Case Study: Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS)

Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) engaged Cyviz to deploy four types of systems across five rooms in its Houston, TX office building.

The robust data sharing and manipulation capabilities enabled PGS to collaborate in real-time and make fast, informed decisions, thus bringing additional value to the already strong relationships that the company has with its global customer base.

About PGS

Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS), the world’s leading marine geophysical company, provides images and 3D models of the subsurface beneath the ocean floor that oil companies use to find oil and gas reserves worldwide. The company has approximately 2,000 employees working on board their vessels and in their offices located in over 20 countries around the globe.

Their fleet of Ramform ships collects such information as seismic and electromagnetic data to provide oil and gas companies the tools to decide where to drill. PGS also provides both imaging and reservoir services, enabling customers to maximize the value of their assets. PGS serves customers around the world from its headquarters in Oslo, Norway.

The Mission

PGS is the largest gatherer of seismic data, has the biggest ships, and produces the most amounts of computerized data and models for customers seeking this type of information. PGS pulls the data from ship deployments, transforms it into readable information through a super computer, and uses that visualized data and the models they create to analyze and evaluate the ocean floor. This data is then used as aides for oil and gas companies to make decisions about where to drill for oil.

When meeting with clients, PGS creates 3D seismic models that show very large amounts of data on them, with options to drill down deep into the model, slicing and dicing the data as necessary. With all this data being processed, the company wanted to find a better way to display it to their customers and prospects. They came to Cyviz for help with this issue.

The Challenge

The challenge was not collecting the data, but displaying it for customers and colleagues. When making the decision of where to drill for oil, it is imperative to have all of the necessary input available at once.

A critical shortcoming of the traditional digital displays that PGS had historically used was resolution. As images were zoomed in/out, resolution changed. When focusing on such fact-driven imagery, it was very important that resolution remain constant.

Another important aspect of the type of data PGS produces was having the ability to view multiple sources simultaneously. Traditional solutions allowed for only one data source at a time. That became an obstacle when trying to compare and contrast the multiple images and information PGS was developing. The three key requirements that PGS wanted Cyviz to help them meet were:

  • The ability to analyze large amounts of data from multiple sources simultaneously
  • Customers needed to look at multiple sources, i.e. gravity and magnetics, basin modeling, geo-statistical depth conversion, etc., simultaneously, with very high quality resolution.
  • Multi-location collaboration
  • Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) is a global company, with global customers. They needed the ability to not only meet over distances, but also share content from multiple locations and sources.
  • Quick emergency response
  • With ships deployed all over the world, natural disasters, such as hurricanes and tsunamis can bring drastic consequences to PGS, its resources, and employees. PGS wanted to be able to collaborate with different offices and share weather data to evaluate, control, assess, and solve emergencies safely and quickly.The Solution

PGS engaged Cyviz to deploy four types of systems across five rooms in its Houston, TX office building:

The Hyper-Beam Room, used primarily for internal extreme visualization. Cyviz installed a 17-foot wide, 20 megapixel display wall that is used as a very large monitor. PGI’s team of scientists and analysts sit as close to this monitor as they can, typically less than six feet away, so the amount of resolution, and the amount of data, and the preciseness that they’re able to visualize is very intense. The room is purposely built just for the extreme visualization.

The Customer Facing Room, a combination theater style room with extreme visualization technologies to accommodate both a large number of people and inputs is a 24-foot wide by 7-foot tall display. This room is where PGS brings in clients to show them the data that they’ve created. The display is a single sheet of 24-foot wide by 7-foot tall glass.

Two Multi-Purpose Rooms, used for internal collaboration and integrated with video conferencing technology to allow for multi-location collaboration both have a 16-foot wide display. The systems in these rooms offer video conferencing for connectivity to other office. Meeting participants can connect their laptops, iPads and other smart devices to the display system. The room is used for both customers as well as internal meetings where staff members evaluate the vast amounts of data coming in from different sources to help make informed decisions.

The Real-time Emergency Response Room is focused primarily on bringing in real-time weather and disaster information from all over the world to ensure safety of PGS’s ships and employees. The system can support multiple incoming data sources from around the world and is also video conferencing enabled.

The Results

Expanding the Canvas

Cyviz provided displays up to 24 feet wide that supported multiple input sources. This allowed PGS, when looking at subsurface information and all the different data models of one area at once, to zoom into a specific point or zoom out to see surrounding data, oil and gas companies without pixelation of the image, overlapping content, or content too small to see from far away. The scientists and analysts are now able to make educated decisions far more quickly and effectively.

Collaboration for All

Combining Cyviz’s ability to integrate traditional video conferencing systems with the large canvas of our display technology allowed both internal and external participants to enjoy the traditional benefits of video conferencing along with the added benefits of viewing information from multiple data streams and sources. The ability to collaborate so effectively on such a wide scale has shortened decision making time and also enhanced communication amongst the different global offices.

Real-time data solves emergencies

Due to government regulations, emergency response procedures are a necessary part of PGS’s business. The company goes well above the minimum federal requirements by investing in leading collaboration and display technology for their emergency response room, coupled with with regularly scheduled rehearsals and drills. This is a testament to the dedication, professionalism, and seriousness PGS takes their responsibilities when emergencies arise. While PGS has not yet had to use their Emergency Response Room for a serious event, they benefit from the steady stream of real-time weather and disaster information from all over the world being displayed in an easy-to-view display solution.

Why Cyviz

All of the Cyviz solutions are standardized and arrive pre-configured, thus requiring no additional programming. The Cyviz control interfaces are predictive, intuitive, and user-friendly. The high video quality and high resolution display capabilities were a key factor, as was the ability to view information from multiple sources simultaneously. The robust data sharing and manipulation capabilities enabled Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) to collaborate in real-time and make fast, informed decisions, thus bringing additional value to the already strong relationships that the company has with its global customer base.