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Visionarium for Trondheim

October 8, 1999, 10:00 CEST

The most advanced Statoil visualisation and sensing laboratory - or "visionarium" - opens today, 8 October, at the group's research centre in Trondheim.

Advanced models of oil and gas fields or seismic maps can be studied on a curved screen measuring nine by 2.5 metres.

This screen is capable of showing large composite images or two-three pictures side by side. Donning three-dimensional spectacles gives a researcher an in-depth perspective on sub-surface structures.

Images can be manipulated and studied from every angle with the aid of a "space mouse" with six degrees of freedom. A 3D surround sound system accompanies the pictures and visualises sub-surface phenomena through audio data.

The idea of establishing the lab comes from Håkon Rueslåtten and Bjørn Sæther, who emphasise the opportunities it provides for integrating and visualising data brought together from several disciplines.

They also expect that communication with other visualisation centres in the group will open the way to new and effective cooperative processes.

Unlike previous Statoil visualisation centres, the visionarium allows users to utilise disciplines beyond geology and geophysics - including materials technology, production equipment, well and production data and refining processes.

According to the experts, the biggest gains should lie in an improved understanding of sub-surface conditions. That could enhance the discovery factor in exploration drilling as well as improving production planning and management.

The visionarium is primarily being used in the upstream area at present. But more applications are expected to emerge as the technology becomes better known.