Julio Gómez
Vice President of Strategic Accounts
Ikon Science
View from the Top

Efficient, Accurate Solutions on The Spot

Tue, 01/21/2020 - 14:59

Q: What added value does Ikon Science bring to the table in the upstream segment?

A: Ikon Science’s strength is helping our clients understand in the simplest terms where they should drill their next well. We offer a similar range of products and technologies as some of our competitors but our Ji-Fi (Joint Impedance and Facies Inversion) software system really sets us apart. This technology combines seismic and well data, with rock physics and other geological information to predict subsurface rock types and properties of interest. This is an interesting product because it approaches seismic inversion from a unique aspect, eliminating the need for structural background modeling to get low frequencies. In the case of Ji-Fi, the low frequency model is obtained from depth trends at the wells on a per facies basis. When I first joined the company, our rock physics services were delivered by a third-party software. Because Ikon Science had its own in-house developers, it made sense to develop our own seismic inversions. It was during this process that the limitations of traditional inversion processes were realized, and the first concepts of Ji-Fi were born. Although Ikon Science’s traditional customer base has been in deepwater offshore, which is directly applicable to Mexico’s current oil and gas operations, there are also big benefits to the onshore unconventional market. Particularly the combination of geopressure, geomechanics, and rock physics allow the quantitative interpreter to monitor all these aspects with just one package. This might be the country’s next step.

Q: What are the main advantages for a customer implementing the Ji-Fi software?

A: A more informed solution is immediately delivered. One of the outputs is the facies volume, along with traditional impedance and density volumes, are delivered jointly. Comparing this to the traditional workflows we are able to incorporate rock physics information into the inversion process on a per facies basis. Another benefit of Ji-Fi is that it is easier to maintain an evergreen background model. For instance, if a company drills a new well and introduces it into our model, they can immediately see if the new well fits the established trends. In addition, the model can be adapted to wildcat areas because the well information that we use does not necessarily have to be within the seismic volume being used. We are able to include information from outside volumes, for example if there is a well close to our area of interest, we can use that information to include in the background trend. We have had some clients that have used basin models to feed into our software and get background trends. I cannot think of another technology that can achieve the same results.

Q: What are the main hurdles of introducing innovative technology into the market?

A: It really depends on the consumer. For instance, when working with PEMEX, the NOC is already a large corporation with scientists who can take the time to look at any technology, understand how it works and make an informed decision. For smaller customers, the main hurdle is the fact that they do not have this team within their organization. These companies do not tend to be big software users; they are more serviceoriented because they do not have the required staff to use this technology. The early adopters of this technology were midsized companies that were mostly led by individual scientists who recognized the potential of the product.

Q: How do you expect technologies like AI and machine learning to change your business?

A: We are already present in the AI and machine learning segment, especially after acquiring Perigon Solutions, the leading company for surface wellbore data management and visualization solutions. We will use Perigon’s iPoint product, a data management system, as the basis to plug in some of the machine learning and AI add-ons. The ability to analyze large amounts of data quickly will provide significant value to the industry. Employing cloud computing also allows us near unlimited processing power. We definitely expect AI and machine learning to be added to reservoir characterization QA workflows. This will be the industry’s next step.


Ikon Science develops pioneering geo-prediction software technology and solutions to help customers unlock superior outcomes at a reduced cost and cycle time. Its technology helps achieve higher hit rates and faster production from simpler wells.