Missouri S&T software design team wins competition

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On March 4, 2015

logo_slb_headerA software design team from Missouri University of Science and Technology earned first place in Schlumberger’s North American Ocean Academic Competition. The winning students earned a $15,000 prize, and their software will be made available to Schlumberger customers through the company’s website.

Twenty-six teams from around North America initially entered the competition. Missouri S&T’s team, along with five other finalists, completed and presented their work to a panel of leading experts from across the oil and gas industry during the final competition on Friday, Feb. 27, in Schlumberger’s digital information theater in Houston.

The collegiate competition challenged teams to develop plug-ins for Schlumberger’s Ocean Petrel software. The Ocean software is a framework that lets oil and gas companies rapidly incorporate new science-based plug-ins into their projects instead of using multiple software solutions.

Missouri S&T’s work, titled “Hydraulic Stimulation Statistical Prediction Toolkit,” is designed to select the optimum stimulation practice for a specific candidate well to improve horizontal well recovery. Stimulation is an intervention performed on an oil or gas well to increase production by improving the flow of hydrocarbons from the drainage area into the well bore.

The team’s software looks at historic well-stimulation data and uses a neural network algorithm to generate a predictive model, which is then incorporated into a genetic algorithm to design stimulation parameters for future hydro-fracture projects.

Teams had to use C# (pronounced see-sharp) programming to develop the plug-ins. In addition to the completed code, teams had to submit an installation manual for potential users, a user manual and examples of test cases the team has developed.

Missouri S&T’s team is comprised of four graduate students: Fansheng Kong, a Ph.D. student in geophysics from China; Jarret Baldwin, a master of science student in geophysics from St. Charles, Missouri; Yurong Li, a Ph.D. student in petroleum engineering from Qingdao, China; and Youqiang Yu, a Ph.D. student in geophysics from Zibo, China.

Dr. Kelly Liu, a professor of geophysics at Missouri S&T, and Dr. Runar Nygaard, an associate professor of petroleum engineering at Missouri S&T, are the team’s advisors.

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