University of Calgary’s school of engineering has begun using 3D technology combined with VR systems to create visual representations for the drilling companies to use. This allows a better understanding of a range of interacting factors that affect the placement and method in which they pull oil or gas from the source.
The seismic data they collect is transformed into 3D representations which then can be interacted with in a much more accurate way. They also operate a wellbore simulator that operates completely independently. This allows heat reduction methods to be tested and changed without having to operate and run through all the different variations physically. The simulation is so advanced that it can process heat transfer and fluid flow.
These calculations can speed up the locating and navigating through the best places to begin drilling by years, possibly even decades overall. Previous methods of having to go out and physically find these spots have proven slow and tedious. These visual representations also let the companies see what the environmental impact will be once they decide to drill. The project has lead to cleaner operations, better production of resources and fewer wells going dry.
The University has even significantly reduced the amount of time it takes to create a simulation, rather than taking a day or two it now only takes a few minutes. They achieved this by running parallel simulations through multiple CPU processors and spreading the workload through multiple systems. This is a huge step forward because we all know in the industry of oil and gas, time is money.
The lab in Calgary can also be used for medical research, and architectural design presentations. Basically anything that benefits from the understanding of a visual aspect. All you need is the corresponding data and both the 3d and VR systems will render you an accurate representation of your project. This system will probably used as a template for systems around the world to base off of. The applications are (virtually) endless for other industries to upgrade the understanding of their product.