In-house developed technologies

With our in-house developed TeraPOWERS technology we are now able to model the physics of hydrocarbon reservoirs from their original generation to their final production, helping to prioritize prospects, reduce exploration risks and costs, and enable us to sustainably manage our oil and gas resources for the benefit of people and economies around the world.

Industry first technology

Chapter 1

In 2016, we achieved the industry’s first trillion-cell simulation and hydrocarbon migration algorithm, run on the latest evolution of our parallel oil and water enhanced reservoir simulator – POWERS.

We developed POWERS in-house, and at the time of its first deployment in 2000, it was capable of million-cell models. In 2010, we unveiled GigaPOWERS, which ran billion-cell models.

Now, the development of TeraPOWERS will make it possible to model the physics of our hydrocarbon reservoirs from microscopic rock pore scale all the way to giant field and even basin scale.

“This achievement opens the door for us to simulate the Saudi Arabian peninsula in its entirety, as one model, using the reservoir simulation grid.”

Ali Dogru, Saudi Aramco Fellow and chief technologist

Optimizing our resources

Chapter 2

The more reservoir engineers know about what is going on in and around the reservoirs, the more effectively they can place wells and manage production of hydrocarbons to optimize resources. 

Since the giant reservoirs of Saudi Arabia are among the biggest in the world, the company requires extremely powerful modeling and simulation capability to understand the mysteries underground. No such capability existed in the industry, so our EXPEC Advanced Research Center in Dhahran embarked on pioneering its own in-house technology solution in 1994, with just a small team of scientists.

With a greater number of cells in the reservoir models, greater detail is provided on the reservoirs. A giant field such as Ghawar — the largest in the world — was not able to be simulated in its entirety with sufficient resolution until GigaPOWERS came along.

Suddenly, reservoir engineers could understand connectivity among the various reservoirs and improve the management of the field.

The world’s first trillion-cell run is a major breakthrough for both the company and the global scientific community. With this technology we will be able to simulate oil migration problems in the Kingdom in a fraction of the time it once took.

POWERS progress

work begins with a small team of scientists at our EXPEC Advanced Research Center
the first deployment of POWERS was capable of million-cell models
we unveil GigaPOWERS, which runs billion-cell models, capable of simulating giant fields like Ghawar
in an industry first, we achieve trillion-cell simulation and hydrocarbon migration algorithm

Collaborating for success

Chapter 3

The breakthrough trillion-cell simulation was made possible through our technology collaboration with the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).

The model was run using the KAUST Shaheen II super computer. The computing power requirements for computational modelling technology development are enormous, and the Shaheen II super computer provided us with the necessary capacity for our groundbreaking modelling.

Scientists used 150,000 cores — about 75% of the capacity of the entire computer for the trillion-cell simulation.

“We could not have achieved this incredible milestone without the expertise and resources from KAUST, which provided superb support. We are driving the industry’s leading state-of-the-art technology and working on one of the largest magnitude of clusters in the industry to deliver a most powerful solution.” 

Larry Fung, lead TeraPOWERS developer and founding member of the original POWERS

The POWER mission

Chapter 4

The mission of TeraPOWERS is twofold: to help increase discovery and recovery. TeraPOWERS will catapult the company much further in reservoir management optimization in visualizing not only all of the fields, but also what is happening between them in one enormous model of the Saudi Arabian basin.

With our game-changing technologies such as TeraPOWERS, we develop a better understanding of the complex geology of our hydrocarbon reservoirs to improve the recovery of oil and gas, and ensure we manage our reservoirs for sustainable long-term production.

“With this major breakthrough, Saudi Aramco is taking a big leap toward the goal of implementing a basin simulator that will provide a fuller picture of our assets, allowing the company to become an even more efficient steward of the Kingdom’s hydrocarbon resources.”

Mohammed Al. Qahtani, senior vice president of Upstream