Training & Technology

Supermajor’s simulation software breakthrough

Electricity supply

ExxonMobil harnessed a record amount of computing power while running its latest complex oil and gas reservoir simulation models.

Working with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, the US supermajor achieved a “major breakthrough” with proprietary software using more than four times the number of processors previously used.

The parallel simulation used 716,800 processors, the equivalent of harnessing the power of 22,400 computers with 32 processors per computer.

ExxonMobil geoscientists and engineers can now make better investment decisions by more efficiently and accurately predicting reservoir performance.

This amounts to dramatic reductions in the amount of time previously taken to study oil and gas reservoirs.

Exxon claim the simulation used the largest number of processor counts used by the oil and gas industry.

Tom Schuessler, president of ExxonMobil’s Upstream Research Company, said: “This breakthrough has unlocked new potential for ExxonMobil’s geoscientists and engineers to make more informed and timely decisions on the development and management of oil and gas reservoirs.

“As our industry looks for cost-effective and environmentally responsible ways to find and develop oil and gas fields, we rely on this type of technology to model the complex processes that govern the flow of oil, water and gas in various reservoirs.”

Reservoir simulation studies are used to guide decisions such as well placement, the design of facilities and development of operational strategies to minimize financial and environmental risk.

model complex processes accurately for the flow of oil, water, and natural gas in the reservoir, simulation software must solve a number of complex equations.

Current reservoir management practices in the oil and gas industry are often hampered by the slow speed of reservoir simulation.

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