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PETROMAKS2-Stort program petroleum

SmartRocks - Artificial Intelligence improving Digital Rock Technology

Alternative title: SmartRocks - Artificial Intelligence improving Digital Rock Technology

Awarded: NOK 8.2 mill.

The human's future depends on our capacity to stop emitting CO2 to the atmosphere while keeping growing to reduce poverty and improving the quality of life in developing countries. In this scenario, technologies such as Carbon dioxide Capture and Storage (CCS) and a more efficient O&G production will play a very important role. In this project we want to develop a new kind of digital tools, using artificial intelligence, that allows experts in rocks (geologist) and scientist to understand in detail the properties of the underground rocks. For example, we can characterize how much CO2 the rock can hold without any risk of releases to the atmosphere. The whole new technology relies on taking three-dimensional images on a tomography machine (same as the ones used in medicine but looking at micro-meters scale) and using the new artificial intelligence software to process/characterize/interpret different rock properties. In 2021, several papers has been published in scientific journals and conferences, showing the advances in the developed technology. In addition, the cloud platform developed as part of the project has been made available for anyone ( to be able to access these new tools/technology. This mark a big milestone in the project as anyone can now get access/test etc this new technology. This last period we have noticed a constant grow of interest in the project from Academic and industrial environments.

The derivation of rock properties from high-resolution images (Digital Rock Technology) is disruptive as that it can fundamentally change how the industry measures rock properties used to characterize reservoirs production and predict their performance. Petricore and all the partners of this project are world leaders on the characterization of rock properties and active players on the development of the Digital Rocks Technology. Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology has been deployed in many different applications, such as pattern recognition and real-time speech translation with outstanding results. The main idea of this innovation project is to use Deep Learning algorithms to drastically reduce the time and complexity to generate digital 3D models from high-resolution 2D and 3D images. This project is the continuation of a current collaboration between Petricore and NTNU, where we have tested the potential of these new technologies. The SmartRocks project aims to develop the next generation of rock characterization technology in order to not only make a cheaper, faster and more reliable characterization but also to allow industry to work with other materials than cores, since coring represents a significant part of the drilling costs. This new technology is the combination of Artificial Intelligence algorithms to process images and the Digital Rock technology, which includes X-ray and other kind of microscopic 2D and 3D imaging techniques, laboratory measurements and super-computing advanced simulations. The accuracy of the developed methodology will be directly verified on real reservoir rocks provided by the project partners.

Funding scheme:

PETROMAKS2-Stort program petroleum