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Data-driven Energy Transition: Why is subsurface data so critical for success?

The amount of digital subsurface and geoscience data has grown exponentially over the past few decades with many companies, researchers and government organizations dealing with rapidly growing Petabyte-scales of data. On the other hand, hardware, storage solutions, technical applications and data management utilities have not kept up with these developments. This has resulted in a big gap and hampers the use of AI and data-driven workflows in complex subsurface projects, be it in hydrocarbon exploration and development, geothermal energy projects, CCS, H2-exploration & storage and the search for nuclear waste sites, but also integrated scientific research programs.

The Open Subsurface Data Universe (OSDUTM) project aims to address these critical challenges and has already resulted in fundamental changes to the way data is managed. OSDUTM is a consortium of over 230 companies and organizations that pool their expertise in geoscience, software development, data center management and associated services to address the challenges via an open-source and cloud-agnostic data platform. Government organizations, geological surveys and universities are also participating in the project. The main drivers behind geoscience data standardization and separating data from applications are the expected benefits for integration, simplification and automation of complex subsurface modelling and project workflows as well as the facilitation of AI/ML opportunities enabled via the data platform.

This talk will demonstrate why subsurface data and the OSDUTM data platform will play a critical role in the energy transition towards net zero emissions with the subsurface as a key component - even after the era of hydrocarbons.


Jürgen Grötsch1
1Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen, Germany
GeoBerlin 2023