Italian supermajor Eni and American information technology giant IBM have revealed the first results of a multiyear collaboration using artificial intelligence (AI) by launching a new research platform to support Eni's decision-making during the initial stages of exploration phase, in order to reduce the exploration risks linked to geological complexity.
The research tool Cognitive Discovery works like an augmented intelligence assistant providing a more realistic and precise representation of the geological model of the subsoil while processing large amounts of geological, physical and geochemical data.
These data sets are processed by Eni into knowledge graphs which use AI to contextualize and present relevant information to geoscientists which will help them in their everyday work as well as improve decision making and the identification and verification of possible alternative scenarios.
As part of Eni’s digital transformation process, the introduction of AI techniques represents an important boost to areas of exploration such as geological and geophysical analysis. The new research platform will facilitate new applications and enable Eni to analyze a huge amount of structured or unstructured data that can be numerical, logical or a combination of the two.
Hydrocarbon exploration is a complex and knowledge-intensive business that involves various engineering and scientific disciplines working together. For the evaluation of a basin, geoscientists analyze large volumes of data from a broad spectrum of sources to assess the likelihood of the presence and potential size of hydrocarbon accumulations. This preliminary interpretative process is crucial to drive the initial assessment of a potential area and to identify viable opportunities for exploration via a drilling campaign.
Eni and IBM said they will continue to work with the Cognitive Discovery platform to extend its document analysis capabilities to new domains such as engineering, reservoirs, and other sources. This will further enlarge its knowledge base and make any subsequent knowledge graphs fit for multiple purposes.
Eni’s Cognitive Discovery is running on premise on an IBM HPC Power 9 cluster installed in the Eni Green Data Center located in Ferrera Erbognone, Pavia, Italy.