- Copyright © 2001 Society of Exploration Geophysicists
Visualization technology has the potential to fundamentally change the way companies conduct business in the oil and gas industry. The last four years have seen the growing acceptance in the upstream portion of the industry of large collaborative and semi-immersive visualization systems such as large flat screens, curved screen theaters, and fully immersive CAVEs.
Benefits of fully immersive tracked environments include:
Geometric accuracy of displayed data
Full immersion/wide field of view
Moderate numbers of viewers/collaborators
3-D interaction and editing of the data
Drilling planning is an example of an application that can benefit from such an environment. Planning wells for exploration and field development requires integration of a wide variety of data, geometric accuracy of the data display, interaction with the data, and collaborative efforts of an interdisciplinary team.
The Immersive Drilling Planner is a software system for platform and well planning in an immersive environment. In several projects to which it has been applied, 3-D immersive drilling planning has reduced development planning cycle times from several months to a week or less. Furthermore, the 3-D immersive environment has enhanced the quality of results and has encouraged more effective communication among multidisciplinary team members.
Immersive visualization issues
Traditional visualization on desktop display systems has tended to focus on discipline, or domain specific applications like 3-D seismic interpretation. These applications have demonstrated value through improving accuracy, completeness, and efficiency of interpretation and reservoir modeling. However, desktop displays are fundamentally limited in the amount of data displayed and in the number of people who can view data simultaneously. This directly limits integration of data and collaboration between more than two people.
As a result, individuals tend to plan sequentially. The geophysicist interprets seismic, while the geologist integrates well and other geologic data to define a prospect. Potential drilling locations are then handed off to the …