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Vol 40  No 10
February 21, 2008


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Software donation means better training for students heading into the oil and gas industry
by Michelle Osmond

Petrosys the Mapping Guru, an international leader in the provision of software systems to the petroleum exploration and production industry, has donated more than $1 million worth of software to Memorial University.

This state-of-the-art mapping and modelling software will allow researchers to perform enhanced mapping of seismic data, something that is very important for general exploration, oil field development and potentially mining.

Dr. Richard Hiscott, professor emeritus from the Department of Earth Sciences, said this software is used by Calgary based and international oil companies and means Memorial students will be better prepared for this growing industry.

“This software will provide flexibility to our students and researchers in their selection of presentation/display formats,” he said. “It will produce top-quality maps so I expect the main users will be graduate students working with industry seismic datasets and full-time researchers.”

Renee Ferguson is one of those students. She’s working on her PhD, studying the Orphan Basin, an area of active hydrocarbon exploration in offshore Newfoundland. Because the area is offshore and in deep water Ms. Ferguson relies heavily on seismic and well data to gain a better understanding of the area’s geology.

She had an opportunity to use the Petrosys software during a summer job in Calgary last year. “I really liked working with it. It’s user friendly, flexible, generates high quality maps, and it interfaces directly with the seismic interpretation software that we use here at Memorial. It also allows the user to manually edit contours, which is a real asset when mapping in offshore Newfoundland, where data coverage varies from very dense in places to sparse in other areas,” said Ms. Ferguson, who was instrumental in obtaining the donation.

“Right away I recognized its potential for our Orphan Basin research at Memorial.” So, Ms. Ferguson sent Petrosys a request with background information about the project, to ask if they would consider a software donation to Memorial. “They generously agreed, and I returned to Memorial in the fall with the donation offer in hand.”

The industry leading software will be installed in the Landmark Graphics Visualization Centre, a three-dimensional visualization centre that acts as an ultrasound for oil and gas reservoirs, allowing researchers to view three-dimensional imagery generated from data collected on Newfoundland's offshore. This centre has put Memorial on the map as one of the few universities worldwide to have this ability and the only university in Canada to offer this training environment for students.

Petrosys provides software and services to the petroleum exploration and production industry. The Petrosys product suite produces high quality maps and manages, edits, and analyses the underlying data, including the specialized seismic, well and other information used in the quest for oil. Geoscientists and engineers at more than 200 sites worldwide use the Petrosys suite as a natural tool for basin and field interpretation, to assist communication and to make better decisions.

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