Total's New Supercomputer Sets Industry Standards for Investigating Depths

Total announced that it has acquired a high-performance computer that sets new industry standards. This investment aims at efficiently enhancing the ability to process data needed to explore and produce oil and gas.

The computer is installed at the Total Scientific and Technical Center in Pau (France). The machine will allow the company to have a better knowledge of deep hydrocarbon reservoirs, using seismic depth imaging processing. More specifically, it will be dedicated to the exploration of zones showing complex geological subsurface structures that are harder to study and therefore present significant current and future challenges. It will also provide better oil and gas reservoir definition.

"In the last five years, Total's computing power has expanded seventeen-fold to keep pace with the major technical challenges facing the oil and gas industry," said Total Exploration and Production President Yves-Louis Darricarrere. "Not only are the fields to which we have access increasingly complex, but it is also vital to maximize the reserve recovery rate. Finally, the significant increase of drilling costs in recent years fully justifies investing in upgraded tools to accelerate decision-making."

Selected after a highly competitive tender, the SGI Altix ICE+ computer from Silicon Graphics reaches a computing power of 123 TeraFlops. A TeraFlop signifies 1 trillion floating point calculations per second. The storage capacity linked to it will jump to 1 Petabyte (10 to the 15th power bytes).

The computer needs 400 kW of electrical power. The heat released by the machine will be recovered and used to warm up part of the buildings at the Scientific and Technical Center.