The enhanced capabilities of Pangea III will extend Total’s molecular modelling to optimize refining processes and improve lubricants’ properties.


Image: Pangea III uses less than 10% the energy consumption per petaflop. Photo: Courtesy of skeeze from Pixabay.

US- based information technology company IBM has developed Pangea III, which is claimed to be the world’s most powerful commercial supercomputer for Total, a France-based international integrated oil and gas company.

The new IBM POWER9-based supercomputer is designed to help Total in more accurately locating new resources and better assessing the potential associated revenue opportunities.

Compared to Total’s predecessor system which uses 4.5MW, Pangea III consumes only 1.5MW.

Total said that Pangea III uses less than 10% the energy consumption per petaflop as its predecessor.

In addition, IBM has built Pangea III using the same IBM POWER9 AI-optimized, high-performance architecture, which was used in the US Department of Energy’s Summit and Sierra supercomputers.

The IBM POWER9 is optimized to take advantage of attached accelerators and is designed to help Total not only improve performance but also improve energy efficiency in their HPC workloads.

Total exploration & production president Arnaud Breuillac said: “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 optimized field operations, with all this at lower cost.”

While exploring new oil and gas prospects, Total first need to create an accurate picture of what lies underground, using seismic data acquisition during exploration campaigns, then geoscientists use the images to identify the location of oil and gas resources.

Huge amount of data is created during the process, which can be easily handled by the IBM POWER9 systems using industry-exclusive technology.

Total said that it has selected IBM in a competitive bidding process, considering its advanced approach to GPU-accelerated computing.

IBM Systems Exascale Systems vice president David Turek said: “Based on the same IBM technology found in Summit and Sierra, the world’s smartest supercomputers, Pangea III demonstrates that IBM Power Systems are not just for the large government or research organizations.

“The world’s largest businesses, like Total, are now tapping that same technology to profoundly change how they operate. It also gives them room to explore the role IBM Power Systems can play against their most data-intensive workloads like hybrid could and AI.”