Skip to Main Content
Usefulness of graphically visualizing and manipulating large data sets in oil and gas exploration and production is as important as ever. This paper describes the development and parallelization of a multi-phase 3D oil-water reservoir visualization tool on the IBM Cell computer and CUDA enabled GPU. An independent Oil reservoir simulator described in  was used to generate the pressure and oil / water saturation values over a certain period of time. The oil reservoir visualization tool displays data grids in a 3D environment and allows the user to interact with it. Due to large speed requirements, our aim is to parallelize the computations required to interact with and visualize the grid, mainly transformation , zooming, camera movement  and compute intensive lighting model . This tool also allows the user to playback the simulation results over a time duration and fetches data values upon mouse click at a particular grid point on a particular day. The development environments are nVIDIA CUDA and IBM Cell SDK 3.0 along with QT and OpenGL libraries. Various experiments were run on an ×86 computer with nVIDIA Quadro FX 5800 GPU, and on an IBM Cell BE computer with 1 QS20 Cell blade containing two 9-core Cell processor packages. Our results indicate that the nVIDIA GPU provides on average, speed up of 67× over serial implementation and IBM Cell BE with 16 SPE SIMD implementation 32× over the serial implementation.