Two giants in their respective fields, IBM and Royal Dutch Shell PLC have teamed up to research to find out ways to extend the life of oil and natural gas fields.
Earlier this month, Shell had entered into an oil exploration pact with another technology giant, HP, to develop a next-generation wireless sensing system to acquire extremely high-resolution seismic data on land to find and measure underground reservoirs of oil and gas. (See: Shell, HP to develop seismic sensor system for oil and gas exploration)
Technology giant IBM's long-standing analytics and simulation experience will meet Shell's strong subsurface and reservoir expertise to create a more efficient, more accurate picture of energy recovery, which will help Shell potentially reduce the time and money required to model its reservoirs.
The companies will explore advanced techniques for reconciling geophysical and reservoir engineering field data. As a result of applying improved algorithms, analytics and accelerated simulations, Shell can reduce the educated guesswork and extract natural resources with more certainty and efficiency, thereby optimising the recovery of oil and gas.
"This collaboration is remarkable," said Gerald Schotman, executive vice president of Shell Innovation, Research & Development. "Two industrial research giants are coming together to solve a very specific, real-world problem and make the most of oil and natural gas reservoirs. This will not be done through expensive, experimental facilities, but by bringing together a powerful team and powerful computers so we can be smarter than before."
The complex process of reconciling often-differing views of oil and natural gas fields can take several months to complete and involves measurements of production volumes, flow rates and pressures.