With reservoirs of increasingly complex geology, the oil industry has to tread carefully. Investment decisions are always made in a context of uncertainty because absolute knowledge of what is happening in the subsurface is impossible. That is why we need new technologies like Excalibur.
This technological development is especially useful in the most uncertain reservoirs, the greenfield or virgin reservoirs, which represent the biggest challenge for the industry because there is hardly any information about them.
Excalibur compensates for this lack of data with an analog search prototype that compares the new reservoir with other similar reservoirs already known. From this reference, it calculates the petrophysical properties of the virgin reservoir and its probabilistic distribution, which serve as a skeleton to build the 3D model.
The result is like a pie with different layers representing the different properties of the reservoir: the types of rock, its geological structure, permeability or porosity; variables that are decisive when deciding how to produce crude oil and that have a decisive impact on economic costs.
Beyond supercomputing capability, technology today is moving towards greater human-machine interaction. During the development of Excalibur, the need arose to make the graphical interface more creative, intuitive and user-friendly. Excalibur uses, for example, the Kinect natural interface, with which researchers can control and interact with the machine without the need for peripherals.
The result is a laboratory that nods to the future imagined in the movie “Minority Report,” in which scientists move and zoom in on various 3D models with their hands. The company’s specialists can connect to the Advanced Simulation Laboratory from anywhere in the world, which encourages teamwork, speeds up the process and, above all, improves the quality of the forecasts.
- Technology to reduce uncertainty.
- Excalibur uses the latest mathematical techniques and data processing to perform a comprehensive evaluation of the deposits. The tool combines all the variables of interest simultaneously, from those related to geosciences to financial ones, to characterize uncertainty more accurately and in less time. This information serves as a support for experts to define the optimum development plan of a deposit.
- Up to 1,000 times faster.
- Build 3D geological models that allow specialists to study their characteristics. Finally, the program applies to all the information to produce numerical optimization algorithms created specifically by Repsol researchers. As a result, the probability of success increases in such important aspects such as where to find accumulated oil or where to drill wells to reduce their number, which is a very important competitive advantage for the company.
- The developed methodology contributes speed thanks to innovative techniques such as Smart Sampling, which reduces the time of characterization of the uncertainty by intelligently selecting the evaluations. Also, to make information processing more efficient Excalibur uses a virtual cloud cluster where servers work in a network and in parallel.