NCSA and Exxon Mobil set a new record for oil and gas simulation

A collaboration between the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), and ExxonMobil has set a new record for the number of processors used for an oil and gas reservoir simulation. The teams managed to increase the number of processor working on this simulation to 716,800, around four times the previous record.

‘This breakthrough has unlocked new potential for ExxonMobil’s geoscientists and engineers to make more informed and timely decisions on the development and management of oil and gas reservoirs,’ said Tom Schuessler, president of ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company. ‘As our industry looks for cost-effective and environmentally responsible ways to find and develop oil and gas fields, we rely on this type of technology to model the complex processes that govern the flow of oil, water, and gas in various reservoirs.’

ExxonMobil’s scientists worked closely with the NCSA to benchmark a series of multi-million to billion cell models on NCSA’s Blue Waters Super Computer. This new reservoir simulation capability efficiently uses hundreds of thousands of processors simultaneously and will have a dramatic impact on reservoir management workflows.

Established in 1986 as one of the original sites of the National Science Foundation's Supercomputer Centers Program, the NCSA is supported by the state of Illinois, the University of Illinois, the National Science Foundation. The also to provides computing infrastructure to scientists, engineers, and scholars at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and across the country.

‘NCSA’s Blue Waters sustained petascale system, which has benefited the open science community so tremendously, is also helping industry break through barriers in massively parallel computing,’ said Bill Gropp, NCSA’s acting director. ‘NCSA is thrilled to have worked closely with ExxonMobil to achieve the kind of sustained performance that is so critical in advancing science and engineering.’

The NCSA Blue Waters supercomputer supplied by Cray consists of 22,640 Cray XE6 nodes and 4,228 Cray XK7 nodes that include NVIDIA graphics processors. Full details of the system can be found on the Blue Waters website

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