RTM: Essential Imaging for the Oil and Gas Sector

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Reverse time migration (RTM) modeling is a critical component in the seismic processing workflow of oil and gas exploration. RTM imaging enables more accurate imaging in areas of complex structures and velocities by gathering a two-way acoustic image of seismic data in place of a one-way image. As this definition implies, it means creating and analyzing much more data with every seismic model, something that can be incredibly daunting — traditional simulations are already complex and require significant resources. RTM comes in many flavors and is rapidly evolving. Its growth is driving increased geophysical processing requirements: vertical transverse isotropy, tilted transversely isotropic media, least squares/residual shot RTM (aka … [Read more...]

Exascale Computing for Seismic Exploration

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The exascale race — toward machines capable of executing 1 quintillion (1018) operations per second — is well under way. The U.S., Japan, China and Europe have all established programs to enable exascale capabilities by around 2020. In the U.S., leading the charge toward significant HPC milestones usually falls to the Department of Energy (DOE): Both its Office of Science and the National Nuclear Security Administration have significant interest in and benefit from ever-increasing levels of modeling, simulation and data-processing capabilities for a variety of applications. Both can leverage critical resources (facilities and people), institutional expertise and deep know-how, if not intellectual property, in this pursuit. Not all … [Read more...]

Discussions at the Rice Conference Highlight Role of HPC Systems in Oil & Gas

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I just came back from the annual Oil and Gas High Performance Computing (HPC) Workshop hosted by Rice University and can say the event has grown rapidly to where it has become a broad investigation of the use and role of HPC in the Oil & Gas segment. In terms of attendance, the conference impressed with more than 300 registrants. For the first time, it also featured “Lightning Talks”; those rapid-fire, few slides, special effects, big font size presentations so beloved by the West Coast/Silicon Valley computer industry. (Perhaps next year, we’ll see some VCs showing up? The HPC industry in Oil & Gas is certainly big enough and innovating dramatically enough to warrant their presence). At such events, it’s customary to focus on … [Read more...]

Another Exciting Year

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As we near the end of 2013, Cray is closing out one of the most transformative years in our long and proud history. In just this year alone, we successfully integrated two strategic acquisitions, won a number of large supercomputing contracts at customer sites around the world, significantly expanded our business and portfolio of solutions, continued to build the financial strength of the company, and added a host of highly-talented individuals to our team. It’s been quite a year! Since the early days of our company, starting with our iconic founder Seymour Cray, we have been a trusted partner to customers around the world with a commitment to do two things really well:  be focused on their success and help them to see around the next … [Read more...]

Computing Models Advancing as Oil and Gas Industry Demands Change

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The oil and gas industry has long been among the leading practitioners of supercomputing technology, as 3D seismic data processing has been a staple of the sector for years. Recent developments in the industry have added additional layers of complexity and opportunity that promise to improve exploration and production operations - Permanent Reservoir Monitoring, or PRM. In the past, the development plan for a newly discovered field was based entirely on the original seismic data, observations made by the discovery and subsequent wells. In the previous two decades, it had been demonstrated at more than twenty producing fields around the world that when 3D seismic surveys were repeated two or three times a year it was possible to detect … [Read more...]