Key Benefits of High Performance Computing for the Oil & Gas Sector

Advanced tools and processes have opened the data floodgates for the oil and gas industry. Energy companies possessing a data portfolio of tens or even hundreds of petabytes are no longer unusual, and so the need for high performance computing (HPC) for data acquisition, analysis and storage makes itself plain. However, it is also important to recognize the extended benefits of HPC for the industry.

There is new urgency to speed time to oil in a capital and risk intensive environment, especially with narrow margins around nontraditional exploration. The focus on optimizing existing assets and tapping into unconventional ones has become increasingly more critical in aiming to meet global demands.  This means the existing challenges of risk intensive exploration and production are themselves intensifying, challenging energy companies to effectively broaden the scope of their strategic operational decision-making process.  Here is where the effective deployment of HPC solutions is best utilized.

HPC, when implemented properly, has the potential to accelerate ROI and minimize risk by providing engineers and geoscientists engaged in identifying and analyzing resource potentials to map crucial project decisions. A recent case study from the Council on Competitiveness1 said technology has already increased recovery considerably from an average of 30 percent several decades ago to an average of 50 percent today. These gains are due substantially to more precise computer imaging and modeling of underlying geological structures. The study further highlights that with the advent of HPC cluster computing and the migration of high performance computing applications from centralized research centers into the oil fields, supercomputing has become a workbench tool for reservoir engineers and earth scientists. HPC system solutions are evolving past the perception of passive high compute IT infrastructure to field front imperatives.

HP ProLiant Servers Fuel Innovative Solutions for Exploration

Apache uses HP ProLiant DL580 servers to deliver flexible, high-powered computing solutions to remote drilling sites
Objective: Discover an innovative way to provide graphics-heavy software solutions to users working at remote locations
Approach: Work with Schlumberger to configure a high-performance, compact computing solution to provide the most current software for analyzing large data sets to users researching drilling opportunities at remote locations
IT improvements:
• Deploy technology at remote sites in hours instead of days
• Replace whole room of hardware with a single server that acts as ‘center of operations’
• Reduced overall costs by 30%, including costs for hardware, shipping, and support
• Provide scalable, redundant performance using virtualization
Business benefits:
• Enable better drilling decisions to increase revenues
• Critical applications run 50% faster than on traditional workstations
• Help ensure that all employees have access to current business-critical applications
• Provide more scalable, flexible solution for setting up and dismantling sites quickly
• Enable multi-user access to graphics-heavy applications for employees working at remote sites

HP was the best vendor we found for helping us put all of these pieces of technology together and getting it to work.” - Bradley Lauritsen, Director of Exploration Applications, Apache
Read the full case study here: Powering the search for fuel

Energy companies are also under increasingly stringent regulatory demands. At the forefront of growing regulatory pressures for today’s oil and gas sector are expanding safety and environmental requirements. One broad regulatory standout impacting oil and gas exploration and production directly is the introduction of Safety & Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE).

SEMS and its expanded  revisions SEMS II covers all offshore oil and gas operations in federal waters and made mandatory the previously voluntary practices in the American Petroleum Institute’s (API) Recommended Practice 75 (RP 75). The complexities of compliance underline the need for advanced data management and retrieval capabilities - this requires powerful and reliable HPC technology.

Tapping into the benefits of HPC is more accessible than ever. Hewlett Packard (HP) HPC solutions for upstream oil and gas exploration and production enable the industry to meet the increasing global demand for petroleum products.

By relying on affordable high-performance HP solutions, together with comprehensive HP services and support, you can improve engineering and geoscientist productivity, while driving down operating costs. HP offers a complete portfolio of fully integrated, standards-based HPC solutions and services developed specifically for the Oil & Gas Industry.

To learn more about how HP solutions accelerate innovation in oil & gas with HPC platforms access the free on-demand webinar, Strategic Opportunities for Oil & Gas with High Performance Computing, where you will hear from subject matter experts on how your enterprise can implement industry-leading, HPC infrastructure with highly efficient systems and solutions. Click here to access the HP webinar now!

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