New partner for Ensign consortium (September 1996)

AGIP has joined Ensign's seismic data processing research group working on the application of fuzzy logic and other innovative techniques to aid the oi-board seismic processor.

Founded by Texaco Britain Ltd. and Shell U.K. Exploration and Production, this two year program was initiated to facilitate on-board processing of marine seismics. The research effort is destined to provide assistance via neural network computing, artificial intelligence and pattern recognition software.

Hostile environment

Such technology is intended to enable personnel working in an unfriendly environment to per-form seismic processing tasks at a level comparable to their more experienced land-based counterparts. Ensign is building a software package to automate analysis, parameter selection and management of seismic data. Initial target activities include velocity analysis, noise threshold estimation, data management organization of the processing. Modules will be linked through a comprehensive database of seismic data and attributes. The selected hardware platform for this program is, you've guessed it, Windows NT. This is seen as an attractive solution for data management and analysis. Seismic processing, which is not part of the project, will be performed on systems such as Ensign's IBM SP2. Initially command files are to be generated on the PC pending implementation of a Client Server link to allow direct control of the processing from the PC.

Swords to plowshares

In an analogue of the US swords to plowshares program, UK defense industry establishments such as Winfrith and Harwell will be contributing expertise in the fields of expert systems, neural nets and fuzzy logic to the program. The UK Government through the Oil and Gas Projects and Supplies Office (OSO) is also providing funding for this project. Ensign make a bold claim that all components of the package will be consistent with the recommendations of the Petroleum Open Software Corporation (POSC)". It is clear however that given the seismic focus of this project, it is unlikely that Epicentre will be playing a role in this compliance, which will more likely be focusing on the user interface. Here too, POSC compliance is difficult to justify since

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