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BP upgrades US supercomputer facility to enhance exploration and research capabilities

British oil major BP, in partnership with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Intel, has upgraded its Center for High-Performance Computing (CHPC) in Houston, US, to enhance its exploration and research capabilities.

The new upgrades to the CHPC involves increased computing power, speed and storage, to allow BP to reduce the time needed to analyze large amounts of seismic data to support exploration, appraisal and development plans as well as other research and technology developments.

BP said that the CHPC, since its launch in 2013, has quadrupled its computing power and doubled the storage capacity.

The firm said that it has more than doubled the total computing power of its CHPC, making it the most powerful commercial research supercomputer in the world.

BP upstream technology head Ahmed Hashmi said: “Our investment in supercomputing is another example of BP leading the way in digital technologies that deliver improved safety, reliability and efficiency across our operations and give us a clear competitive advantage.”

The company said: “BP’s computer scientists and mathematicians at the CHPC have enabled industry breakthroughs in advanced seismic imaging and rock physics research to help with reservoir modeling.”

For the upgrade project, BP has used HPE’s Apollo System and Intel’s Knights Landing processors to boost the supercomputer’s processing speed from four petaflops to nine petaflops.

The supercomputer features a total memory of 1,140 terabytes and 30 petabytes of storage.

HPE Data Center Infrastructure Group senior vice-president and general manager Alain Andreoli said: “With the expansion and new systems in place, BP will be able to further bolster its capabilities to accurately process and manage vast amounts of seismic data to identify new business opportunities and improve operational efficiency.”

BP plans to continue to expand its computing capability in 2018.