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Total Exploration Production Makes a 120 TFlops Step With SGI to Accelerate Exploration Decisions

SUNNYVALE, Calif., May 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- In a global effort to extract the greatest value from subsurface oil and gas reservoirs, the Exploration and Production Branch at French oil and gas leader Total recently expanded its already extensive computing and storage capabilities with SGI (Nasdaq: SGIC) technology. The move is expected to allow Total to maximize its return on exploration investments throughout the world.

SUNNYVALE, Calif., May 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — In a global effort to extract the greatest value from subsurface oil and gas reservoirs, the Exploration and Production Branch at French oil and gas leader Total recently expanded its already extensive computing and storage capabilities with SGI (Nasdaq: SGIC) technology. The move is expected to allow Total to maximize its return on exploration investments throughout the world.

Total purchased an SGI(R) Altix(R) ICE system enabling computing power of 123 Teraflops, a petabyte of storage (500TB of SGI(R) InfiniteStorage storage systems and an additional 500TB for shared storage with other cluster resources), providing timely access to data needed for its oil exploration and production planning. At Total's technical center in Pau, France, researchers can simultaneously conduct detailed seismic analysis on more drilling opportunities. The new resources allow the Pau facility to better help Total's more than 40 subsidiaries confidently identify and develop onshore and offshore oil and gas prospects. Total uses seismic analysis applications developed in its research and development department to generate a digital image of the subsurface structure of the prospect or field under evaluation.

"Drilling cost increases justify significant investment in seismic processing capabilities to better model subsurface structure. As a result, Total has invested in one of the most powerful computers in the world and will continue adding compute capacity over the next years," said Philippe Chalon, Senior Vice President, Finance and Information Systems at Total Exploration and Production. "And by extending our investment in SGI storage solutions gives us optimal flexibility in accessing and managing up to 2 petabytes of seismic data on current and future exploration prospects. With this latest acquisition of compute and storage capability, we are enhancing our own technology and economic leadership, both of which are critical in the very highly competitive oil and gas business."

Total's new SGI Altix ICE system, ordered in December, is powered by 10,240 Intel(R) Xeon(R) cores, each with 2GB of system memory and is expected to be fully installed in Summer 2008. The new server taps 500TB of SGI InfiniteStorage 10000 storage system via a Lustre distributed file system. Another part of this project is the implementation of a separate Lustre cluster, providing access to 1 petabyte of storage for instant data sharing for increased productivity among the company's existing installation of HPC servers.

"Energy industry computational needs are escalating," said Bo Ewald, chief executive officer, SGI. "With data sets commonly surpassing 10TB in size, the oil and gas industry needs performance solutions for its computational and data driven problems, along with the ability to leverage the expertise of individuals scattered across the globe, to make informed investment and management decisions about oil and gas discovery and production. SGI offers the energy industry a combination of compute, storage and visualization technologies that no other vendor can match."

"Total is using leading-edge technology to extend its competitive edge well into the future," said Christian Morales, Vice President and General Manager of Intel EMEA. "By deploying SGI servers based on Intel multi-core processors using state of art power-saving technologies, Total acquires unprecedented power for finer-grained seismic exploration and evaluation."

SGI | Innovation for Results(TM)

SGI (Nasdaq: SGIC) is a leader in high-performance computing. SGI delivers a broad range of high-performance server, visualization and storage solutions along with industry-leading professional services and support that enable its customers to overcome the challenges of complex data-intensive workflows and accelerate breakthrough discoveries, innovation and information transformation. SGI helps customers solve significant challenges, whether it's enhancing the quality of life through drug research, designing and manufacturing safer and more efficient cars and airplanes, studying global climate change, providing technologies for homeland security and defense, or helping enterprises manage large data. With offices worldwide, the company is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., and can be found on the Web at sgi.com.

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