press release

Texaco Press Release - Texaco Announces The Opening Of New 3-D Visualization Center In Houston


HOUSTON, Nov. 11 - Sitting in a futuristic, circular building, Texaco executives, geologists and engineers soon will have a virtual look at the entire geologic structure of the company's Kern River (Calif.) Field. Looking at a 3-D image of the oil reservoir projected on a concave screen, 25 feet wide and nine feet tall, this team will be able to discuss the most efficient, cost effective manner to inject the steam that will loosen the hard-to-reach oil deposits of this geologically challenging California field.

All of this is being made possible by a 3-D visualization facility set to open on Nov. 11, at Texaco's Exploration and Production Technology Department in Southwest Houston. This state-of-the-art facility will use Texaco's innovative application of 3-D visualization technology to interpret millions of bits of data and then project 3-D images of complex geologic structures on an immersive panoramic screen. This Center is the only facility of its kind in the oil industry dedicated to this purpose.

Commenting on the new facility, Dr. Ronald J. Robinson, President of Texaco's Technology Division, said, "This 3-D Visualization Center is indicative of Texaco's overall commitment to be a leader in the development and application of leading-edge technology. These 3-D visualization tools better enable us to understand the geologic make-up of a particular area. Therefore, we can make better decisions about where to drill and how to manage the life of an oil field. It is this application of technology that gives Texaco a competitive advantage and reinforces our leadership position in the global energy industry."

Understanding 3-D seismic data as more than lines on a computer screen or a piece of paper was once the domain of only the most technically competent scientists. Now, in Texaco's 3-D Visualization Center, more than 3,500 square kilometers of seismic data can be evaluated to identify petroleum reserves present in a field at various depths at one time. As a result, this massive amount of information can be interpreted by the entire team analyzing the subsurface structure of an oil field.

The Visualization Center demonstrates Texaco's commitment to developing, acquiring, and applying technology quickly. Using this center as a template, Texaco can develop similar facilities around the world, enabling employees to collaboratively analyze and interact with data for more informed, effective group decision making.

Michael J. Zeitlin, Portfolio Manager for Texaco's Visualization Technology, said, "No other major energy company in the world can do what Texaco can right now with 3-D visualization. Texaco has applied 3-D visualization technology in several fields throughout the world. Each application has provided us with a clearer picture of field structure and has resulted in improved production. Earlier applications of this technology have improved our cycle time from months to weeks for evaluating data.

"It is another step into the 21st century where instant collaboration across time zones using 3-D visualization will become common place within Texaco and with our partners. Our new center will be supported by a team of Texaco experts who have developed programs to move, slice, section and even walk through huge quantities of data in real time using this new immersive environment," said Zeitlin.

In addition to examining geologic structures, applications of 3-D visualization technology are being used by Texaco in areas such as finance and facilities design.

Updated: November 1997