Trans-Atlantic VR first

November 18, 1998, 15:05 CET

The world's first virtual-reality (VR) collaboration by an oil company across the Atlantic is being unveiled by Statoil today.

Joint work on sophisticated three-dimensional models of subsea oil and gas reservoirs has been made possible with the opening of a new Advanced Visualisation Centre at the group's Stavanger head office.

Embracing the finest technology in its field, this facility was opened with a demonstration link between Stavanger and Landmark's corresponding centre in Houston, Texas.

"Our centre marks a breakthrough," says Adolfo Henriquez, project manager for Statoil's Score project on developing new working modes among geoscientists and engineers with the aid of new technology.

"Using the facility in collaborative efforts aimed at gaining better understanding of resources world-wide will allow us to recover more oil and gas.

"Opportunities for global cooperation mean that geoscientists in Baku in Azerbaijan or Caracas in Venezuela can interact through VR with specialists in Stavanger on understanding and developing petroleum resources."

Work in Score seeks to enhance value creation in Statoil's core assets through improved accuracy and resource utilisation in exploring for and developing fields.

"Without the assistance of our capable partners, the centre would hardly have been possible" says Mr Henriquez.

He highlights the contribution of Landmark, a Halliburton subsidiary, which has helped to develop the three-dimensional visualisation technology used by the centre in cooperation with Silicon Graphics.

And Norwegian telecommunications group Telenor has contributed communication solutions enabling global collaboration.

As a world leader in the reservoir visualisation area, Statoil has drawn on the experience gained from such work in designing its new centre and in its choice of technical solutions.

"We've also taken the initiative on establishing a consortium to collaborate over future development of new modes of cooperation and technology for this purpose," says Mr Henriquez.

Trond Bergø is manager for the Stavanger centre, which has cost NOK 15 million. Mr Henriquez reports that it is fully booked for several weeks ahead, and expects cooperation in this setting to make a big contribution to value creation.