Geological Multi-scenario Reasoning



In the oil and gas industry, during exploration prospect assessment, explorationists rely on ad hoc manual work practices and tools for developing and communicating multiple hypothetical geological scenarios of the prospect. This leaves them with little efficient means to make the fullest use of state of the art digital technologies to communicate and systematically compare and assess different hypothetical geological scenarios before deciding which scenario to pursue. In this paper, we present a formal framework for geological multi-scenario reasoning, a novel tool-based method for geologically oriented subsurface evaluation. The methodology applies formal methods and logic-based techniques to subsurface evaluation and expresses interpretive uncertainty as discrete scenarios with branches of potential alternatives. This framework consists of (i) a proto-scenario generator that takes user observations and geological evidence as input and generates semantically valid initial states based on formalized geological knowledge in first-order logic (ii) geological processes formalized as a rewrite theory that are executable in Maude. By applying geological rewrite rules onto the proto-scenarios, we are able to assist explorationists with multi-scenario generation and reasoning beyond human capacity.