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ExxonMobil achieves new levels of scalability on complex oil & gas reservoir simulation models

EBR Staff Writer Published 17 February 2017

ExxonMobil and National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) have announced a major breakthrough on scaling complex oil and gas reservoir simulation models to enhance exploration and production results.

ExxonMobil's scientists have worked with NCSA to frame a multi-million to billion cell models on Blue Waters supercomputer.

By working on NCSA’s Blue Waters supercomputer, the oil and gas firm has achieved a major breakthrough, which resulted in generating output thousands of times faster compared to traditional typical oil and gas industry reservoir simulation.

The breakthrough in parallel simulation used 716,800 processors, which is almost equal to the power of 22,400 computers with 32 processors per computer.

The new reservoir simulation capability helps ExxonMobil geoscientists and engineers to take better investment decisions through predicting reservoir performance under geological uncertainty to evaluate higher volume of alternative development plans within short time.

Reservoir simulation studies help in taking decisions on well placement, design facilities and develop operational strategies to reduce financial and environmental risk.

The simulation software has to resolve multiple complex equations to model complex processes accurately for the flow of oil, water, and natural gas in the reservoir.

ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company president Tom Schuessler 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."