Permian Basin

ECHELON’s accuracy and speed play a critical role in the characterization of the Permian Basin unconventional reservoir

Million Cells
Times Faster


The Permian Basin located in West Texas and Southeast New Mexico is the largest unconventional onshore oil producing region in the United States. To more accurately predict the performance of the reservoir, engineers at iReservoir needed to determine the sensitivity of the model results to a large number of parameters. These sensitivities were calculated by executing numerical simulations on a large ensemble of model realizations, each with millions to tens of millions of active grid cells. Such multiple realization studies using existing simulators are severely restricted by both software and hardware limitations, take days to weeks to run and require substantial hardware resources.




ECHELON is a massively parallel, fully-implicit, extended black-oil reservoir simulator built from the ground-up for exceptional speed. GPU hardware, modern solver algorithms and careful implementation are combined in ECHELON to allow the simulation of hundreds to thousands of realizations of large complex models in vastly less time than legacy solutions while using fewer hardware resources.


Four realizations of the 16 million cell model were simultaneously run on a single Cray CS-Storm 2U node consisting of 8 NVIDIA Tesla K80 GPUs (Fig. 2). The run time for all 100 realizations for both the dual-porosity and dual-permeability descriptions with 20 years of production are shown below in Table 1.


Figure 2. Cray CS-Storm 2U server containing up to 8 NVIDIA Tesla K80 GPUs used for running ECHELON.

Model(16M cells)Wall time for 100 runs on 2U node with 8 Tesla K80sAvg. time per job (in mins.)Speed upper job over standard simulator
Dual Porosity5.0 hrs.1228
Dual Permeability5.7 hrs.13.848
PreviousBillion Cell