Total Hopes New Supercomputer Will Help It Find Oil Faster and More Cheaply

Energy major Total said its new supercomputer—which has propelled it to a world ranking as the most powerful computer in the sector—will enable its geologists to find oil faster, cheaper, and with a better success rate.

The Pangea III computer build by IBM will help process complex seismic data in the search for hydrocarbons 10 times faster that before, Total said.

The computing power of the company has been increased to 31.7 petaflops from 6.7 petaflops in 2016, and from 2.3 petaflops in 2013, Total said, adding that it was the equivalent of around 170,000 laptops combined.

Petaflops is a measurement of computing power.

The computer ranks as No. 1 among supercomputers in the oil and gas sector, and No. 11 globally, according to the TOP500 table, which ranks supercomputers twice a year.

Total’s European peer Eni’s HPC4 supercomputer is ranked No. 17 in the global top 500 list.

Oil and gas companies, along with other industrial groups, are increasingly relying on powerful computers to process complex data faster. This enables them to cut costs while boosting productivity and the success rate of projects.

Total did not say how much it had invested in the new supercomputer.

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