Edinburgh start-up Cognitive Geology announces $1.2m Shell contract

CognitiveEdinburgh-based Cognitive Geology has secured a $1.2m contract with Shell which will see its mapping software deployed to every geologist in the oil and gas company. A second deal, the value of which has not been disclosed, has been struck with oil field services firm Baker Hughes.

Founded by geologist Luke Johnson in 2014, Cognitive Geology designs and builds specialist software for geoscientists in the oil and gas industries, improving accuracy in finding, appraising and developing oil and gas reserves.

The business recently raised a $2.7m seed funding round from Maven Capital Partners and Enzo Ventures to promote its geological data analysis and develop a range of products for the oil and gas industry.

A niche but lucrative market, the geoscience software industry is estimated to be worth $4.5bn annually and this figure is predicted to double over the next few years as antiquated software is replaced by next-generation technology.

A spokesperson for Cognitive Geology said that Shell had a long history of "backing winners in the oilfield technology space, helping drive sector innovation by backing disruptive founding teams". One product used early in its life Shell is now estimated to generate close to £1bn a year.

Based within Edinburgh's thriving technology scene, and with a US subsidiary and employees in the Netherlands, Cognitive Geology has plans to disrupt the geoscience software industry.

“Much of the technology used currently by geoscientists is antiquated, and here in Scotland we have the talent and ambition to challenge this," said Johnson.

"Having one of the biggest corporations in the world using one of our products, confirms to us that as a start-up we can compete with the established behemoths in the industry.”

Cognitive was recently joined by one of Scotland’s technology scene leaders, Eileen McLaren, formerly vice-president of engineering for FanDuel and engineering manager at SkyScanner.