Aramco made an influential showing at the Society of Exploration Geophysicists’ (SEG) annual convention in California, with an array of scientists contributing to more than 35 panels and scientific papers presented at the event that brings together the world’s leading seismic experts.
Geophysicists from Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas attended the October conference to discuss the latest advancements in onshore and offshore exploration, as the industry moves further into digital tools and robotics.
Panels led by Aramco scientists spanned an array of innovation themes. One examined the use of data collected by helicopters to create images of sand dunes. Another looked at a new way to find seismic faults using neural network-based technology. A third talked about using seismic and other real-time data to look ahead of the drill bit to make important geo-steering adjustments on the fly. This panel included a discussion of the DrillCam tool Aramco developed to predict ahead of the bit and see around the drilling activity.
Aramco scientists participated in several other sessions and workshops at this year’s conference. Two of these focused on data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning for geosciences. Weichang Li, senior researcher at Aramco Research Center—Houston was a speaker, panelist and organizer at these sessions. He also gave a tutorial on machine learning.
“There are several areas where data analytics, AI and machine learning can provide a new perspective or advantage when applied to geosciences,” said Li. “These include automated and integrated processing, improved processing performance, new ways to quantify uncertainty, and ultimately, improved decision-making.”
Li said that the geosciences are ripe for AI, which has already been leveraged in other industries such as e-commerce, social media, medical imaging and finance. “Artificial intelligence and machine learning are emerging areas for geoscientists with rapid development that might change industrial practices in many areas,” Li added.
Visitors to the convention were able to see three presentations at the Saudi Aramco booth led by seismic researchers based in Dhahran.
Mohammed Alhussain, petroleum engineer, gave a speech called Quantitative Seismic Integrated Modeling (QSIM) Workflows: Reducing field development uncertainty.
Rashed Ghnaim, geophysicist, spoke to conference attendees about modern three-dimensional technologies for sub-salt imaging in complex marine environments, showing how instruments can be deployed to collect data while working around obstacles such as islands.
Mohammed Bannagi, geophysical specialist, delivered a presentation called “Joint velocity model building and high-resolution depth imaging of full wavefield 3D VSP data.”
The event attracts about 6,000 professionals each year.