Supercomputer boosts drilling success

September 15, 1998, 09:00 CEST

A newly-acquired supercomputer will contribute to increasing the success rate for Statoil's exploration wells.

Being supplied by US company Silicon Graphics, this RealityCenter machine is also expected to help in developing more exact forecasts of likely production from a well.

It will be installed in early October at the Statoil core (Score) project in the group's Stavanger head office.

"This machine gives us the chance to improve well siting," explains Score project manager Adolfo Henriquez. "The aim is to improve the success of our exploration and production drilling."

Called an Onyx 2 Infinite Reality, the new supercomputer will provide a common technological platform for specialist teams studying the sub-surface.

It creates an environment where geologists, geophysicists, petroleum engineers and drilling engineers can work together through a common three-dimensional visualisation of a model. The latter is shown on a curved screen measuring eight metres wide.

This approach demands a high-capacity machine, Mr Henriquez explains. The new supercomputer can analyse a thousand times more data simultaneously than earlier devices.

It has a formidable eight gigabytes in internal memory, while a conventional home PC seldom has more than 64 megabytes of RAM.