Oil fields go digital as beds turn complex

 23 Jan 2014 - 4:57


Pascal Breton of Total talks about the high performance computing PANGEA  at Qatar National Convention Centre yesterday.

By Satish Kanady
DOHA: “Unconventional resources, unconventional technology” seems to be the buzzword in the global energy industry. With the energy beds becoming increasingly complex; and the production costs shooting up, oil fields are going digital. 
The energy giant Total’s newly developed super computer PANGEA, has taken the centre stage of  the “Innovation and Technology Exhibition” held on the sidelines of  the four-day  International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC) concluded here yesterday. Total’s high-performing supercomputing is the latest addition to the technology innovation landscape of global energy Industry. 
Today’s oil and gas deposits are larger and more complex, and swiftly evolving seismic technologies produce increasingly detailed data about them. So simulations take longer and longer and demand ever-greater computing power to deliver results in a reasonable time. PANGEA will enable Total to process its seismic data in-house, with its own software, in shorter timeframes, Pascal Breton of Total told The Peninsula.
Reservoir simulation is a crucial tool for optimising field development schemes. Because they can handle seismic, geological and fluid data, reservoir simulators can be used to forecast the production rate of a field through its entire life. They also help Total to select the best scenario to optimise filed production and profitability.
PANGEA is a powerful new tool for our professional disciplines for seismic imaging.  It’s objective include  faster data processing, thanks to 15 times of Total’s previous computing power. More accurate images of the subsurface by using algorithms that more faithfully depict the physical realty of the geology and the possibility of testing multiple geological interpretations in complex zones.
PANGEA may also be used in disciplines such as geological basin modelling. It is the result of years of research. This supercomputer can perform 2.3 million billion operations per second, a computing power fifteen times higher than its predecessor “ROSTAND”, which dates back to 2008.
Maersk Oil, which launched a digital lab early this week  in Qatar, has developed  a unique understanding of Qatar’s Al Shaheen filed and of complex carbonate fields by applying a range of technologies. 
Maersk’s specialists in the Maersk Oil Research & Technology Centre in Qatar are integrating and applying ground-breaking technologies which enhance its subsurface understanding ever further. 
Maersk is building up detailed 3D descriptions of core samples from the Al Shaheen to increase its understanding or pore spaces and flow properties. By producing 3D representations of the cores and combining it with the knowledge gained from X-Ray emissions, Maersq can unlock the potential of  Al Shaheen Shuaiba  reservoir. 
Energy major  Shell that surprised the Industry in 2009 with a rig-less deep water intervention and successfully replicated offshore Brazil has recently built up an impressive portfolio of unconventional oil and gas assets. Innovative technologies, such as multistage completions and new methods of hydraulic fracturing, have made these assets economically viable.
Shell recently introduced yet another innovative technique into its toolbox: Just-in-Time Slick Water (JiTSW).  JiTSW reduces the environmental impact and logistical challenges posed by waster use in fracking. It also helps improve safety and reduce the equipment footprint and air pollution at the well site, since fewer diesel-powered pumping units are required.
The Peninsula