INT viewer for BHP

BHP has contracted INT to develop a geological and geophysical viewer for data access and collaboration over networks. The tool may be made available subsequently as Open Source software.

BHP’s Global Geoscience Technology division wanted an integrated geological and geophysical viewer for data access and collaboration. Its existing reservoir simulation package did not provide seismic visualization functionality. BHP also required a flexible cross-section viewer that let its engineers visualize and analyze reservoir simulation output along with seismic and log data.


BHP contracted INT to develop the Viewer according to its own specifications. BHP combined INT’s java-based graphics components and experience in multi-tier client-server systems, with its own expertise in high-speed random access of large multidimensional data. The result was a data viewing application that combined geological model data and seismic data.


The Viewer has been designed as a front-end for third party applications. The Viewer also integrates with Seismic Unix, the Open Source seismic processing system used by BHP internally.


BHP has major oil exploration centers in Melbourne, Houston, and London. The viewers are installed and served through BHP Intranet. Seismic processors can now analyze data and collaborate remotely through the company’s internal web sites. Complex views of the data can be saved and restored through a browser interface.

Open Source

BHP ultimately intends to reduce the cost of maintenance by making the Viewer available as Open Source. If enough interest is generated, other companies and organizations will be invited to collaborate on the Viewer. Phase One of the project was completed in July 2001. Phase Two, which includes support for horizons, basemap views, and a movie capability, is currently underway and will be completed by December 2001.

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