The fifth Archie Conference, ''Visualization Technology to Find and Develop More Oil and Gas,'' brought together 130 scientists and technologists to review current and future visualization technologies that are being developed and used in the petroleum and other industries. Visualization in the oil and gas industry can be considered a tool for characterizing and understanding surface and subsurface phenomena. In addition to allowing one to view and more easily understand large quantities of data, visualization is dramatically enhancing communications, and thus interaction, among members of integrated exploration and development teams. Current and potential end-users of visualization technology consider the most important aspects to include common formats for data interchange, greater availability to consultants and independents (perhaps through PC-based visualization hardware and software), bigger bandwidth capabilities to drive more powerful machines, and the application of sensitivity analysis to document uncertainty in visualizations at all scales. Visualization technology is in its infancy, but growing so rapidly that it promises to have major impact on many aspects of the petroleum industry, from improved day-to-day communications to better technology transfer and more powerful interpretive capabilities, all of which can ultimately lead to better economic decision making.
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