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Reduced Exploration risk

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Migration modeling has been accepted as a promising contribution towards minimizing the risk in oil exploration efforts. Until Migris AS launched its software Migri in 2009, the industry lacked solutions that would adequately visualize hydrocarbon migration through the geological layers. Ceetron's solution allows Migris AS to visualize analysis and calculations, converting the numbers and equations to intelligible and dynamic 3D images. It is finally possible to assess petroleum exploration risk with high accuracy.

IMG_4627_rgbThe software, Migri, is unique and revolutionary. 3D models are used to simulate and visualize the hydrocarbons journey through the subsea geological layers. The software is considered to be a technological breakthrough and several renowned oil and gas companies are already using Migri in their exploration activity. Migris AS is now working actively to advocate the advantages of migration modeling to the industry as a whole. "You can't just expect the large oil companies to start using new technology immediately after being introduced to it. However, visualization can be a key factor in increasing the understanding of the technology, and also the reason why more companies will apply it to their oil exploration activities", explains Dr. philos. and CEO of Migris AS, Øyvind Sylta.

Sylta has extensive experience from Norway's largest independent research organization, SINTEF. There, he wrote his doctoral dissertation on the migration process of oil and gas during geological time. "The main hypothesis is that by understanding what has happened throughout geological time, we can predict where the hydrocarbons currently reside, and how they got there." The research is now commercialized through Migris AS, with Dr. Sylta as the founder and CEO. Statoil contributed with financial support to the project and also applies the technology in their own exploration activities.
 
Spring Energy is also among the companies that both use and has contributed financially to the innovation. "We use Migri in our prospect evaluation on the Norwegian continental shelf. The analysis provides us with valuable information on whether there is oil and gas in prospected areas, and also the volume of the potential content," says Advisor Geology, Kristian Angard of Spring Energy. "We apply Migri at all levels. From specific prospects, to comparing different areas in the North Sea. We also have complementary solutions, but none compare to Migri in speed and dynamics."
 
One of Migri's main advantages is that the simulator is very fast compared to other similar methods. "Numerically it is superior to everything else. We can compare several prospects simultaneously within tight deadlines. Resolution, colors and graphics are truly great. We can pan, zoom and also have the wonderful possibility to drag the geological layers apart in the 3D model. This allows us to look at each layer individually on a detail level," says Angard.
 
Migri conducts advanced interpretations of detailed topographic maps, well data and a variety of other data to create accurate 3D models of the geological layers. "To assure the quality of the interpretations it is necessary to visualize the results. Without sufficient visual representation and interpretation, errors in the simulations might not be noticed, and our customers can make bad decisions," explains Sylta.

Ceetron, who specializes in providing software solutions and services for visualization of scientific computations, has provided the visualization engine and parts of the user interface within Migri. Ceetrons visualization software development kit, GLview 3D Components, is integrated seamlessly into Migri.
 
Less than a year after Migris AS contacted Ceetron with the request of making an advanced and unique solution for visualization, Ceetron had implemented their fully functional solution into Migri. For Migris AS the alternative would have been to hire their own specialists for the task, a time consuming process. "Thanks to Ceetrons excellence in visualization we could, at an early stage, show Statoil that this was achievable. Time to market was drastically reduced because of Ceetron's effective development. Another big issue with outsourcing is how maintenance and monitoring is handled after the external company has delivered the product. On this aspect, Ceetron has been exceptional," said Sylta.

"At an early stage Ceetron's developers saw opportunities I did not. This has resulted in Migri becoming a better commercial product than I thought possible. In advance, we knew that it was necessary to look in between the geological layers of the 3D model - but not how this could be achieved. We also knew the software needed high resolution to present the migration process accurately. Ceetron made it possible for the users to pull the layers apart, or click their way through the layers like peeling through a stack of papers. This is an excellent example of how Ceetron has contributed to add usability to the software."

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The simulations within the software do not require large amounts of computing power, and can be carried out on a standard laptop. The software can process multiple simulations and also allows the user to look at several alternatives simultaneously. Migri can also be used to verify or compare reports from different sources such as geologist and other oil exploration companies.

Some features needed for the visualization was not available in Ceetron's existing API. Parts of the data model is not based on finite elements, but on points and lines. The requirement made it necessary to extend Ceetron's library. "We had a great dialogue on this subject and the final solution was very good. Ceetron understand our technology much better than similar and competing providers, which was an important aspect when we chose Ceetron as our partner."

Sylta says Migri's future outlook is bright, and that the technology will be developed continuously. "Ceetron will continue to be at the core of our solution, also in the future," Sylta concludes.

Facts:

Geological time:

The geological time scale refers to the time elapsed between the Earth's creation and present time. The last 250 million years is the most important period of time for oil geology on the Norwegian continental shelf.

GLview 3D Visualization API:

GLview 3D Visualization API is an interface for design and implementation of software for visualization of simulated data. The interface is a class library; a collection of functions and data types used for software development. The class library contains the elements needed to have computations based on the mathematical equations visualized and fully integrated in 3rd party software solutions.

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