Shell, Bluware Team Up on Seismic With Video Game Tech

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Looking for oil and gas is becoming a lot more like a video game.

This is the unique intersection where Houston-based Bluware stands. The software company is among a handful of first movers in the upstream industry that see the use of GPUs, or graphics processing units, as the way to eliminate all the wasted time spent waiting for seismic data to be visualized.

GPUs have been around for decades, but only in the past few years have they become one of the most talked-about pieces of computing hardware in the digital tech scene.

Their uptake was initially driven by the need to quickly render graphically rich video games, especially first-person shooters, and enable players sitting around the world to co-play online without lag. Others have since awoken to the potential of GPU technology, which is now accelerating the development of driverless cars and represents the computing muscle behind cryptocurrency markets.

In the modern video game setting, any significant latency in processing might mean game over.

“Whereas in oil and gas, if you have to wait another half an hour to get a seismic line to load, you just go get a cup of coffee,” Bluware Chief Executive Officer Dan Piette said.

If that time is given back, those coffee breaks may be the thing put on hold as seismic processing ceases to be a major bottleneck. Bluware says on its website that it can shave several months off the typical seismic project.

Read the full article from the Journal of Petroleum Technology (JPT) Magazine here.

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