IBM Brings POWER to Supermajor Energy Company

IBM has created Pangea III—which it describes as “the world's most powerful commercial supercomputer”—for Total, a producer and supplier of oil, natural gas, and low-carbon electricity.

According to IBM, the new IBM POWER9-based supercomputer will help the France-based supermajor energy company operating in more than 130 countries to more accurately locate new resources and better assess the potential associated revenue opportunities. In addition, according to Total, Pangea III requires 1.5 Megawatts, compared to 4.5 MW for its predecessor system. Combined with the increased performance of Pangea III, Total has reported that they have observed that the new system uses less than 10% the energy consumption per petaflop as its predecessor.

Pangea III is also the #11 overall on the latest iteration of the Top500 ranking of supercomputers.

Pangea III is being built using the same IBM POWER9 AI-optimized, high-performance architecture as used in the U.S. Department of Energy's Summit and Sierra supercomputers. Because IBM POWER9 is optimized to take advantage of attached accelerators, it is designed to help Total not only improve performance but also improve energy efficiency in their HPC workloads.

Exploring new oil and gas prospects, Total must first create an accurate picture of what lies underground, through the use of seismic data acquisition during exploration campaigns. Geoscientists then use these images to identify where oil and gas resources lie. This process creates massive amounts of data that can be handled with IBM POWER9 systems.

According to Arnaud Breuillac, president of Total Exploration & Production, Pangea III's computing power enhances Total's operational excellence.  It enables Total to reduce geological risks in exploration and development, accelerate project maturation and delivery, and also increases the value of the company’s assets through optimized field operations.

"Based on the same IBM technology found in Summit and Sierra, the world's smartest supercomputers, Pangea III demonstrates that IBM Power Systems are not just for the large government or research organizations," said David Turek, vice president of Exascale Systems for IBM Systems. "The world's largest businesses, like Total, are now tapping that same technology to profoundly change how they operate. It also gives them room to explore the role IBM Power Systems can play against their most data-intensive workloads like hybrid could and AI."

For more information on how IBM POWER Systems are turbo-charging business computing, visit