In this project CMR and Statoil developed a Virtual Reality (VR) system that changed work processes and increased revenue for petroleum E&P in general.


We developed a VR system that utilize large display surfaces combined with stereo and tracking for improved 3D understanding. Since these display systems could accommodate several simultaneous users, improved cross-discipline collaboration was an important focus.


Three major application milestones:

  • Well planning. Well planning involves experts from several different scientific disciplines. Since the application let all the involved experts import their discipline specific data into the same visualization, all critical aspects of the well path could be discussed and solved in collaborative work sessions. This shortened the iterative planning process from weeks to days.  Improved 3D understanding of complex geological structures led to better decisions resulting in increased production.
  • Remote collaboration. We implemented support for collaborative work sessions including users at two or more different geographic locations. At each location, the external users were represented by avatars reflecting their interactions and viewing position. All users saw the same data and models, and could interact with and modify the models.
  • Multi-attribute cross plotting. This functionality offers a powerful method for extracting and visualizing 3D bodies that fulfill specific value ranges in several seismic attributes. By implementing this process on the GPU, we could now support interactive hypothesis testing with real time response on the user interaction.

The initial research project was scheduled to last three years, but ended up lasting for more than ten years. The software was commercialized as Inside Reality. Schlumberger later purchased the commercial rights.



Lidal, E., Langeland, T., Giertsen, C., Grimsgaard, J., & Helland, R. (2007, Nov-Dec). A Decade of Increased Oil Recovery in Virtual Reality. Computer Graphics and Applications, 27(6), 94-94.


  • Period

    1997-2012, from 2013 maintenance

  • Client

    Statoil ASA

  • Country


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