Speaking at the GEO 2014 conference in Bahrain earlier this year, Shell CTO Matthias Bichsel looked to the future of geoscience in oil and gas in his keynote, ‘Taking geoscience beyond the conventional.’ Bichsel spoke of Shell’s ‘rejuvenate opportunity now’ internal workshops on hydrocarbons formation where old timers meet with the new generation of explorers. Coming up with new plays involves dogma busting, and is done ‘old school’ with no iPads, just coloured pencils and maps.
Elsewhere, focus on standard, scalable technology has reduced the time to first oil. Shell currently has seven technology ‘thrusts’ scheduled for worldwide deployment. The company appears to eschew ‘buy not build’ and continues with GeoSigns, its own brand interpretation platform. GeoSigns incorporates 29 proprietary seismic interpretation technologies used to analyze time-lapse surveys and locate shale sweet spots by some 1,200 Shell employees. Bichsel also mentioned a joint venture with China’s CNPC to develop a ‘conveyor belt’ approach to factory drilling.
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