Shell, IBM sign R&D outsourcing agreement

Joint program to investigate ‘predictive analytics’ application to oil and gas production.

Shell and IBM have launched a joint R&D program to investigate the application of ‘predictive analytics’ to oil and gas production. Shell expects to improve its reservoir modeling by ‘combining its subsurface and reservoir expertise with IBM’s analytics and simulation experience.’ The companies are to explore ‘advanced techniques for reconciling geophysical and reservoir engineering field data’ to ‘reduce the educated guesswork’ inherent in today’s workflows. Shell’s Gerald Schotman said, ‘This will not be done through expensive experimental facilities, but by bringing together a team and powerful computers so we can be smarter than before.’

The broad-reaching program includes time-lapse seismic, subsurface measurements, production, well and laboratory data. The partners are to ‘reformulate and automate’ the task of reconciling all of the above in an ‘enhanced, yet practical, mathematical model.’ The results will become part of Shell’s proprietary reservoir modeling tool kits for application in new oil and natural gas developments as well as existing assets. More from

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