In recent years, the international E&P sector has benefited intensively from the datafication of the industry. Large data volumes on geological characteristics of subterranean reservoirs and updates every second from wells simplify the creation of efficient wells and facilitate accurate forecasts on secured reserves and future discoveries. However, dealing with big data also entails challenges: the transfer and processing of large-scale data packages is highly time-consuming. DEA’s Reservoirs and IT departments searched for a solution to accelerate the pace of calculating reservoir models – and succeeded in doing so.
Reservoir models combine extensive seismic, geological and geophysical data from the underground that show whether – and if so, where – oil and gas can be found. They constitute the foundations for DEA’s position papers and play a decisive role particularly in dialogue with consortium partners.
Each model consists of over 100 elements of 2-3 gigabytes each – with the raw data of a single model reaching up to 300 gigabytes. The calculation of about 100 simulations takes about 100 days using conventional software and hardware. “To be able to carry out such simulations in a considerably shorter period of time, we would require a robust, highly flexible and scalable system ready for deployment on our part at short notice. On considering the technical and economic factors involved, it soon became clear that this would have to be an external solution,” says Christian Jespersen, General Manager Reservoirs at DEA.
The service provider Rock Flow Dynamics offers a solution for Cloud-based, dynamic reservoir simulations by using High Performance Computing. The Cloud is the interface between DEA’s model data and the top-performing software and hardware from Rock Flow Dynamics. Within only four days, the Reservoirs department received a calculated model consisting of over 100 individual simulations – 96 days earlier than with conventional hardware and software.
“Together with the IT department, we managed to find a scalable Cloud solution at short notice and to tailor it to our specific needs. As a result, we managed to reduce the duration for calculating reservoir models to a decisive degree – and without the need for extensive, cost- and time-intensive new acquisitions,” emphasises Christian Jespersen.
In the process, the IT department has ensured within an amazingly short period that the sensitive reservoir data was exchanged between the Cloud and the Reservoirs department after being securely encrypted in conformity with DEA’s internal policy on information security.
“Thanks to the Cloud connection, the Reservoirs department has become substantially more agile and capable of taking action. We believe it’s quite respectable to have achieved a 96 per-cent reduction in the time required to calculate our models”, says Dr Xiaoming Chen from DEA’s Geo-Applications department, underscoring the relevance of the pilot project.
The Cloud application is a further key milestone for DEA to remain a competitive E&P enterprise in future. The optimised evaluation and use of enormous geological, seismic and geophysical data volumes is one of the most important objectives of the digitisation strategy.