Using Visualization and Parallel Computing for Interactive Reservoir Characterization

Mello, Ulisses T.; Lucente, M. and Jackman, T.

IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598


With the application of parallel computing to reservoir modeling, namely in geostatistics and in flow simulations, there is an increasing need to handle and visualize complex 3-D volumes of reservoir descriptions. In this paper, we describe an approach to inspect and analyze multiple geostatistical descriptions of a reservoir using modular visualization and immersive virtual environments. In this approach, constrained geostochastic simulations are performed in parallel on an IBM SP2 and displayed in real time either on a graphic workstation or in an immersive environment. The rendering and volume manipulation is performed using a modular visualization environment (IBM Data Explorer). Using coarse grained parallelism, the realizations are rendered in a distributed computing environment by defining execution groups of visualization tasks that can be created or modified interactively through a visual modular program. After the definition of the execution groups, each group can be assigned to a set of SP nodes or workstations. The geostatistical realizations are transferred to the execution groups of the visualization environment by using message passing (PVM/MPI). In addition, to eliminate large traffic of data through the network, the images can be rendered locally on the nodes and only the images are transferred to the graphics workstations. Preliminary results have shown that this approach can be useful for a group of geologists, geophysicists and reservoir engineers to quickly inspect multiple realizations simultaneously and to discard realizations that are statistically probable but not geologically tenable or not commensurate with the production field data.