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University of Wyoming Receives Historic Software Donation from Schlumberger

August 6, 2009
Group of men
UW petroleum engineering students visit Jonah Field to learn about increasing the gas flow-rate from wells by creating artificial fractures in the gas bearing rock.

University of Wyoming officials today announced a $73 million software donation from Schlumberger, the world's leading oilfield service company.

Students, faculty and researchers will benefit from access to the leading exploration and production modeling software used by global oil and gas companies. Last year, Schlumberger donated $26.6 million in software to UW, the largest gift of its kind until its most recent commitment.

"Schlumberger continues to show its dedication to partnering with UW and Wyoming in the expansion of the university's efforts as a national leader in energy education and research," UW President Tom Buchanan says. "Without Schlumberger's gifts, our faculty and students would not have the important tools to fulfill their educational and research goals."

The donation of ECLIPSE* Parallel, the industry reference reservoir simulation software, will be used in the UW College of Engineering and Applied Science's (CEAS) EnCana Reservoir Simulation Laboratory. The new lab, which will start construction this month, is the first of three petroleum engineering laboratories to be funded by EnCana's gift of $2 million, matched by the state. The 2008 software donation from Schlumberger was directed to the Wyoming Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute (EORI).

"An important feature of this gift to UW by Schlumberger is its focus on undergraduate education regarding oil and gas reservoirs," says CEAS Dean Robert Ettema. "Undergraduate students will experience an educational environment usually reserved for graduate students, exposing them to advanced contemporary engineering practice."

In addition to the teaching component, software also will be used collaboratively across several UW departments including petroleum engineering, chemical engineering, geology and geophysics and mathematics.

"The EnCana Reservoir Simulation Laboratory equipped with the Schlumberger ECLIPSE software enables the faculty to teach fundamentals in petroleum engineering and other disciplines while using industry standard equipment and software," says Assistant Professor Vladimir Alvarado, the faculty member responsible for the laboratory. "The Reservoir Simulation Laboratory has been conceived as a data room to simulate workspace for integrated teams in petroleum engineering and geosciences. This will provide students and researchers with the look and feel of industry standard settings."

A smaller lab, equipped with high-performance workstations funded by UW Academic Affairs, serves as an auxiliary simulation lab.

The entire spectrum of computer-aided analysis from static, enabled by Petrel software, to dynamic modeling will be available. Parallel simulation will be enabled using black-oil and compositional models of ECLIPSE on computer clusters with up to 70 simultaneous cores in a single run.

Schlumberger donated the software to UW as part of an effort to increase industry-standard geology and geophysics software knowledge for students. This preparation will broaden the skill sets of university geoscience and petroleum engineering graduates, making them more attractive in the job market.

Additionally, Schlumberger recently renewed its original software gift to the EORI, which will  benefit from an additional $32.9 million in software licenses to support students' understanding of oil and gas reservoirs.

Posted on Thursday, August 06, 2009

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