A Critical Study of a Petroleum Engineering Computing Operation
- D.G. McCarty (Humble Oil & Refining Co.) | J.R. Welsh (Humble Oil & Refining Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- May 1959
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 19 - 23
- 1959. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 6.1.5 Human Resources, Competence and Training
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During the last 5 to 10 years the application of automatic computing equipment in engineering work has developed into what appears to be a major technical development. In view of the widespread use of this type equipment, it is believed timely to examine the record critically for useful operating criteria and for clues to how productive the application of computers in engineering activities has been. In order to provide some data to assist in answering these questions, the operational history of a computing facility engaged exclusively in engineering analysis work on a service basis as part of an oil company petroleum engineering organization has, been reviewed. On the basis of this experience, an attempt has been made to point out (1) those procedures which have been effective in bringing about company-wide participation in the use of the equipment, (2) how engineering development work and subsequent communication of new methods of analysis to field engineers can be accomplished, and (3) what constitutes a workable procedure for producing the desired service work.
The accomplishments of this particular computing facility have been studied, and on the basis of the indicated volume of productive work and corresponding net cost, the use of general purpose digital computers in petroleum engineering activities is attractive economically. When broad participation in the use of the equipment is achieved, the communication problem associated with (1) distributing information on methods and the availability of specific calculation procedures to field installation, (2) arranging for exploitation of new approaches, and (3) maintaining a free and reasonably simple flow channel for service work from and to field engineering groups is greatly simplified.
The urge to enter into the present discussion of the use of automatic computers comes from (1) the belief that the application of high-speed digital computers has reached the stage of development where the users can no longer expect the computers operation to be viewed as experimental, and (2) the fact that although a large volume of literature has appeared in recent years concerning digital computers and their use, very little information has appeared showing some of the more pertinent factors of computer operation such as unit costs, economic advantages, and other tangible benefits. If a serious effort is made by those having experience in computer operations, it should be possible at the present time to make available sufficient information to enable prospective users to make a reasonably accurate appraisal of the potential benefits of using a computer in practically any application.
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