Marathon Oil Visualization Center Updated with Christie, Vista Spyder

by PLSN Staff • in
  • News
• Created: March 23, 2009

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HOUSTON — A curved, 8-foot-by-27-foot projection screen at Marathon Oil Corporation's headquarters forms an immersive environment called the “Visionarium.” Geologists, engineers and drilling experts use it to review seismic data and other findings important to oil exploration. To keep the projected graphics looking sharp, the oil company installed Christie Mirage HD6 DLP® projectors and Vista Systems' Spyder. One of Marathon Oil’s core activities is exploring key geologic resource basins for oil and natural gas.  The Visionarium plays a key role in a suite of workrooms devoted to scientifice evaluation and planning sessions, partner meetings, training and management presentations,

Marathon Oil has used Christie since switching from CRT to DLP displays five years ago.  In the current upgrade, it moved from a three-projector system featuring Christie Mirage projectors that delivered 2,000 ANSI lumens each at 1280 x 1024 resolution with 3-D active stereo to the brighter, two-projector Mirage HD6 system that offers up to 12,000 ANSI lumens and 1920 x 1080 resolution with 3-D active stereo.  

The Vista Systems Spyder caps the blended, 1×2 front-projection display by offering limitless windowing capability and seamless switching from a wide array of video inputs.  The Vista Spyder also switches with ease from a Linux workstation to PC without any visible delay, a process that previously required a wait of up to 60 seconds.

“The Christie Mirage HD projectors deliver exceptionally bright, high resolution images. This is a critical consideration when imaging seismic data,” said Sharon Crawford, senior technical consultant, Worldwide Geoscience, Upstream Technology.

“Brighter images also mean we can increase the ambient lighting in the room to provide guests with a more comfortable viewing space for their own work, and to better view our oversized, printed maps on the wall,” Crawford added.

Crawford noted that the department was originally concerned that the upgrade would require a new projection screen and ceiling grid that would add considerably to the overall cost.  However, Christie conducted a thorough inspection of the space and assured her that, because the screen had received such excellent care, they did not need to replace it.  

Christie also fitted the two HD projectors into the same ceiling grid that previously housed three projectors. Finally, Christie installed a more efficient control system for the equipment, room and lighting systems to allow Marathon Oil to customize the environment to their needs.

“An increasing number of oil and gas companies are recognizing the benefits of advanced visualization centers to help them better evaluate data in a more collaborative environment,” said Zoran Veselic, vice president, Visual Environments at Christie.  “Marathon’s upgrade to the Christie Mirage HD projectors and the Vista Spyder,” he added, “reflects its confidence in our integrated solutions.”

Marathon Oil extends the benefits of the Visionarium to those in the community as well. The company works with local schools on tutoring and mentoring students in lower income neighborhoods.  As part of its outreach, it invites students to experience the Visionarium, fostering an interest in math and science. During educational sessions, students learn where oil is trapped in rocks and see demonstrations of the software that allows the company to evaluate the different attributes of the site.

“We believe strongly in being a responsible corporate citizen and in giving back to the community.  For that reason, we actively pursue philanthropic, social development and volunteer programs to inspire today’s young people and help them grow up to be tomorrow’s great leaders,” said Crawford.

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