This paper was prepared for the Rocky Mountain Regional Meeting of the Society of Petroleum Engineers of AIME, to be held in Billings, Montana, June 5–7, 1968, and is considered the property of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Permission to copy is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words. Illustrations may not be copied. The abstract should contain conspicuous acknowledgment of where and by whom the paper is presented. Publication elsewhere after publication in the JOURNAL paper is presented. Publication elsewhere after publication in the JOURNAL OF PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY or the SOCIETY OF PETROLEUM ENGINEERS JOURNAL is usually granted upon request to the Editor of the appropriate journal provided agreement to give proper credit is made. provided agreement to give proper credit is made. Discussion of this paper is invited. Three copies of any discussion should be sent to the Society of Petroleum Engineers office. Such discussion may be presented at the above meeting and, with the paper, may be considered for publication in one of the two SPE magazines.


Recent developments in the computer field will soon make it possible for a geologist or engineer to have on-line capability for many complex geological and engineering problems. New computer peripheral equipment includes many different types of graphic display systems. Technical personnel will have unprecedented conversational capability to work with visual graphics data. They can refer to data, change data, initiate new ideas, compare data all within the framework of a defined problem. problem. Now one can perform complex activities such as preparation of contour maps, decline curves, three dimensional representations, stereoscopic or mathematical models in seconds instead of weeks or months. The conversational mode of operation of such units allows the operator complete control of the desired display. Objects can be moved about, using a light pen to detect a particular line segment or symbol. The keyboard allows one to change parameters or add new information. The time parameters or add new information. The time required to solve a problem is cut dramatically. The ability of the technician to change points on a three dimensional basis will be points on a three dimensional basis will be of great value in the fields of exploration, exploitation, and reservoir engineering. Visual display can be obtained along any desired axis or on any scale or projection. Utilization of sophisticated data information systems in conjunction with graphic display systems will undoubtedly revolutionize techniques now In use in the petroleum industry. The speed and versatility which these systems will make possible will create a far greater impact on the industry than anything ever experienced in the past.


The application of high speed computers to exploration and exploitation problems is a relatively new technique. Less than five years ago the geologist and engineer found it necessary to spend hours, days, or weeks accumulating and preparing data to eventually make a study. Petroleum technology has advanced by leaps and bounds since the late 1940's: with these advances came a staggering amount of data and information. The advances in technology were actually restricted because of the impossibility of handling vast quantities of scientific data and information.

The increase in exploration and drilling costs has made it necessary to look for techniques outside the petroleum industry to solve these many problems, and thereby cut costs. Decision making, both on the technical as well as management level, requires a much faster means of handling, correlating and interpreting scientific data. No industry collects more varied and voluminous information and data than the petroleum industry. petroleum industry.

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