Hardware and software system facilitates complex projects.

Home computers come equipped with plug-and-play tools, but computer systems with the long legs needed to validate seismic coverage for data-intensive oil and gas exploration typically require an information technology guru to make all the pieces fit and work properly.

Landmark Software Services, Intel Corp., and Appro International Inc. acted as computer guru as they put together a system with home-computer convenience and the power to put together the right seismic acquisition coverage in complex projects.

The “seismic validation engine for oil and gas exploration data processing” was designed for the experts who gather and process the seismic data and turn them over to interpreters for analysis.

“Landmark has had a significant investment in seismic processing for years, and we decided we needed to extend the architecture for modern processing,” John Basche, project manager for seismic processing with Landmark, said. “We want to deliver better images to the interpreter.”

That modern system started with Landmark's SeisSpace software, an evolved ProMAX application built to help technicians better understand seismic data with visualization tools in large-volume 2-D, 3-D, prestack, and post-stack seismic datasets.

Those wave-equation-based illumination and visibility software tools help experts determine the best processing 

The software runs on a preconfigured Appro GreenBlade cluster system based on Intel Xeon processors. (The image is courtesy of Appro International Inc.)

sequence to get the greatest understanding of the desired target, Basche added. A company can save time and money by directing analysis toward a specific target rather than a large area and depth, by the right choice of wide-azimuth versus narrow-azimuth designs, and by choosing among a host of additional parameters.

To make sure operators get the maximum benefit from the software, Landmark decided to build partnerships with companies that had the hardware to offer the best results.

Intel offered a cluster-ready program that can manage 250 cores with two gigabytes of memory per core, enough power for sophisticated analysis linked to an accessible and consumable system. That system links the Landmark software and Appro hardware in a complete system designed and tested to work smoothly.

Intel's cluster checker makes sure the system has the right equipment to handle the required work.

The transparent system means “you don't have to be an expert to use it,” John A. Hengeveld, director of technical computing marketing for Intel's Data Center Group, said.

“It's packaged and ready to go,” Maria McLaughlin, director of marketing for Appro, added. The complete system is small enough to fit into available space in most offices.

The software runs on a preconfigured Appro GreenBlade cluster system based on Intel Xeon processors. It allows operators to use the Intel cluster-ready system to distribute work among clusters for parallel processing power from connected servers to process complex, data-intensive information sets more quickly.

The package, which can be bought or leased from Landmark, makes sure the application is ready to handle current-generation processing and has the flexibility to expand into next-generation processing, Basche added.

“It's a good, cost-effective solution if you want the most value out of your seismic data,” Hengeveld said.