Digital Geology and the upstream business — using virtual and augmented reality technologies for subsurface capability building and collaboration
‘Digital Geology’ has recently been developed at Shell’s Subsurface Learning Faculty where geological outcrops are brought into the office environment and augmented reality techniques are used with real geological exhibits (rock slabs, cores, fossils) to provide the experience of hands-on reservoir characterization work combined with digital overlays. Five geological exhibits, representing different scales of geological analysis and investigation (ranging from ‘basin-scale’ to ‘grain-scale’), have been constructed and integrated through interactive exercises in the existing learning programmes in Shell. The success of complex upstream projects is critically influenced by the ability of geoscientists to understand: 1 Regional basin architecture and petroleum systems in exploration 2 Subsurface reservoir architecture, impact on fluid flow and related uncertainties in production Such success depends on how the above knowledge is communicated among various expertise holders involved in upstream projects. Good collaboration is based on the subsurface complexity being shared effectively among all stakeholders. This is often a significant challenge owing to the lack of adequate means to build required integration capabilities within project or technology teams. Shell has identified novel ways of learning to address such challenges but has also realized the opportunities digitalisation can offer nowadays. Digital Geology is Shell’s approach to address this in a structured and comprehensive way by introducing innovative ways of learning, collaboration and communication aimed at improved integration within the upstream business.