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Schlumberger provides $21.8 million in petroleum exploration, production software to UT Austin as aid to geoscience research, education

The University of Texas at Austin has received $21.8 million in leading-edge oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) software from Schlumberger.

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AUSTIN, Texas—The University of Texas at Austin has received $21.8 million in leading-edge oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) software from Schlumberger.

The software has been provided through Schlumberger’s worldwide university software program. The program offers software developed and marketed by GeoQuest, a Schlumberger operating unit, to selected colleges and universities at minimal cost.

Dr. Bob A. Hardage, senior research scientist at UT Austin’s Bureau of Economic Geology, said the GeoQuest software “is an important component of university research projects and is invaluable in our training of students who will be the future technologists of the oil and gas industry.”

GeoQuest provides three-year renewable licenses, software maintenance, training and technical support to eligible institutions. Universities selected for this program can use the software to instruct students as part of a course curriculum or to conduct academic research. The software is not intended for commercial use by the university.

The Bureau of Economic Geology conducts oil and gas reservoir research for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The results are published in technical papers and discussed at seminars.

Hardage said access to the software will improve UT Austin’s ability to attract such funding. “We’re able to be very competitive for receiving these grants from the DOE because we have GeoQuest software to conduct our reservoir studies,” said Hardage.

Hardage said petroleum reservoirs are complex structures. The bureau’s research, called reservoir characterization, helps the oil and gas industry get a better picture of the internal structure so oil and gas wells can be placed in the best locations for maximum production.

“We have to understand the internal architecture of the system. This software basically helps us do that. It helps us translate or transform the well log data into forms that can be used in this interpretation,” Hardage said. “Probably the most significant use of the software is to do three-dimensional seismic interpretation. That’s probably the most powerful probe we have in trying to get a picture of what the complex internal architecture of a reservoir is like.”

The software package provides integrated geoscientific interpretation and reservoir simulation capabilities. It includes the GeoFrame® integrated reservoir characterization system and ECLIPSE* reservoir simulation software. In addition to being an integral part of UT Austin’s research program, these applications will enable students to learn the most advanced E&P techniques as they build interpretation-to-simulation workflows, Schlumberger officials said.

“Teaching and training petroleum engineering students with state-of-the-art software applications is a key element in their education,” said Barry Taylor, manager of U.S. Software Product Sales for GeoQuest. “We will continue to support UT Austin’s dual mission of research and education.”

Hardage said the software will be of great benefit to the 40 or 50 graduate students who do research at the Bureau of Economic Geology each year. Other UT Austin departments benefiting from the software include geological sciences, aerospace and engineering mechanics, the Institute for Geophysics and the Center for Subsurface Modeling in the Texas Institute for Computational and Applied Mathematics.

GeoQuest, an operating unit of Schlumberger, is the E&P industry leader for the supply of integrated software systems and data management solutions to assist petroleum companies in optimizing the value of their oil and gas reservoirs. Schlumberger — the leading supplier of services and technology to the international petroleum industry — operates offices, service locations, and research and development facilities around the world.

For more information, contact Dr. Bob A. Hardage, Bureau of Economic Geology, at (512) 471-0300 or (512) 471-1534, Susan Ganz at GeoQuest (713) 513-2480 or the Office of Public Affairs at (512) 471-3151.

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