Experts predict that global oil demand will surpass 100 million barrels per day by 2020. To keep up with this growing demand, oil companies are continually searching for new sources of crude. High-performance computing (HPC) solutions are a strategic weapon in the race to discover oil. In fact, one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers used for commercial research belongs to oil and gas titan  BP.


This new system, with 2,700 Apollo 6000 nodes, is equipped with Intel Knights Landing chips, a 100GB low-latency network for processing speed from 4 to 9 petaflops, 1,140TB of active memory, and 30PB of storage. This extreme power enables BP to quickly analyze petabytes of seismic data, which recently resulted in the identification of 200 million barrels of potential oil reserves nearly 7 miles below the ocean floor.


This discovery is important not because of the size of the potential reserve, but because it takes a step forward in proving that the earth is not running out of oil and gas.


High-performance computing is key to tapping into these reserves. To be competitive, oil and gas companies must be able to effectively manage and store exabytes of seismic data, well data, maps, leases, and more. To put this data to use, they need an HPC infrastructure that can process and deliver real-time analytics to help optimize production, reduce environmental risks, and enhance operational safety. It must also be able to apply machine learning to help increase success in identifying and drilling new wells.


For example, multinational energy company Eni uses the world’s fastest industrial HPC supercomputer to simulate 15 years’ worth of oil reservoir production in just 28 minutes. This system also allows Eni to improve drilling success by using real-time data to model potential reservoirs and perform “what-if” scenarios before committing to actual drilling.


The NetApp® E-Series HPC solution features a complete line of high-performance, highly reliable storage systems that help turn data into oil. A modular architecture with industry-leading price/performance offers a true pay-as-you-grow solution to support storage requirements for the terabytes of data generated each day by exploration and drilling operations. The system is integrated with leading oil and gas applications, to make sure that data is captured from all sources so that the best decisions can be made quickly.


NetApp E-Series HPC enables you to:

  • Increase success when drilling new wells by implementing high-performance storage with deep learning capabilities to identify the most probable sources.
  • Reduce the time it takes to analyze exploratory data from months to weeks with the industry’s fastest ingestion and retrieval speeds.
  • Make better-informed decisions by using real-time data from storage systems that never miss a beat, delivering 99.9999%+ availability and industry-leading durability, based on nearly 1 million units shipped.
  • Scale cost effectively with price/performance building blocks that make small to large configurations cost efficient.

To learn more about NetApp high-performance computing solutions for oil and gas, visit

Julie Fagan

Julie Fagan has a long career in high-tech solutions marketing. She loves working at NetApp where she gets to focus on bringing the best video surveillance and high performance computing storage solutions to the world along with her awesome co-workers.

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