robot looking at a well log

New adventures in assisted well log interpretation

It’s been a while since my last update on my work on assisted well log interpretation through machine learning. The good news is that I have been quite busy on the topic in the meantime. In fact, I have been collaborating with Equinor, which is Norway’s biggest oil and gas company as well as an industry partner in my research group CIUS. This collaboration led to a tool for assisted well log interpretation that is now in active use by Equinor’s cased hole logging group. More on that below!

Automatic interpretation of well logs

At CIUS, we’ve recently been working on automatic interpretation of well logs through machine learning. In July, the Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering published this work as an article, which I wrote together with Ioan Alexandru Merciu (Equinor), Lasse Løvstakken (NTNU/CIUS) and Svein-Erik Måsøy (NTNU/CIUS). Our article is open access, so you can always go read the full thing wherever you are. But if you feel like reading a shorter summary instead of a 17-page article, this blog post is for you.

SSPA header

The Proceedings of the 43rd Scandinavian Symposium on Physical Acoustics are out!

As of today, the Proceedings of the 43rd Scandinavian Symposium on Physical Acoustics is out! I was the editor for these proceedings, just like I was for the 42nd and 39th symposia. This year’s proceedings consists of 7 submissions: 5 full papers and 2 extended abstracts. Altogether, the submissions represent 82 pages of sciency goodness.

8 PhD announcements

New PhD positions in ultrasound announced!

Note: These announcements have now expired.

Would you like to be my PhD student? CIUS, the group where I work, just announced 8 new PhD positions. In the project on ultrasonic well log data processing, I will be the main supervisor. Each announcement gives more information about what the project will entail. If you have any more questions about the project I am involved in, please feel free to contact me!

If this sounds interesting to you, then I encourage you to apply! Just go to the announcement(s) that interest(s) you the most, click ‘Apply for this job’, and fill out the required forms to submit your application(s). You can apply for as many PhD positions as you want to; there is no limit. The deadline is on May 31 July 31.

Header for the article "Getting started with acoustic well log data using the dlisio Python library on the Volve Data Village dataset"

Getting started with well log data

Last year, I wrote a post on DLIS files, one of the most common file formats for well log data. In it, I covered a few different approaches to extract data from such files. It seems like many people struggle with this, because that post quickly became my most popular one. Well over a thousand views later, it’s time to follow it up.

I have been working with acoustic well log data since 2018. During that time, I have learned a lot about how to work with such data, and I have been wanting to share my knowledge. To do so, I teamed up with Equinor’s Erlend Hårstad and Jørgen Kvalsvik, developers of the dlisio library. Since January, we have been working on a tutorial on how to use dlisio to work with well log data. As I am an acoustician, the tutorial naturally focuses on acoustic tools. However, much of what we show is general, valid for data from any tool.

We first presented this work at the 43rd Scandinavian Symposium on Physical Acoustics in the end of January. Just last week, we published the article that we wrote for the symposium’s proceedings. Along with it, we published a companion Jupyter Notebook, which contains the code underlying the article and some further details. As of June 2020, you can even run it on Binder, so that you can play with it online without having to download anything.

Molecules push against the walls of a box by bouncing off

What exactly is pressure?

Sound is something that all of us have heard about. What we perceive as sound is really variations in the air pressure on the eardrum. These variations propagate deeper into the ear as vibrations and then into the brain as electrical impulses. Pressure is therefore central to acousticians and everyone else working with sound.

In this post, I want to tell you about where air pressure comes from. This also tells us something about how the nature of air pressure limits how good it is possible for ears and microphones to become.

Well log plot

Extracting data from DLIS files

Update, April 2020: I just published a tutorial on getting started with well log data. It is based on Equinor’s Volve Data Village dataset and their dlisio library, both of which are free and open. You can read more about the tutorial here, or go straight to the tutorial article and its companion Jupyter Notebook.

In my current research project, I am working with two well log datasets from Equinor. The first is a large dataset that they released to CIUS, my research group. The second is a smaller freely available dataset called Volve Data Village. The files in those datasets contain measurements from many of Equinor’s subsea wells on the Norwegian continental shelf. These data files are primarily in the DLIS format, formally known as API RP66.

Even though DLIS is the most common format for well log data today, only a very limited number of programs can read it. In addition, most of these programs are geared towards displaying the data so that log interpreters can analyse it visually. What I need, on the other hand, is full access to the data so that I can run my own computational analyses.

When I started my post-doc around a year ago, I had to figure out how to get the data out of DLIS files so that I could work with it. Since then, I have learned quite a bit about how to read these files. In this post, I want to share some of what I have learned with you.

arXiv proceedings, final

Publishing conference proceedings through arXiv

In 2010, 2016, and 2019, I was responsible for publishing the proceedings of the Scandinavian Symposium on Physical Acoustics. SSPA is a small conference organised every year at Geilo, Norway. It typically has around 50 participants. Most come from Norway, but many also come from other European countries. After the symposium, participants who held a presentation are encouraged to submit articles to the symposium’s proceedings. Typically, these proceedings end up with 5–10 articles.

In 2016 and 2019, I chose to publish the proceedings through the repository This can be a very good approach, because many researchers know and follow arXiv. In addition, academic search engines such as Google Scholar indexes arXiv’s articles. However, there is not that much information available on how to use arXiv to publish proceedings. arXiv does encourage using its repository for conference proceedings and has some relevant help pages available. Unfortunately, these pages pooled together do not give you a clear procedure or tell you all that you should know. Therefore, I will show you the overall procedure that I have followed twice, and discuss some possible pitfalls of publishing proceedings through arXiv.


Acoustic quantities, part 4: Quantities in noise regulations

In this series so far, we have looked at how we use decibels to put numbers on the loudness of sounds (Part 1), how we can compensate for humans hearing some sound frequencies better than others (Part 2), and how we can determine decibel numbers for sounds that vary significantly in time (Part 3). We can consider what we have looked at so far as being building blocks. With these blocks, we can construct the acoustic quantities used in noise regulations throughout the world.

In this fourth and final part, we will look more closely at these more advanced quantities. In Norway, for example, noise regulations use such quantities to define concepts such as red and yellow noise zones. (I will use Norwegian noise regulations as an example throughout this post; these are the ones that I have particular experience with. However, noise regulations in many other countries will be similar.) …

Well logging example

Well logging blog post: “The health of petroleum wells”

I currently work as a post-doc at the Centre of Innovative Ultrasound Solution (CIUS) at NTNU. Here, all the researchers must occasionally write popularised blog posts about their work. It was recently my turn, and I wrote a post titled “The health of petroleum wells”. In that post, I go into what well logging is and what it’s for, and explain some of the aims of my current research project.

You can read my new blog post on the CIUS blog! You can also read some of my earlier work on ultrasonic well logging on my Publications page.

I have taken the header image from Equinor’s free Volve Data Village data set with explicit permission.