The ECHELON Consortium is a collaboration of industry partners committed to advancing high-performance subsurface flow simulation.
In November of last year, US-based Stone Ridge Technology (SRT) and Italian energy company, Eni S.p.A announced the formation of the ECHELON Consortium, a collaboration of industry partners committed to advancing high-performance subsurface flow simulation. The Consortium is currently open to participation by new member organizations that would like to join SRT and Eni in shaping the development of ECHELON and benefit broadly from its power and versatility.
Numerical reservoir simulation is a critical component in the array of tools and processes that comprise modern reservoir management. In an industry skilled at managing uncertainty at all levels, simulators offer a unique contribution to the decision-making process that is based on a solid foundation of physics. With increasing policy friction and growing restrictions on exploration, the need for optimal recovery from existing assets has never been greater. Looking forward, companies, like Eni, are preparing to transition their business from hydrocarbon extraction into more broadly based energy technologies. New simulation workflows that include carbon capture and sequestration (CCUS), green and blue hydrogen seasonal storage and geothermal reservoir exploitation are gaining elevated importance. The requirements of these energy transition technologies can include higher resolution grids, centuries vs decades of simulated forecast, and more complex physics, all of which boost the computational workload by an order of magnitude or more.
This need for optimal production from existing assets and the emerging requirements from the energy transition to reduce net carbon emissions are imposing ever-increasing demands on simulation. At the forefront of industry performance, ECHELON is ideally situated to become the leading subsurface flow simulator for hydrocarbon recovery and the energy transition. The ECHELON Consortium is a framework that offers the opportunity to steer the development of subsurface flow simulation software technology, share knowledge, costs, and risk with industry peers, and gain unlimited access to the most powerful simulation capability in the industry.
The Consortium is built on the foundation of the ECHELON source code base, a full-featured subsurface flow simulator, unique to the industry, built from inception for modern Graphical Processing Units (GPUs). GPUs are powering the ongoing revolution in HPC and artificial intelligence, and are already widely used in the industry for seismic processing. ECHELON brings that power to subsurface flow simulation and demonstrates consistent and unrivaled performance that outpaces competitive products. It is the first of a new generation of engineering simulation codes incorporating state-of-the-art massively-parallel GPU technology and is uniquely poised in the industry to benefit from the post-Moore’s law technology curve that will dominate the coming decades.
The ECHELON software has been developed by SRT since 2012 and in joint partnership with Eni since 2018. It is a full-featured and robust code, thoroughly tested and deployed on critical business assets by our clients and industry partners. It incorporates rigorous and well-documented governing equations, discretization schemes, and convergence criteria and adheres to results produced by industry-reference legacy simulators. ECHELON runs on one or multiple GPUs which can be in a laptop, workstation, server, on-premise cluster, or cloud and is available under Windows and Linux. It runs black oil and compositional models, and offers complex field management, reservoir coupling, integrated surface networks, EOR, and much more. Its key differentiators over competing simulators are its unparalleled performance, exceptional scalability, reduced hardware requirements and lower total cost of operation.
The ECHELON Consortium offers two membership categories, Enterprise, and Strategic. Enterprise members receive a perpetual unlimited license to the ECHELON executable, seats on the technical and steering committees governing the Consortium, and an equal vote on the direction of simulator development. They enjoy direct communication to the ECHELON development team and access to all intermediate versions of ECHELON. Their asset models can be included in our testing and quality control suite and also be used to focus performance optimization strategies. In addition to all the benefits of Enterprise members, Strategic members receive a perpetual license to the ECHELON source code and the ability to contribute to ECHELON development. The membership is a five-year commitment with an opt-out election in year three.
Enterprise membership is suited to organizations that would like to lead the industry in the evolution of subsurface flow simulation technology for both traditional hydrocarbon recovery and new energy technologies. These organizations have pronounced need for unlimited access to industry leading performance and focused attention on their diverse portfolio of assets and emerging energy transition workflows. They benefit from a close collaborative partnership with SRT, that brings expertise in high performance computing, numerical algorithms and engineering software design, and industry peers, such as Eni, that bring deep knowledge and experience in subsurface modeling and reservoir management. Strategic membership is suited to those organizations that, in addition to the above, would like to mature in-house capability in the development of sophisticated high-performance subsurface flow simulation technology. With full access to source code, Strategic members may participate in development and can independently implement research-oriented approaches and time-saving workflows directly in their production simulator.
With industry trends pointing towards increased regulatory scrutiny on exploration, uncertain or volatile margins, and further restrictions, the case has never been more compelling for extracting the maximum value from existing assets. Corporations have trillions of dollars of assets trapped in the subsurface of the earth and simulation is an essential tool for generating the business intelligence needed to inform recovery efforts. As demand for more detailed physics, higher resolution grids, and ensemble modeling grows, so too shall the computational workload. The ECHELON Consortium provides an avenue for cooperative development on the foundation of a mature commercial codebase outpacing the industry in performance and uniquely poised to benefit from post Moore's law technology trends.
We believe this is an exciting time for our industry as the pace of business quickens, processes are changing to accommodate digital transformation initiatives, and demands for more efficiency continue to press in. All these forces and the call to embrace decarbonization strategies and green technologies argue for transformational capabilities in simulation. The ECHELON Consortium is designed to meet these challenges. I invite you to participate with us in this unique opportunity to lead our industry forward.
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“The speed and flexibility of ECHELON will be the key elements for the subsurface modelling in the energy transition pathway.”
“Its [ECHELON's] implementation significantly changed our activities because, thanks to the speed of ECHELON (...) we were able to better calibrate the reservoir model (...) and span all the relevant uncertainties by creating hundreds of simulations in a short time.”
“In very few days our reservoir engineer was able to carry-out thousands of fluid-dynamic simulations, varying many different reservoir parameters, from geological and engineering point of view: a remarkable performance for a full range risk analysis, not achievable with any other available software.”