Microsoft: Faster Computers = Cheaper Gas

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Research firms and think tanks are constantly looking for new ways to process oil in order to increase gasoline production, given the world’s dependence on the valuable commodity. Analyzing chemical bonds and refining techniques, however, many not be the only solution when it comes to achieving optimum efficiency.

Conducted by Gelb Consulting Group in February of this year, The Microsoft High-Performance Computing Oil and Gas Industry Survey indicates that providing geoscientists with the latest and greatest in computing technology could increase overall oil and gas production.

Gelb tallied results from over 100 oil and gas industry experts from around the world. Findings of significant mention from the study include:

·    Eighty-one percent report that more ready access to high-performance computing capability could increase oil and gas production.

·    Eighty-six percent have computing power at their deskside, and 69 percent prefer computing power at their desktops.

·    Sixty-one percent believe that having the capability to run additional tasks and iterations will reduce project risk.

·    Fifty-six percent prefer to schedule their own jobs to a technical computing or HPC cluster rather than refer to a cluster administrator to manage the job queue.

·    Forty-seven percent say their computing-intensive scientific applications require multiple iterations.

·    Twenty-five percent of computing-intensive scientific applications still take from overnight to more than a week to run.

“Since the mid-1990s, the upstream oil and gas industry has had the goal of achieving dramatic cost savings in the area of technical computing,” said John Elmer, president of Gelb Consulting Group.

“This goal is being achieved today. For example, it used to be the case that geosciences applications managers would not let go of their UNIX machines for mission-critical applications. The tide has now turned with smart-client PCs and applications reaching a level of maturity, reliability and stability that has caused even the skeptics to trust a move to Microsoft Windows.”

“This new approach to high-performance computing doesn’t replace supercomputers in oil and gas. Instead, it makes technical computing more available to more people at a lower cost,” said John Fikany, vice president of the U.S. Manufacturing Group at Microsoft.

“By using Windows Compute Cluster Server, geoscientists are empowered to more easily access, analyze and garner deeper insights from complex data and information — ultimately getting oil and gas from the subsurface to the pump faster, more efficiently.”

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