Oil and Gas Exploration on a Peta-scale Level
March 25, 2013

Oil and Gas Exploration on a Peta-scale Level

FREMONT, CA ­— Total has selected the SGI ICE X High Performance Computing (HPC) system as the platform for its new supercomputer named "Pangea."

Pangea provides the necessary data processing power for the identification of oil and gas reserves below the Earth's surface. The massive amount of data the system generates is managed by the SGI InfiniteStorage ecosystem and the SGI DMF tiered storage virtualization solution. Pangea is the largest commercial HPC system in the world, giving Total's in-house engineers and geologists an extremely powerful tool to enable the application of analytical and numerical models that support the development of three dimensional visualizations of underground geological formations, key to identifying potential deposits of oil and gas and to determining optimal extraction methods.

Total's investment in Pangea will enable research scientists to develop more complete visualizations of seismic landscapes over time, while concurrently running simulations at 10 times the resolution of existing oil and gas reservoir models. Ultimately this new research should provide a clearer picture of what is happening beneath Earth's surface, allowing for more efficient upstream oil and gas exploration, as well as the discovery of reserves under more challenging geological conditions.

"Total is committed to leveraging technological innovation and high-performance computing to provide the best response to growing global energy demand," said Philippe Malzac, CIO Exploration and Production for Total. "The efficiency of the SGI ICE X system, which represents high computational power using a minimal amount of energy, gives Total the smallest footprint and lowest TCO possible. This was a key factor in our selection of SGI ICE X for the Pangea system."

To achieve an unprecedented level of energy efficiency in a solution of this scale and class, Total selected an innovative water-cooled SGI ICE X solution based on its M-Cell design. M-Cells utilize closed-loop airflow and warm-water cooling to create embedded hot-aisle containment, thereby lowering overall cooling requirements and significantly reducing overall energy consumption as compared to traditional HPC designs. Furthermore, by integrating this solution with a multi-tiered storage environment using SGI storage software and hardware, the SGI professional services team has ensured that the large data storage environment is optimized for efficiency as well.

Pangea is based at Total's Jean Feger Scientific and Computing Centre (CSTJF) in southwest France. It is a 2.3 PFlop system based on the Intel Xeon E5-2670 processor that consists of 110,592 cores and contains 442 terabytes of memory built on SGI ICE X, the world's fastest distributed memory supercomputer2. The data management solution for seven petabytes of storage includes SGI InfiniteStorage(TM) 17000 disk arrays, SGI DMF tiered storage virtualization and a Lustre file system integrated by SGI professional services.

"HPC has become central to competitiveness in a wide range of industries, none more than in energy exploration," said Dr. Rajeeb Hazra, Intel VP GM Technical Computing Group. "The Intel Xeon processors in the SGI ICE X HPC system drives the performance that is imperative to that competitiveness. We are excited to be a part of such an important system for energy exploration."