The 2018 Oil and Gas Machine Learning Symposium took place on 27 September, 2018 in Houston, Texas at the Royal Sonesta hotel. The sold out, full-day event hosted professionals from across the oil and gas industry and major tech companies, as well as students and academia. The symposium explored topics on developments and applications of AI and Machine Learning in upstream, which are already having a major impact on the industry. Speakers included thought-leaders from companies that are pioneering machine learning, including Amazon, Anadarko, Geophysical Insights, IBM, Microsoft, Nvidia, Shell, Repsol, TGS, and others. The symposium received delegates representing geoscientists, engineers, data scientists, and managers from BP, BHP Billiton, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Halliburton, Schlumberger, and more.

Representatives of Big Tech and Oil & Gas shared how machine learning, cloud computing, GPU computing, and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) are being used to transform workflows in E&P. The event kicked off with a networking breakfast followed by a plenary session with an outstanding slate of speakers and topics, including:

John Adamick, SVP of Data and Analytics | TGS
Dr. Sumit Gupta, VP of AI and Machine Learning | IBM
Satyen Yadav, General Manager – Machine Learning | Amazon
Dr. Mauricio Araya, Sr. Researcher, Computer Science | Shell

Dr. Tom Smith, the founder and CEO of Geophysical Insights, the company that develops and markets the Paradise® machine learning software, spoke over lunch on “Machine Learning – New Tools and Thinking”. The afternoon breakout sessions were organized in three tracks:  Machine Learning Technology, Machine Learning Applications, and Machine Learning Strategies. Talks garnering the highest attendance were given by Dr. Christian Noll, Geoscience Manager, Advanced Analytics & Emerging Technology at Anadarko, Preston Cody, Head of Analytics Lab at Wood Mackenzie, and Paul Holzhauer, Director of Oil & Gas at Nvidia. An engaging panel discussion on The Impact of Machine Learning on the Roles of Scientists and Engineers followed the breakout sessions and was moderated by Dr. Tom Smith of Geophysical Insights.  A networking reception capped off the event where speakers and attendees had opportunities to mix and to discuss the day’s presentations.

Feedback on the symposium was excellent and received high marks on technical content, networking opportunities, and event organization. Randy Hunt, Sr. Staff Geophysicist at Range Resources, who spoke in the Machine Learning Applications track, had this to say about the event: “I found the symposium very valuable. It gave me an appreciation of both the short and long-term impacts of machine learning technology on our business. This was high value for the time/money investment.”

Geophysical Insights ( was the hosting sponsor for the event and Partner Sponsors included the SEG, Geophysical Society of Houston, the AAPG, and RCL Systems. The symposium was produced by Advertas (  in Houston, Texas.

Additional highlights from the 2018 Oil & Gas Machine Learning Symposium can be found at