Like the rest of the petroleum industry, Texaco has been migrating its applications and databases from mainframes to PC's and workstations. This transition has been very positive from the standpoint that it provides an environment for integrating applications, increases end user productivity, and in general reduces overall computing costs. On the downside, the transition typically results in a dramatic increase in workstation purchases and raises concerns with regards to the cost and effective management of computing resources in this new environment. The workstation transition also places the user in a UNIX computing environment which, to say the least, can be quite frustrating to learn and use.
This paper describes the approach, philosophy, architecture, and current status of the new reservoir engineering / reservoir simulation computing environment developed at Texaco's Exploration and Production Technology Department in Houston, Texas. The environment is representative of that under development at several other large oil companies and is based upon a cluster of IBM and Silicon Graphics workstations connected by a fiber optics communications network and engineering PC's connected to LAN's or Ethernets. Since computing resources and software licenses are shared among a group of users, the new environment enables us to get more out of our investments in workstation hardware and software.