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Repsol Excalibur
Technology that optimizes the removal processes of subsoil.
Mathematics and the latest advances in computing at the service of a better development plan for deposits. For that, Excalibur was born, a technology that seeks to characterize the uncertainty of the subsoil and minimize risks. Repsol is committed to a know-how that also incorporates tools from the video game industry or the financial world in order to evaluate Exploration and Production projects up to 1,000 times faster.

With deposits of an increasingly complex geology, the oil industry has to tread carefully. In a sector where drilling a dry well can cost tens of millions, investment decisions are always made in a context of uncertainty because absolute knowledge of what happens in the subsoil is impossible. That's why we need new technologies like Excalibur. The problems are so complex that without them they could not be addressed.
Main features
  • Technology to reduce uncertainty
  • Excalibur uses the latest mathematical techniques and data processing to perform a comprehensive evaluation of the deposits. The tool combines all the variables of interest simultaneously, from those related to geosciences to financial ones, to characterize uncertainty more accurately and in less time. This information serves as a support for experts to define the optimum development plan of a deposit.
  • Up to 1,000 times faster
  • Build 3D geological models that allow specialists to study their characteristics. Finally, the program applies to all the information to produce numerical optimization algorithms created specifically by Repsol researchers. As a result, the probability of success increases in such important aspects such as where to find accumulated oil or where to drill wells to reduce their number, which is a very important competitive advantage for the company.
  • The developed methodology contributes speed thanks to innovative techniques such as Smart Sampling, which reduces the time of characterization of the uncertainty by intelligently selecting the evaluations. Also, to make information processing more efficient Excalibur uses a virtual cloud cluster where servers work in a network and in parallel.
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Challenge
Virgin sites, the ultimate challenge. This technological development is particularly useful in the fields with more uncertainty, the green fields or virgin fields, which represent the biggest challenge for the industry because there is hardly any information about them.

Excalibur compensates for this lack of data with a prototype analog search that compares the new deposit with similar ones already known. Using this reference, it calculates the petrophysical properties of the virgin deposit and its probabilistic distribution, which serve as a skeleton to build the 3D model.

The result is like a cake with different layers where the different properties of the deposit are represented: the types of rock, its geological structure, permeability or porosity; variables that are decisive when deciding how to produce crude oil and that have a decisive impact on economic costs. With this use of Big Data, the system also incorporates the knowledge accumulated by the company and the industry in different areas, making it easier for experts to reach more precise solutions.
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Results
Beyond the capacity of supercomputing, technology today advances towards greater interaction between human beings and machine. During the development of Excalibur, the need arose to make a graphical interface that was more creative, intuitive and friendly. For this, synergies have been used with the video game industry, the most advanced in the field of visualization. Excalibur uses for example, the natural Kinect interface of the XBOX video game console, with which researchers can control and interact with the machine without the need for peripherals.

The result is a laboratory that nods to the future imagined in the movie "Minority Report", where scientists move and expand various models in 3D with their hands. The company's specialists can connect with the Advanced Simulation Laboratory from anywhere in the world, which favors teamwork, speeds up the process and, above all, improves the quality of forecasts.