Optimising Software for Oil Exploration

Under Contract Research for OHM Rock Solid Images, the EPCC optimised the OHM computer cluster reduction data processing time from 8 weeks to 1 week.

THE CLIENT: OHM Rock Solid Images

THE BACKGROUND: OHM Rock Solid Images is an industry leader in Controlled Source Electromagnetic (CSEM) imaging services to the offshore exploration industry. EPCC worked with OHM to improve the stability, portability and memory usage of the software that OHM uses to interpret CSEM survey data and to adapt the software to multi-core processing. A significant part of OHM’s business is to translate the raw data produced by a survey into decision-ready, information-rich images for its clients. With typical mapping projects taking around 16-20 weeks and with the data processing taking up to half of this, any reduction in data processing time is a major benefit.

THE SOLUTION: EPCC analysed and rewrote OHM’s software, introducing several enhancements including dynamic memory allocation and parallelisation, allowing the software to make full use of the OHM computer cluster. The reduction in data processing time – from 8 weeks to around 1 week – represents a major improvement to OHM’s workflow and provides significant benefits to its clients. OHM was able to deliver much higher quality results to its clients and the job turnaround time was reduced from eight weeks to just a fortnight.

THE KEY CLIENT BENEFITS: “The work that EPCC did resulted in a factor of 8 speed up in our production code. In practical terms this improved the resolution of the results, and significantly reduced the turn-around time allowing us to provide a higher quality result to our clients’” Dr Lucy MacGregor, OHM Chief Scientist.

SUPA EXPERTISE: EPCC is a leading European centre of expertise in advanced research, technology transfer and the provision of supercomputer services. EPCC hosts the world-class HECToR system, a 200 TFLOP Cray XT5 supercomputer, and specialises in applying HPC to industry and academia. For more information visit www.epcc.ed.ac.uk.