"It’s amazing that MUN is getting this technology.
It’s the most advanced software in the industry. I’m
very excited about it.” That was Victoria Hardy’s
reaction to the announcement that Landmark Graphics has donated
visualization software to the university worth nearly $14 million
(US). The software will be used in a Decision Centre, a three-dimensional
visualization centre where research teams can collaborate to
better understand the oil and gas reservoirs.
Ms. Hardy is a master’s student in the Department of Earth
Sciences and she’s one of the many Memorial students who
will be using the software in the Decision Centre, due to be
built this September. To her, and many of her colleagues, more
information equals more success. With this software, researchers
will be viewing operations and data in real time. For example,
if a rig is drilling a well and there are sensors on the drill
bit and at the bore hole, researchers can view it as it happens.
But Ms. Hardy is not just excited about the viewing seismic
data from Newfoundland’s offshore. She knows she’ll
have a better chance of attaining a good job after graduation.
“This is huge asset for us because it’s what’s
being used right now around the world,” she said. “It’s
the most advanced technology we can possibly have.”
She adds that the geology of this province is very complex.
“We’ll graduate with an understanding of the processes
and the techniques. Companies would normally have to retrain
us with this technology. Now we’ll understand it before
we get to the job market.”
Plus, she notes Memorial has always had a good reputation for
earth sciences and engineering but this will take it a giant
step forward; increasing competition between students, faculty
and businesses wanting to come to this province.
Cabot Martin is president of Deer Lake Oil and Gas. He agrees
that the more exciting and informative the technology used for
exploration, the more business will be attracted.
“We’d like to see the petroleum geosciences community
grow any way it can,” he said. “Also, we have some
innovative applications we think would be appropriate for unexplored
areas like the Deer Lake basin.”
Mr. Martin says it’s obvious from the technical literature
that the Landmark software is a tool that has been very effective
in oil and gas exploration. “It might be too early to
predict what the long term spin offs will be from having this
technology, but I suspect it will be quite large. I think the
oil and gas industry is central to our economy and anything
that develops additional exploration skills will directly affect
Mr. Cabot said it’s a great benefit to have the Landmark
technology in the community. “It’s one thing to
gather expertise from away but it’s much more important
to have daily, frequent and personal interaction with researchers
For him, graduates who are familiar with this software with
the ability to analyze alternative exploration tactics are much
more valuable as future employees. “The Department of
Earth Sciences at Memorial has been key to the development of
our company and we see this as another giant building block
in that process.”
Ms. Hardy says she’s not sure what she’ll look for
her first time sitting in the Decision Centre but there is something
she may have to get used to. “I’ve heard it can
be pretty nauseating in this 3-D environment, so it may take
some time to adjust. But that’s all part of the excitement.”
Memorial will be the only university in Canada to offer this
training environment for students.