Russian oil and gas company Gazprom Neft has signed a research cooperation agreement with IBM Research Brazil to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance geological information processing.

The agreement will see more than 30 Gazprom Neft research geologists and IBM Research Brazil machine-learning research scientists collaborate and share their expertise in the Cognitive Geologist research project.

A digital project by the Gazprom Neft Science and Technology Centre, Cognitive Geologist focuses on optimising geophysical information and geological data processing by integrating various data procured at multiple stages of the exploration cycle.

Gazprom Neft Science and Technology Centre CEO and head of technology directorate Mars Khasanov said: “As part of Gazprom Neft’s Technology Strategy, we are paying particular attention to developing digital projects in exploration and production.

“Together with leading international companies we are developing the oil production tools of the future.”

“Together with leading international companies we are developing the oil production tools of the future.”

The scope of work includes the development of knowledge-enhanced machine learning, which substitutes existing geological models with deep-neural networks and combines it with advanced probabilistic reasoning techniques.

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The process will help in optimising analytical processes and support model creation for exploration. Gazprom Neft aims to automate routine operations and enhance the geological and geophysical data analyses used in oil exploration and production activities with these technologies.

IBM Research Brazil director Ulisses Mello said: “At the IBM Research Natural Resources practice, it is our mission to collaborate with leading Oil and Gas partners to ensure that the industry benefits from the application of the most advanced AI technologies by maximising its ability to deal with the challenges and opportunities presented by the ever growing amounts of data generated in the exploration and production activities.”