Murphy’s Canadian visionarium

Murphy has installed a custom-built visualization facility in its Calgary office. SGI and Fakespace have co-developed the new system which features an 8 by 16 foot display.

Murphy Oil’s Calgary-based Canadian unit is the first oil company to deploy new visionarium technology from SGI and Fakespace Systems. The heart of the new custom deigned system is a 8 by 16 foot Fakespace WorkWall ‘super-bright’ stereo display. A single-pipe SGI Onyx2 system with two Raster Managers, 4 central processing units and 8GB of RAM, powers the system. Two Mirage 5000 active stereo digital light processing projectors from Christie Digital drive the WorkWall.


Murphy’s Duncan McMaster said, “In many of our active offshore exploration projects, we are dealing with extremely large amounts of volumetric data. The new visualization center improves our ability to understand these huge data sets and speeds our ability to make effective drilling decisions. We were very pleased that SGI Professional Services was able to bring in the expertise and the most advanced technology available to meet our particular needs.”


A key feature of the system, according to McMaster, is the ability for groups to work with seismic data in a truly collaborative environment, instead of a more passive, theater-type setting. The custom- designed system developed by Fakespace Systems and SGI provides an extremely bright (5,000 lumens per projector) display that allows participants to work with stereoscopic subsurface simulations in a well-lit room where they can also reference notes, print-outs and drawings.

Deep water

For Murphy Oil’s offshore exploration, which is focused on Canada’s eastern coast, the graphics power of the SGI supercomputer provides real-time rendering of complex three-dimensional deep-water data. The high-resolution, rear-projected WorkWall display enables the exploration team to gather close to the screen for discussion and inspection of minute details within these massive visualizations.


SGI Global Energy Solutions director Bill Bartling said “Fakespace’s systems provide an exceptionally bright, stable display for dimensionally accurate viewing, even when working very close to the screen. The two-projector system also enables simultaneous viewing of both stereo and mono images side by side.” The new system is the first active stereo digital projection system purchased for use in energy exploration. More from

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