D - Exploration & Production

The world is changing. 

Looking ahead, one driver of change will be artificial intelligence. We’re starting to apply it to geosciences, the field that differentiates oil companies from each other. 

Geosciences allow us to find new sources of oil and gas faster and better than our competitors. The purpose of the agreement with Google is to develop systems that make us more efficient.

Today, geoscience interpreters spend more than half their time gathering the data they need to be able to perform the value-added work.

The aim of this A.I. project is to shorten the time our teams spend on prep work so they can focus on value-added tasks.

There’s a lot of work to gather documents, sort them, do the preliminary analytics: Where are the faults? Where are the channels? According to our specialists and Google’s, that work could be done by A.I., allowing our interpreters to sit down at their workstations and get straight to the nuts and bolts.

A.I. is designed for that: managing and sorting big data to provide a usable base. The agreement with Google is a test. We don’t know if we can teach machines to recognize faults on seismic images. We’re giving ourselves two years for proof of concept.

When it comes to faults on seismic images, they're all different, even if adjacent. They don’t necessarily have the same properties. So there’ll be a lot of “recognition” work that will be much more complicated. 

That’s why we decided to go with the best in the business.

Google offers the best partnership format, because we want to work together to jointly develop solutions that work. And Google is the company the farthest ahead in terms of technology. The combination of the two determined our choice.

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