Parallel Simulation of Oil Reservoirs on a Multi-core Stream Computer

  • Fadi N. Sibai
  • Hashir Karim Kidwai
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5300)


With the oil barrel price presently crippling the world economy, developing fast oil reservoir simulators is as important as ever. This article describes the parallelization and development of a 2-phase oil-water reservoir simulator on the state-of-the-art IBM Cell computer. The interdependent linear algebraic equations of the reservoir simulator is presented as well as the pipelined time step parallelization approach adopted on the Cell, The performance results reveal that given the largely interdependent nature of the oil reservoir model equations which highly limits parallelism, speedups of 6x or higher could be obtained. This speedup is significant as it results in oil simulation runs cut from weeks to days, allowing for more simulation runs with various well placements to run on the same hardware, and resulting in better reservoir management, and possibly higher oil production. The results also demonstrate that the oil reservoir simulator application is characterized by higher speedups with increasing grid size. However the speedup was shown to go down with increased number of time steps as the main memory transfer overhead becomes an important factor. Proper choice of compiler optimization flags helped boost the performance by a factor of 2x. Our parallelization approach is economically feasible due to the affordable cost of the widely available Cell-based Playstation 3.


Oil reservoir simulation multi-core computing Cell Broadband Engine Thomas algorithm 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fadi N. Sibai
    • 1
  • Hashir Karim Kidwai
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Information TechnologyUAE UniversityAlainUnited Arab Emirates

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