Gocad eastern hemisphere user group

Gocad has evolved into a full-blown interpretation package—but users still focus on R&D.

About 50 attended this, the second European Gocad user meeting. Earth Decision Sciences (EDS) recently raised €6.1 million and is expanding Gocad functionality with the intent of emulating, or surpassing, Petrel. While EDS demonstrates impressive ease-of-use and powerful functionality in its new ‘shrink-wrapped’ products, the users’ presentations still focus on the ‘old-style’ use of Gocad as a research tool, a plug in to in-house developed modeling software, or an adjunct to other interpretation products.

Gocad V 2.1

Having focused on ‘stability’ last year, development focus now shifts to usability and automation. Knowledge management- oriented functionality has added audit trails and improved project suspend-and-resume. Gocad can handle increasingly large data volumes, with data stored on disk and paged into memory as required. New functions include 2D interpretation, logs, seismic correlation and reverse and rollover fault modeling. The Volume Explorer demo showed an impressive mélange of independent probes on the same data set – including coherency, amplitude, water flood data and fence displays of seismic. A single probe can also display a variety of properties – which can be tabbed through by the interpreter.


Gocad is embedded in Shell’s in-house developed G&G applications. Stand-alone Gocad is also used in geophysical modeling. Shell is working with EDS to extend Gocad as a joint industry project to determine future directions. Shell showed a fault surface connector which snapped faults to Gocad horizons. Gocad libraries have been used to create tri-mesh faults in 123DI. A showcase study centers on a problematical stacked ‘Y’ and ‘X’ fault pattern on the crest of a rollover anticline. A ‘stair-step’ approach minimizes cell ‘crushing’ near the faults.

Karst Modeling

A Total-funded project focused on karst modeling, a complex problem where extreme heterogeneities can make for very large oil reserves. A stochastic approach is used to model petrophysical distributions – using a ‘random walk’ approach. GoKarst uses Total’s Neptune karst simulator for upscaling and downscaling to and from Eclipse. The study has added new tools in Gocad for ‘unfolding models’ with deformation tensors.


Total’s in-house geostatistics package ‘G3’ supports ‘long object’ modeling – but it proved hard to condition models to data and include existing objects. Bool-X, a ‘birth and death’ process, developed by the Fontainebleau School of Mines, ‘throws’ objects into the model until certain conditions are met. Objects include – box, puck, channel, sinusoidal channel and a ‘pixmap’ – user defined. A 3 million cell realization takes about hour. A demo showed objects being splattered around until well data was honored.

HP in oil and gas

HP, hosting the Gocad meet, offered a view of oil industry IT as ‘moving to Linux.’ HP’s PA/RISC market has declined to around 30% today, but is still worth around $1 billion. All HP XEON machines will be 64 bit this summer. Both Total and Shell use XW 8000 workstations – these too are moving to Xeon and support remote thin clients with ThinAnywhere and Exceed 3D. HP is currently looking at a cluster-based video rendering from ORAD for use with its Sepia ‘terabyte’ data browser based-on work done in the ASCI Views project. A Sepia PCI plug-in allows a workstation to become a member of a cluster of up to 1,000 workstations sharing resources. This has been tested with Shell’s 123DI interpretation system. EDS’s Jacta has also been implemented on an HP cluster and will be presented in a paper at the 2004 SPE.

This report is abstracted from a 4 page report produced as part of The Data Room’s Technology Watch Reporting Service. For more information on this subscription-based service please email tw@oilit.com.

Click here to comment on this article

Click here to view this article in context on a desktop

© Oil IT Journal - all rights reserved.