Bruce Almighty adds Power to the Process 22 Apr 2015

Perth based DownUnder GeoSolutions (DUG) is bringing the almighty power of its new supercomputer 'Bruce' to bear on the considerable task of processing one of the oil industry's largest multi-client seismic projects, the Polarcus Capreolus Multi-Client 3D survey, which will cover a total area of 22,130 km2 across the Roebuck Basin.

The data is currently being acquired with two Polarcus A-Class 3D seismic vessels utilising the company’s RightBAND™ technique for broadband data acquisition. The processing and imaging will be conducted by DUG using the power of 'Bruce'.

This newly-acquired seismic data will supplement 4,300 km2 of existing seismic data, which is being reprocessed to create a seamless, huge, multi-client offering of over 26,430 km2. This area of the Roebuck Basin includes Apache Corporation’s recent Phoenix South-1 oil discovery.

The Basin is one of the least explored offshore regions of the North West Shelf but potentially one of the most exciting, especially as initial results from the Phoenix South-1 well indicate this to be a significant new oil province for Australia.

Carnarvon Petroleum, Finder Exploration and JX Nippon are also involved in the Phoenix project, which lies nearly 200 km north of Port Hedland, between the prolific Carnarvon and Browse basins.

A single copy of the newly-acquired field data will be around 500 terabytes in size. The DUG team of geophysicists is processing and imaging the data as it is acquired. Fast track volumes are available throughout the acquisition with final data delivery of a depth migrated product (TTI PreSDM), in early 2016. By utilising Bruce’s supercomputing power, the time taken to process such a large dataset is significantly reduced.

DUG Managing Director, Matt Lamont, said the combination of Polarcus’ proficiency in survey design and acquisition and DUG’s processing and imaging expertise make for a strong technical team.

“The DUG team is processing this very large dataset, through a complex workflow, in record time. This is made possible by our team of industry-leading geophysicists, proprietary software and the power of Bruce, our supercomputer,” Dr Lamont said.

“We’re excited to, once again, be involved in a world-renowned project which has the potential to unlock huge hydrocarbon reserves off the coast of Western Australia.”

Polarcus Chief Executive Officer, Rod Starr, said, “The partnership between Polarcus and DUG is enabling us to provide the industry with a very unique solution that seamlessly integrates and accelerates every step of the seismic data acquisition and processing workflow.”

The hardware employed on board the Polarcus vessels was custom developed by SGI specifically for DUG and is powered by Intel® Xeon® processors and Intel® Xeon Phi™ coprocessors. DUG’s proprietary software, DUG Insight, enables the onboard team to provide intuitive quality control of the data as it’s acquired. The data is then sent to DUG’s Perth-based supercomputer and team of specialised geophysicists for more complex processing and imaging analysis onshore.

SGI has been a trusted adviser of DUG’s for more than a decade, providing a high-performance custom solution powered by Intel processors and Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors. Intel has been a close partner of DUG for several years.

Background on Bruce

Bruce (Australia) is one of DUG’s family of awesome supercomputers, which also includes Bazza (London), Bubba (Houston), Bodhi (Malaysia) and Brizzi (Brisbane).

With a combined 12 petaflops of supercomputing power worldwide, this family of supercomputers represents one of the most powerful privately owned networks in the world.

Bruce’s (Australia) stand alone 6 petaflop double precision computing capacity is currently equivalent to 5-7 times more than the Pawsey Centre, which is also based in Perth.


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