Saudi Aramco views billion cell model with OcTreemizer

Fraunhofer’s volume rendering tool supports move from mega to ‘gigacell’ simulator.

Writing in the Spring 2008 issue of Saudi Aramco’s Journal of Technology, Ali Dogru (head of computational modeling at Aramco’s E&P Advanced research Center) described Aramco’s progress from mega cell to giga cell simulators. The current version of Aramco’s POWERS fluid flow modeler has already been used to study a 258 million cell model of the Ghawar field—the largest in the world. Models run on a 256 node Linux AMD clusters.


The next generation POWERS II is to target gigacell models. Early testing of the concept is investigating visualization of billion cell models using Fraunhofer’s OcTreemizer, a volume rendering toolkit for roaming through very large volume data sets on standard PCs. Aramco is planning a dedicated ‘virtual reality (VR) room.’ Dogru argues that VR is under utilized in oil and gas as compared with other industries. Aramco plans to interact with huge data sets using sound and ‘immersive’ technology. Again, Fraunhofer is involved, supplying novel technologies such as auto stereoscopic displays with gesture control and hapitc devices. Such force feedback tools might bring a new meaning to the expression ‘massaging the data!’

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