Saudi Aramco Debuts Giga-Cell Simulation Technology

The Saudi Aramco EXPEC Advanced Research Center (EXPEC ARC) debuted its giga-cell reservoir simulation technology, GigaPOWERS™, Jan. 23 in front of an overflowing audience in the EXPEC Auditorium.

GigaPOWERS™ is the second generation of Saudi Aramco's leading reservoir simulator, POWERS (Parallel Oil, Water and Gas Enhanced Reservoir Simulator), which is used to simulate fluid movement in the reservoir to optimize production and injection, and the management of the reservoir.

GigaPOWERS™ sets a new industry record of being able to simulate giant fields at seismic or near-seismic resolution, thus doing away with the conventional industry practice of averaging the simulation model cells in order to reduce their number, which also reduces the amount of information in the model. It can simulate models in excess of one billion cells ("giga-cell"), producing a more accurate simulation. Just like a megapixel camera, in which a higher number of pixels (resolution) yields more accurate images, the higher number of cells in the simulation model leads to more accurate simulation of the reservoir.

The technology helps find solutions to challenges in new field development, deciding well locations, enhancing production optimization and much more.

The first-generation POWERS Development Team began developing the simulator in 1994. The team has grown and has been breaking records ever since. By 2000, it broke the one-million-cell record. In 2002, the 10-million cell milestone was achieved with the first full-field simulation of Ghawar.

Then, about a year ago, the POWERS team broke through the one-billion-cell, or giga-cell threshold.

The live launch was a pivotal event in Saudi Aramco history. The fine scale of detail will now be applied to daily operations, benefiting the entire company, ensuring that the Kingdom's hydrocarbon resources are carefully managed for generations to come.