SPEECH
EXPEC Computer Center, General Manger Abdulaziz AbdulKarim speech.

Abdulaziz AbdulKarim, EXPEC Computer Center, General Manger at Saudi Aramco

Good Morning, ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to welcome you to the Saudi Arabian High Performance Computing Symposium. Special welcome to all who traveled long distances and we certainly hope you have an enjoyable and fruitful stay with all your colleagues here in Saudi Arabia. It is also our privilege to have such renowned speakers from both the HPC community in Saudi Arabia, and key worldwide technology providers.

      Although our experience at Saudi Aramco and specifically at the EXPEC Computer Center of high performance computing goes back several decades, I believe the future of HPC at Saudi Aramco will grow at unprecedented rates. I believe the growth of high performance computing will be driven by three main factors.
  -     Better price performance of computing
  -     Massive volumes of information to be processed and analyzed
  -     Holistic processes requiring faster decisions and therefore computation speeds

      To look back, in 1949, the magazine Popular Mechanics boldly predicted: Where a calculator on the ENIAC is equipped with 18,000 vacuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers of the future may have only 1,000 vacuum tubes and perhaps weigh 1 1/2 tons. Today we have smart-phones that we hold in the palm of our hands that have more compute capacity than the supercomputer used by NASA to put a man on the moon.

      HPC is no longer a luxury technology to be used for selective applications. At Saudi Aramco, HPC technology is now routinely used to process exponentially growing data that is collected during the exploration process. Utilizing newly developed seismic algorithms - some of which developed and patented at Saudi Aramco, we are able to dramatically enhance signal to noise ratio and detect hidden structures containing significant hydrocarbon resources, some of which would have been missed just one or two decades ago. Along with the ingenuity of the geologists, geophysicists, petroleum engineers and other specialists, supercomputers have become an everyday tool used in various collaborative settings where subsurface specialists visualize interpreted and processed earth models to decide on the next set of wildcat wells to be drilled to confirm the next major discovery of oil or gas in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

      The use of supercomputers at Saudi Aramco doesn't stop at just finding the next hydrocarbon reservoir. HPC is used on a continuous basis to optimize the production of all Saudi Aramco oil and gas fields through reservoir simulations. As we are collecting ever finer information about our reservoirs and dynamic fluid flow behavior within the reservoirs, the role of supercomputers to process this unprecedented detail becomes paramount. At Saudi Aramco we have the most powerful reservoir simulator to date with the ability of predicting reservoir behavior utilizing more than a billion cells therefore preserving the level of detail collected and analyzed through the geologic modeling process mentioned earlier. The results of such finely detailed simulations are more accurate reservoir predictions, very healthy wells and higher hydrocarbon recoveries.

      In addition, as our engineers and scientists discover more information about our reservoirs, quick decisions are called for to ensure our operating conditions are continually optimized. Here again HPC's play a big role to ensure highly sophisticated computations complete quickly to enable multidisciplinary teams to examine various approaches/production scenarios to address issues or capitalize on emerging opportunities in a prompt and efficient manner.

      The challenge ahead of us in the oil/Energy industry and particular Saudi Aramco is to ensure we stay at the forefront of technology use and development. I believe HPC will play a key role at Saudi Aramco as we continue as the number one reliable supplier of oil and to accomplish the accelerated transformation program currently being executed within Aramco to become in 2020 the leading integrated energy and chemical company in the world and to become a worldwide technology development center.

      But this symposium is not only about Saudi Aramco. It is about the use of HPC in general. Supercomputing has always been defined by the level of computing that is several orders of magnitude above the average compute resource at that time.

      Furthermore, Supercomputing revolves around a community of dedicated professionals, companies, research organizations and end users who try to push the envelope-in terms of the systems, hard and soft, that provide this huge capacity as well as the applications that can use it to make a real difference.

      Along with the active participation of Saudi Aramco's EXPEC Computer Center and EXPEC Advanced Research Center, which is responsible for upstream R&D at Saudi Aramco, we are pleased to see the presence of various local universities such as King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, as well as our strategic partner in Dhahran, the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.

      We are also pleased to have various presentations from our technology partners including HPC, AMD, Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, Intel, Nvidia, Panasas and Qlogic.

      Finally, I would like to thank all the people and the organizations that put their time and efforts to arrange and engage in this symposium.

      Thank you for your active listening and I look forward for successful symposium.