Q&A with the XCover Team
Insights on how XCover is driving innovation in energy and exploration
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XCover, a Studio X company, creates pathways to accelerate results for energy and exploration projects. Over the past year we’ve launched more than 12 projects tackling some of the energy industries toughest problems. And our growing, global community of geoscientists and energy industry experts have come up with solutions to these problems that offer new perspectives and are helping to accelerate the pace of innovation in the energy and exploration space.
We sat down with Tracy Jones Martin, XCover Program Director and Studio X’s Head of Operations, Alice Hildick, to talk about XCover and why it’s one of the most exciting places to find exploration projects right now.
XCover launched a ton of energy and exploration projects this year. How did you make that happen?
Alice: We increased our staff this year, and we’ve focused on automating data management and commercial operations processes in order to speed up project timelines.We’ve also focused on growing our community of geoscientists and energy industry experts. The focus in those areas has enabled us to scale the number of projects we’ve been able to launch.
What are the types of energy innovation problems community members should expect to tackle in the XCover projects?
Tracy: Around half of the projects look at how our community can leverage tools to de-risk or polarize exploration opportunities. Often these projects need special expertise for deeper insight or we need unique perspectives from energy industry experts to remove biases. Other problems that our projects address include topics such as appraisal and opportunity generation.
Looking at past XCover projects, which ones have helped accelerate the rate of innovation in the energy industry?
Alice: The XCover projects that involve analyzing old data in new ways always provide some really innovative solutions.
Tracy: I think “innovation” at XCover is really the result of leveraging our community of geoscientists and energy industry experts to bring their expertise. The most innovative results come out of the nuance and insights that might not have been exposed or revealed without this collaborative process.
Which kinds of energy and exploration projects get you most excited?
Alice: True exploration in frontier areas is always fun, and building or organizing complex data to make it impactful is also an exciting challenge. However my favorite projects are in the energy transition space — there is so much creative energy in those new workflows.
Tracy: I’m excited about using traditional subsurface skills for evaluating CO2 storage in the near term. And for implementing new machine learning workflows to speed up and enhance the evaluation processes.
Which kinds of XCover projects should new members of the community or people new to the energy space be looking to apply for?
Alice: We have several projects designed around improving machine learning models, which often need labeling of major features. Those are a great place to start because you get exposed to many images of common geologic features, such as faults.
What’s your advice for geoscientists and energy industry experts looking to join the XCover community?
Tracy: Think like a small and medium-sized enterprise, but bring your combined energy industry experience and skills to the problem solving.
Alice: XCover is designed to bring external perspectives, and provide new, innovative ways of working in each challenge. In fact, XCover community members are not limited to working on the projects we release at xcover.ai — we also have opportunities to suggest your own challenge. Just click the “Host a Project” button to get started or contact us at email@example.com.
But for any challenge, if you start with applying your individual creativity and workflows to the projects, that is the foundation for delivering a successful solution to helping accelerate innovation in the energy industry.