French oil firm boasts industry’s strongest supercomputer

French oil firm boast industry's strongest supercomputer

French oil and gas giant Total has boosted storage and computing power of its Pangea supercomputer in Pau, France, making it, Total says, the strongest unit of the kind withing the oil and gas industry.

In a statement on Tuesday, the company said its Pangea supercomputer has increased its computing power from 2.3 to 6.7 petaflops. One petaflop translates into a quadrillion (thousand trillion) floating point operations (“flops”) per second, which is according to Total, the equivalent of more than 80,000 laptops combined.

Furthermore, Total has also boosted the computer’s storage capacity, to 26 petabytes. A petabyte is a million gigabytes of data, so, Total has calculated that the supercomputer’s 26 petabytes translate into capacity of around 6 million DVDs.

The French oil firm launched Pangea in 2013, to help it with decision-making in the exploration of complex geological areas and to increase the efficiency of hydrocarbon production.

Total says that, with this latest upgrade, Pangea is the No. 1 Computer in the oil and gas industry and among the top 10 most powerful computers, public or private, worldwide in the TOP 500 ranking.

“We tripled Pangea’s computing power in just two years. In the era of big data, state-of-the-art data-intensive computing is a competitive advantage. This power will help us to improve our performance and to reduce our costs,” comments Arnaud Breuillac, President Total Exploration & Production.

The capacity boost will support the use of next-generation algorithms developed by Total’s R&D to image increasingly complex regions and produce numerical simulations of fields, incorporating 4D3 seismic data.

Pangea, designed by Silicon Graphics International, requires a power supply of 4.5 MW. Apart from using the computer for the complex tasks in the oil and gas industry, the computer is also being used as a heat source.

Namely, Total’s buildings in Pau, France are heated by reusing some of the heat released by the supercomputer.

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