Total’s Pangea III supercomputer online

Source: press release, 18 June 2019

Total’s CSTJF engineering and research centre in Pau, France (photo: Bip Info France/Total)
Total’s CSTJF engineering and research centre in Pau, France (photo: Bip Info France/Total)

Total has brought on line its new Pangea III supercomputer, multiplying the Group’s computing power by almost 5 to 31.7 petaflops (equivalent to 170,000 laptops combined) and tripling its storage capacity to 76 petabytes (equivalent to about 50 million HD movies).

Pangea III’s capacity adds to its predecessors (Pangea I and II) and is now ranked the number 1 most powerful supercomputer in the industry, and the 11th most powerful computer globally, public or private (TOP500 ranking).

“Pangea III’s additional computing power enhances Total’s operational excellence. It enables Total to reduce geological risks in exploration and development, accelerate project maturation and delivery, and increases the value of our assets through optimised field operations, with all this at a lower cost,” states Arnaud Breuillac, President Total Exploration & Production.

Developed by IBM, the new high-performance computer also enhances energy efficiency, dividing the power consumption per petaflop by 11 (1.5 MW for Pangea III versus 4.5 MW for Pangea I and II).

Pangea III has varied applications, particularly in three different fields:

  • New algorithms can process huge amounts of data more accurately, at higher resolution and help to more reliably locate hydrocarbons below ground. This is especially useful in complex geologic environments with resources trapped under salt, such as in Brazil, the Gulf of Mexico, Angola and the Eastern Mediterranean.
  • Increased computing power allows Total to use innovative reservoir simulation methods that, for example, integrate more efficiently a field’s production history, to generate more reliable predictive production models, much faster.
  • Pangea III will also contribute to Total’s business efficiency by enabling an early assessment of the value of exploration acreage and asset opportunities, thus enhancing selectivity in the company’s new ventures.

Pangea III’s enhanced capabilities will also extend to new applications within the Group, such as molecular modelling to optimise refining processes or improve lubricants’ properties. In addition, it will enable Total R&D teams to test complex new algorithms and facilitate the development of artificial intelligence solutions, an important growth area for Total as illustrated by its partnership with Google Cloud.

Note: A petaflop is a quadrillion (thousand trillion) floating point operations (“flops”) per second. A petabyte is a million gigabytes of data