Money: Oil group Total hopes new supercomputer will help it find oil faster and more cheaply - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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MoneyOil group Total hopes new supercomputer will help it find oil faster and more cheaply

12:55  18 june  2019
12:55  18 june  2019 Source:   reuters.com

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Oil group Total hopes new supercomputer will help it find oil faster and more cheaply © Reuters/Charles Platiau FILE PHOTO: The logo of French oil giant Total is seen at La Defense business and financial district in Courbevoie

Energy major Total said its new supercomputer - which has propelled it to a world ranking as the most powerful computer in the sector - will enable its geologists to find oil faster, cheaper and with a better success rate.

The Pangea III computer build by IBM will help process complex seismic data in the search for hydrocarbons 10 times faster that before, Total said on Tuesday.

The computing power of the Pangea III has been increased to 31.7 so-called 'petaflops' from 6.7 petaflops in 2016, and from 2.3 petaflops in 2013, Total said, adding that it was the equivalent of around 170,000 laptops combined.

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The computer ranks as number 1 among supercomputers in the oil and gas sector, and number 11 globally, according to the TOP500 table (www.top500.org) which ranks supercomputers twice a year.

Total's European peer Eni's HPC4 supercomputer is ranked number 17 in the global top 500 list.

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Total did not say how much it had invested in the new supercomputer.

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The company's senior vice president for exploration, Kevin McLachlan, told Reuters that 80% of the Pangea III's time would be dedicated to seismic imaging.

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Total S.A. is a French multinational integrated oil and gas company founded in 1924 and one of the seven "Supermajor" oil companies in the world. Its businesses cover the entire oil and gas chain, from crude oil and natural gas exploration and production to power generation, transportation, refining

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"We can do things much faster," he said. "We are developing advanced imaging algorithms to give us much better images of the sub-surface in these complex domains and Pangea III will let us do it 10 times faster than we could before."

Total said the new algorithms can process huge amounts of data more accurately, and at a higher resolution.

It would also help to locate more reliably hydrocarbons below ground, which is useful in complex environments where it is exploring for oil trapped under salt, such as Brazil, the Gulf of Mexico, Angola and the Eastern Mediterranean.

McLachlan expected the increased computer power to affect Total's success rate in exploration, because of the better imaging, and in oil well appraisals, development and drilling.

"What used to take a week, now takes us a day to process," he said, adding that tens of millions of dollars of savings would be made on the oil wells as a direct result of obtaining better images.

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