Gazprom Neft utilising neural networks in exploratory drilling

Specialists at Gazprom Neft’s Science and Technology Centre, together with the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), have developed a self-learning programme allowing the identification of geological properties at new fields. Implementing the project means the company can save tens of millions of rubles by optimising the volume of research that can be undertaken, as well as improving quality in determining reserves.

The only way of physically examining formations at a field is through the process of extracting a core sample through exploratory drilling, from a depth of several thousand metres. This very high-cost procedure is, currently, practically the only means of analysing a formation for the presence of properties at new fields without taking new core samples. Gazprom Neft specialists will now be able to analyse “digital doubles” of core samples collated from a single “machine -learning” database bringing together the company’s total cumulative experience in exploratory drilling.

This new technology has been developed in conjunction with the MITP, which developed the programming code for it. Specialists from the Gazprom Neft Technology Centre were responsible for oversight of the project, as well as adapting programme algorithms to address various oil and gas industry practical challenges. This development will be integrated into the Gazprom Neft “Electronic Asset Development (EAD)” programme.*

Mars Khasanov, Director of the Gazprom Neft Science and Technology Centre, commented: “Gazprom Neft holds a leading position in the digitalisation of Russia’s oil and gas industry. Neural networks and machine learning means we are able to process enormous volumes of data. Unique knowledge and experience in analysing core samples has been accumulated within the company which, thanks to modern technologies, is now accessible to all relevant specialists at Gazprom Neft.”

Notes for editors

“Electronic Asset Development (EAD)” is Gazprom Neft’s strategy for developing upstream IT projects, covering all major functions including geological exploration, geology, drilling, production and in-field facilities construction. Implementation of the programme was initiated in 2012 and later integrated into Gazprom Neft’s Technological Strategy in 2014 as one of its key areas of focus. The strategy was updated in 2017 in response to new production and business challenges facing Gazprom Neft subsidiaries. Thirty projects are currently in hand under the EAD initiative.