(The following is a reformatted version of a press release
issued by BP and received via electronic mail. The release was
confirmed by the sender.)
BP TO BUILD U.S. FACILITY TO HOUSE LARGEST COMMERCIAL RESEARCH
SUPERCOMPUTER IN THE WORLD
06 December 2012
New complex in Houston will build on advances in subsurface
imaging and boost BP’s global exploration capabilities, in line
with more focused E&P strategy
HOUSTON - BP announced today it has begun construction of a new
facility to house the largest supercomputing complex for
commercial research in the world, a project that will keep BP at
the forefront of seismic imaging technology and be a critical
tool in its global hunt for oil and natural gas in coming years.
The new High-Performance Computing (HPC) center, scheduled to
open mid-2013 at BP’s Westlake Campus in Houston, will serve as
a worldwide hub for processing and managing huge amounts of
geologic and seismic data from across BP’s portfolio and enable
scientists to produce clear images of rock structures deep
It will play a key role in identifying potential exploration
targets from the Gulf of Mexico to Azerbaijan. With added
computing power, the center will also help teams work more
efficiently and accurately than ever before, reducing both
drilling risk and the costs and timetables of future exploration
“This is not just about building a bigger and better computer,”
said Robert Fryar, Executive Vice President Production. “BP’s
new high-performance computing center will be as important to
our global search for new energy resources as any piece of
equipment we employ today, and it once again highlights BP’s
commitment to applying the best technology to the world’s
biggest energy challenges.”
BP’s existing HPC center was the world’s first commercial
research center to achieve a petaflop of processing speed - or
one thousand trillion calculations per second. But it has
reached maximum power and cooling capacity in its current space
at Westlake Campus.
The new HPC center will be housed in a three-story, 110,000
square foot facility with room to accommodate BP’s computing
needs today and into the future. Equipped with more than 67,000
CPUs, it is expected to have the ability to process data at a
rate of up to two petaflops by next year. The existing HPC now
has a peak rate of 1.227 petaflops.
BP’s new supercomputer will also boast total memory of 536
terabytes and disk space of 23.5 petabytes - the equivalent of
147,000 Apple iPods with 160GB memory. If stacked vertically,
those iPods would climb nearly five times higher than the Empire
High-performance computing has been vital to advances BP has
made in seismic imaging over the past two decades, including the
development of wide azimuth towed streamer (WATS) seismic
technology for subsalt imaging, which has transformed the way
data in the Gulf of Mexico and other major offshore basins is
acquired and processed. These ideas are tested in the computer
before they are taken to the field. Such advances have been
instrumental in some of BP’s largest oil and gas discoveries in
With each step forward, however, the demand for computing power
has increased, a trend that continues today. BP’s computing
needs, for instance, are 10,000 times greater than they were in
1999. BP scientists can now have the computing power to complete
an imaging project in one day that would have taken 4 years
using computing technology from just 10 years ago.
Such advances are especially important to BP, which will test 15
completely new oil and gas plays globally between 2012 and 2015.
About 35 of its exploration wells will target prospects, each
with over a quarter billion barrels of oil equivalent of
potential resources. As part of this expansion, BP has roughly
doubled spending on seismic data over the last few years and
intends to keep investing at this higher rate.
In addition to enabling future growth, the new HPC center in
Houston will also feature improved electrical and cooling
systems that reduce power consumption by 30 percent over the
current facility, as well as space for other BP technical
support systems and offices.
BP in America:
BP has invested more in the United States over the last five
years than any other oil and gas company. With more than $52
billion in capital spending between 2007 and 2011, BP invests
more in the U.S. than in any other country.
The company is the second largest producer of oil and gas in the
U.S., a major oil refiner and a leader in alternative energy
sources including wind power and biofuels.
With 23,000 U.S. employees, BP supports nearly a quarter of a
million domestic jobs through its business activities.
Name: BP US Press Office
Phone: (281) 366-4463
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