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Giant screen aids search for oil

18 March 2009

Houston, USA based oil giant, Marathon Oil Corporation has upgraded its visualisation centre, turning to Christie for Mirage HD projectors and Vista Spyder video display processor. The centre, called Visionarium, allows geologists, geophysicists, engineers and drilling experts to review data on a huge cylindrical curved projection screen, measuring eight feet by twenty-seven feet.

One of Marathon's core activities is exploring key geologic resource basins for oil and natural gas. Marathon seeks to apply cutting edge technological innovations to gain the most accurate readings of seismic data gathered from these resource basins with a goal of continually improving exploration success. Its Visionarium, located at its headquarters in Houston, Texas, is the high-tech heart of a suite of workrooms that are used for evaluation and planning sessions, partner meetings, training and management presentations.

The company has used Christie since switching from CRT to DLP displays five years ago. In the current upgrade, it moved to a brighter, two-projector Mirage HD6 system that offers up to 12,000 ANSI lumens and 1920 x 1080 resolution with 3-D active stereo. The Vista Systems Spyder caps the blended, 1x2 front-projection display by offering limitless windowing capability and seamless switching from a wide array of video inputs. The Vista Spyder also effortlessly switches from a Linux workstation to PC without any visible delay, a process that previously demanded a wait of up to 60 seconds.

‘The Christie Mirage HD projectors deliver exceptionally bright, high resolution images. This is a critical consideration when imaging seismic data,’ said Sharon Crawford, senior technical consultant, Worldwide Geoscience, Upstream Technology. ‘Brighter images also mean we can increase the ambient lighting in the room to provide guests with a more comfortable viewing space for their own work, and to better view our oversized, printed maps on the wall.’

‘An increasing number of oil and gas companies are recognising the benefits of advanced visualisation centres to help them better evaluate data in a more collaborative environment,’ observed Zoran Veselic, vice president, Visual Environments at Christie. ‘Marathon's upgrade to the Christie Mirage HD projectors and the Vista Spyder is an innovative step that speaks to its technological leadership and reflects its confidence in our integrated solutions.’

Marathon also has a strong community outreach program in place. The company works with local schools on tutoring and mentoring students in lower income neighbourhoods. As part of its outreach, it invites students to experience the Visionarium as the staff does, fostering an interest in maths and science. During educational sessions, students learn where oil is trapped in rocks and see demonstrations of the software, which allows the company to evaluate the different attributes of the site.


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