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Workshop Overview

Estimates of the future availability and expense of fossil fuels are functions of advances in discovery and extraction technologies, whose robustness and efficiency are, in turn, functions of advances in information technology and mathematical algorithms.  Advances in computing, simulation models, big data analytics, parameter inversion, data assimilation, and uncertainty quantification can translate very quickly into practices in the field.

Seismic imaging techniques such as Reverse Time Migration (RTM), Full Waveform Inversion (FWI), Electromagnetic (EM) modeling, and inversion techniques, as well as the latest reservoir simulation technologies exploiting compositional models, require powerful HPC systems. Information technology providers are focusing their efforts to minimize the turnaround time for seismic and simulation workloads. Architecture, programming models adapted to new heterogeneous architectures, and software engineering methodologies, are all changing underneath the abstract interface of a mathematical model, making it a challenge to port efficiently to the most capable environments and keep the workforce proficient in them. The facilities requirements also present an ongoing challenge for the upstream industry and its HPC community.

Increasingly in the midst of this evolution, to out-compute is to out-compete. The dynamic data growth rates of high performance computing (doubling nearly every year, for a factor of one thousand every ten years, sustained for three decades) and of digital data under management (also doubling every year) keeps pressure on production companies to stay abreast of the state of the art and give high value to a workshop combining upstream modeling and HPC technologies. 

Workshop Objectives

The objectives of the workshop are to understand the state of the art for the key applications employed in the upstream industry and anticipate future enablements riding the wave of computational power. Vectors in the other direction are also welcome: what easy changes in hardware or software would make IT’s current offerings more useful to the upstream petroleum industry? Contributions that root strategic directions in recent real-world experiences are especially welcome.