BP expands digital rocks technology


HOUSTON -- BP’s proprietary digital rocks technology program is getting a key upgrade from a new multi-year commercial agreement with Exa Corporation, which will enhance BP’s ability to predict the flow of oil and water in digital images of reservoir rock.

This new capability, known as multiphase flow simulation technology, will help engineering teams to make more informed decisions on wells, production facilities and resource progression, including enhanced oil recovery. Exa’s multiphase fluids simulation solution for digital rocks was co-developed with BP during a three-year technology collaboration agreement.

“After years of cooperative research and development, this breakthrough represents an important step forward for BP and for our industry,” said Ahmed Hashmi, BP’s head of Upstream Technology. “It underscores BP’s continued leadership in digital technologies and their increasingly important role in helping us to develop energy resources safely, effectively and economically.”

BP’s industry-leading digital rocks program was established 10 years ago. The technology uses rock core samples acquired from exploration, appraisal and development wells that are imaged with ultra-high resolution CT scans to create a 3D digital model of the rock. These digital images are then put through proprietary algorithms that simulate the physics necessary to characterize rock properties. The algorithms are run at BP’s Center for High Performance Computing in Houston, one of the largest supercomputers in the world dedicated to commercial research.

BP’s digital rocks technology has been used across BP’s global portfolio including fields in Angola, the Gulf of Mexico, the North Sea, Egypt, Azerbaijan, the Middle East, India, and Trinidad and Tobago. 

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