Saudi Aramco's novel technology to help find new oil fields

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​Riyadh, Nov 24 (IANS) World's top crude oil producer Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil company of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, said it made a major advancement in its POWERS technology that will simulate oil migration problems in the Kingdom in a fraction of the time it once took and help discover new oil and gas fields.

Saudi Aramco's Exploration and Petroleum Engineering Center - Advanced Research Center (EXPEC ARC) under the leadership of Ali Dogru, achieved the industry's first trillion cell reservoir simulation run recently, the company said in a statement.

It is the next evolutionary step for the company's parallel oil, gas and water enhanced reservoir simulator (POWERS) technology that advanced from mega-cell to giga-cell (GigaPOWERS achieved in 2010) and now to tera-cell simulation capability this year.

"This is the world's first trillion cell run, as well as a major breakthrough for the global scientific community. Using trillions of cells in a reservoir simulation environment was a long awaited dream for the global petroleum industry and scientific community," said Dogru.

"We simulated an oil migration problem in the Kingdom from the source rock to the trap with millions of years of history in 10 hours using one trillion active computational cells. This achievement opens the door for us to simulate the Saudi Arabian peninsula in its entirety, as one model, using the reservoir simulation grid," Dogru explained.

"This means that we will be able to examine the peninsula under the microscope for new oil and gas fields," Dogru added.

The advancement was achieved using the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Shaheen II super computer.

The simulation of the flow of fluids in the subsurface through and around the reservoir structure requires vast computational power.

The more reservoir engineers know about what is going on in and around the reservoirs, the more effectively they can place wells and manage production of hydrocarbons to optimise resources.

Since the giant reservoirs of Saudi Arabia are among the biggest in the world, the company requires extremely powerful modelling and simulation capability to understand the mysteries of the underground.

"To be able to model the physics of hydrocarbon reservoirs, from their original generation to their final production, and from the tiny pore-scale all the way to the giant field-scale and even to basin scale used to seem impossible. The TeraPOWERS team is a leading example of the pioneering minds at EXPEC ARC that fuel the dreams and deliver the technologies of tomorrow," Nasir K. Al Naimi, Vice President of Petroleum Engineering and Development at Saudi Aramco noted.

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