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France’s Total and search engine giant Google have signed an agreement to use artificial intelligence (AI), enabling the oil major to assess oil and gas fields faster

Under the agreement, the companies will develop AI programs to interpret subsurface images from seismic studies and automate the analysis of technical documents.

The programs will allow Total’s engineers to speed up their assessment of oil and gas fields.

Companies across sectors have been leveraging automation and machine learning to speed up processes, cut costs and keep staff focussed on high-value tasks.

Total’s scientists and Google Cloud’s machine learning experts will work as a team based in Google’s Advanced Solutions Lab in California.

“Total is convinced that applying artificial intelligence in the oil and gas industry is a promising avenue to be explored for optimizing our performance, particularly in subsurface data interpretation. We are excited to work with Google Cloud towards this goal. This builds on the strategy being developed at Total, where AI is already used, for example, in predictive maintenance at facilities,” said Marie-Noëlle Semeria, senior vice president, group CTO at Total.

“We believe that the combination of Total’s geoscience expertise and Google’s artificial intelligence skills will ensure the project’s success. Our ambition is to give our geoscience engineers an AI personal assistant in the next few years that will free them up to focus on high value-added tasks,” said Kevin McLachlan, senior vice president exploration for exploration & production at Total.

“We are thrilled to welcome Total in our Advanced Solutions Labs for the development of AI solutions. We are keen to engage our best AI engineers to work with Total’s geosciences’ experts,” said Paul-Henri Ferrand, president of global customer operations, Google Cloud.