Enterprise Software for Interactive and Super Efficient Processing of Large Multi-Dimensional Datasets

Period of Performance: 01/01/2012 - 12/31/2012


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Z-terra Inc.
17171 Park Row Suite 247
Houston, TX 77084
Principal Investigator, Firm POC


This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will develop and demonstrate a key enterprise High Performance Computing (HPC) software technology that decreases the high costs of 3-D depth imaging very large seismic datasets, by using a wide azimuth Fast Beam Migration (FBM), a super-efficient algorithm that is 100-400 times faster than the industry standard Kirchhoff depth migration. This in turn lowers the adoption threshold for this HPC technology in small and medium size data processing geophysical companies, by allowing them to solve the same problem that requires many thousands of CPUs, on smaller hardware configurations with tens or a few hundred CPUs. Another enterprise problem we address is the speed up of the cycle of processing seismic data in the 3-D seismic imaging industry. The standard imaging cycle in the industry is 6-8 months for a medium to large depth imaging project (an area of a few hundred to a few thousand square miles). We aim to reduce this cycle to one month, by using faster and more interactive algorithms, better workflows, and more optimized processing software. The objective of this Phase I research is to examine the feasibility of developing an ultra-fast imaging algorithm that allows for very fast imaging iterations (order of minutes for imaging thousands of square kilometers), which combined with very fast migration velocity analysis tools, including wide-azimuth tomography will provide much greater resolution and accuracy than what can be accomplished today with standard imaging technology. The Phase I effort is an implementation project and feasibility study designed to demonstrate the functionality of the super-efficient depth migration, while the Phase II effort will focus on researching the implementation and testing the proposed technology in a commercial strength production workflow. The end result of this development effort will be enterprise seismic imaging software that enables an order of magnitude more effective imaging of complex geologic structure. Commercial Application and Other Benefits: This advanced technology enables cost effective imaging of complex geologic structures, allows small and medium companies to compete and use technology that previously was available to only a few, very large service companies with tens of thousands of high performance computing clusters. Such imaging technology allows oil-and-gas companies to create 3-D images of the earth and reduce development costs, decrease the environmental impact of failed drilling projects, increase the amount of hydrocarbons recovered and ultimately increase the amount of national oil reserves.