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Repsol and the BSC create a joint research centre in Spain

The new Repsol-BSC Research Centre will make it possible to tackle multiple research projects for the development of advanced technology that can be applied to hydrocarbon exploration and other areas of interest to Repsol.

The Spanish minister for Science and Innovation Cristina Garmendia, the Catalan minister for Economy and Knowledge Andreu Mas-Colell, BSC executives and Repsol chairman and CEO Antonio Brufau jointly presided over the opening of the Repsol–BSC Research Centre on the 20th of September. The opening was presented by the assistant director of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) Francesc Subirada and Repsol geophysics director Francisco Ortigosa.

The Repsol-BSC Research Centre has been created to enhance and strengthen cooperation between Repsol and the BSC, who have been working together since 2007 on R&D projects in seismic imaging applied to hydrocarbon exploration. The new centre makes it possible to continue with the projects that are already underway and to tackle new ones in areas such as deposit modelling and subsoil fluid monitoring, which are of interest to Repsol.

In his speech, Antonio Brufau pointed out that opening this new research centre “consolidates the fruitful relationship established with the BSC to undertake the Kaleidoscope project.” He emphasised Repsol's commitment to innovation and technology, which has made Repsol “a benchmark in deep water exploration.”

Meanwhile, Frances Subirada emphasised that “the creation of this joint centre is another example of the necessary change in the production model that we must undertake and that must be based, among other considerations, on cooperation between the public and private sectors to improve our competitiveness and generate wealth.”

The new centre, which currently employs 11 researchers, is another example of Repsol's commitment to technological research, highlighting the benefits that the BSC brings in cutting-edge technology to Spanish industry. The first projects to be undertaken will be the continuation of the Kaleidoscope project, where the focus will be on the generation and interpretation of subsoil images using seismic and electromagnetic methods.

Kaleidoscope project
The Kaleidoscope project was set up in 2007 to bring together cutting-edge science and technology and the discovery of new oil and gas deposits, in a manner that is respectful of the environment. It uses a new generation of processors that are capable of processing complex mathematical algorithms that have been tested in advance with the MareNostrum supercomputer.

The technology developed enables Repsol to process information 15 times faster than its competitors and improves the reliability of the seismic images obtained, increasing the chance of finding oil and gas thousands of metres below the Earth’s surface. With the Kaleidoscope project, Repsol has positioned itself at the forefront of exploration in complex subsoil and high-grade reserve areas such as the Gulf of Mexico and deep water areas off Brazil, which are home to an estimated 100 billion barrels of oil.

Kaleidoscope has been named one of the five most innovative projects in the world by the American Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, a prestigious body known for following new technology. It won the 2009 Platts Award for Best Commercial Technology of the Year and was acclaimed by Computer World and Petroleum Economist.

Barcelona Supercomputing Center
The Barcelona Supercomputing Center–Centro Nacional de Supercomputació (BSC) is home to MareNostrum, which is installed in a chapel and is one of the most beautiful supercomputers in the world. Its mission is to research, develop and manage information technology to facilitate scientific progress. To that end, it has dedicated specific efforts to areas of research such as the computational sciences, life sciences, earth sciences and computational applications in science and engineering. Within this multidisciplinary focus, the BSC employs a total of 350 researchers and experts in high-performance computing, of which 100 are from outside Spain, who facilitate scientific progress through the provision of supercomputing resources.

This multidisciplinary national supercomputing centre was created as a consortium of the current Ministry of Science and Innovation (MICINN), the Catalan Ministry of Economy and Knowledge and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. BarcelonaTech (UPC). It is directed by Professor Mateo Valero.

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