Researchers, students continue to benefit from software donated by Petroleum Experts

Photo Credit: MOVE software
April 1, 2024

Photo above: Cross section and restoration of the Rattlesnake Anticline, WY, created by the MOVE suite from an existing section from Beaudoin et al., 2012, showing discrepancy in shortening above and below a detachment horizon (dotted line). This image is part of ongoing work in understanding the processes of shortening above and below such detachment horizons.

In 2018, engineering company Petroleum Experts donated over $2M in software for the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences' Jerome J. Wright and Alumni Computation and Visualization Laboratory. The MOVE suite dynamically models oil reservoirs, production and injection wells and surface pipeline networks as an integrated production system.

In the lab, faculty and students use the software to model and analyze rock sequences deformed by geological processes such as mountain building. Users can digitally restore such deformed sequences back to their original configurations as flat-lying sediments. An accurate understanding of deformation is critical for reducing risk and uncertainty in geological models that underpin exploration for and extraction of natural resources, such as fossil fuels, minerals, and water. Extraction industries use the software, giving students hands-on experience.

"Whether you are in academia or in the field, geology relies on complex software to study the processes below the Earth's surface," Clint Rowe, chair of and professor in the department, said. "This generous donation continues to makes it possible for students to gain valuable technological skills."

Associate professor Cara Burberry’s students use the software to analyze natural systems as well as analog models of deformation produced in sandbox models in the laboratory.

“The software has a great user-friendly interface that is easy for students to learn,” she said. “Students benefit by becoming familiar with software that is valuable for many geological careers including those in the transition to greener energy exploration.”

Petroleum Experts, an engineering company, develops petroleum engineering software tools for the oil and gas industry worldwide. Learn more at