Reservoir simulation pushed beyond the limits with Athos and SGI Altix 3000

Paris 13 January 2003 IFP, Beicip-Franlab and SGI have made available Athos on high-performance SGI Altix platform based on Intel Itanium 2 processors. Athos, the IFP Group parallel reservoir simulation solution and the associated Reservoir Modelling Line (RML) have been widely used on Intel Xeon processor-based platforms by Oil and Gas companies for more than 2 years now.

Combined effort of porting and optimisation makes Athos the first parallel reservoir simulator available on platforms based on Itanium 2 processors and running on Linux 64 bits based on a standard RedHat Linux distribution.

Athos benefits from the performance of the Intel processors combined with the balanced system architecture of the SGI Altix 3000 product line, and from the scalability of Altix 3000 up to 64 processors. Based on a shared memory architecture, Athos takes advantages of high bandwidth networks and high bandwidth NUMAflex architecture from SGI.

"The availability of Athos on SMP machines based on Intel Itanium 2 processors is a natural step for facing new challenges in reservoir simulation such as running low cost Black-Oil models for uncertainty modelling or large multi-million cell compositional simulations overnight", stated Dr. Dominique Guérillot, IFP Managing Director of Exploration and Reservoir Engineering Technology Business Unit.

Athos 4.3, the latest commercial release to come, mainly includes new advanced numerical schemes dedicated to simulate megacell compositional models, a new multi-level well grouping hierarchy, an open coupling solution between surface network third-party software running on heterogeneous hard parallel Athos and an advanced modelling of thermal recovery processes in fractured reservoirs. All these features have been optimised for parallel architectures.

The IFP Exploration-Reservoir Engineering Technology Business Unit manages Research and Development in the Upstream sector for the Institut Français du Pétrole providing an innovative technology that will allow sustainable growth for the Oil and Gas industry. It draws on a workforce of 250 high-caliber scientists and technicians and an annual operating budget of some 50 million euro.

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