ENGINEERING SIMULATION IN THE OIL & GAS INDUSTRY
By its very nature the oil and gas industry bears the burden of some risk taking; in an industry where companies are constantly striving to reduce risks while maximizing efficiency to minimize overall costs in prospecting and extraction of the hydrocarbons, there are so many external variables that they need to account for, such as safety regulations and technical, environmental and logistical issues. This holds especially true for High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) well projects among others and these objectives are what are driving the industry to increasingly invest in virtual engineering solutions. By designing and building virtual models that simulate behavior of onshore and offshore oil and gas systems during normal operations and extraordinary events, such as accidents, engineers are better able to predict and manage the extraction, production and refining phases of the different types of hydrocarbon. In general, the three major operating sectors in this industry, upstream, midstream (these operations are often included in the downstream sector) and downstream can all benefit to different degrees from the engineering simulation of their processes.
EnginSoft executes engineering simulation projects in the Oil & Gas industry in the U.S.A. through ESSS North America - www.esss-usa.com - a joint venture between EnginSoft and ESSS Brazil, specifically set up to serve the Oil & Gas industry.
Engineering Simulation for the Upstream Sector
The upstream sector also known as the Exploration and Production (E&P) sector, normally covers the exploration and discovery of sources of crude oil and gas both onshore and offshore. It also covers the drilling of exploratory wells and the operation of these wells to extract the discovered energy source and bring it to the surface for transportation to refineries.
The main physical aspects that can be simulated when building an upstream virtual model include:
- Reservoir and geology simulation (basin modeling and simulation, well data interpretation, near-well modeling of multiphase flow simulation, utilizing, for example, reservoir simulation software)
- Production phase simulation (completion processes, liquid/gas production processes, well distribution systems, etc.)
- Subsea systems design and analysis (pipeline lay analysis, simulation and analysis of mechanical-structural components and devices, stress analysis and design of pressure components, etc.)
- Offshore structures design and analysis (simulation and analysis of fixed and floating offshore structures, structural verifications and code checks, revamping of existing fixed offshore structures based on the stochastic fatigue approach, simulation and analysis of pressure vessels and pressure components, vessel and pipeline dynamic motion analyses for S-laying or J-laying pipeline configurations).
Engineering Simulation for the Downstream Sector
The downstream sector refers to the extracted hydrocarbons in their liquid form (petroleum) or in their gaseous form (natural gas) being refined and the subsequent distribution of derivative products such as fuels, petrochemicals, lubricants and residuals for use in by-products.
The main physical aspects that can be simulated when building a downstream virtual model include:
- Heat and mass transfer in distillation columns, heat transfer equipment
- Bulk liquid storage structures for both atmospheric and low temperature/cryogenic storage
- Pressure drop evaluation
- Mist eliminators
- Process furnaces
- Fluid dynamic analysis of coker and vacuum towers
- Evaluation of inlet feed devices to reduce the liquid entrainment and velocity to improve vapor distribution
- Understanding of risers, regenerators, and cyclones for the FCC process
- Investigation of flow patterns and FSI in horizontal and vertical piping
- Flow rate meters/flow meters
- Gravitational separators
- Petrochemical storage and process vessels
- Refinery process units
- Petrochemical facilities
- Gasification plants, hydrogen generating plants
- Equipment simulation optimization
How can EnginSoft assist with your Oil & Gas Projects?
EnginSoft's primary areas of expertise in the Oil & Gas and Offshore Industry is in the upstream and downstream sectors. Our expertise ranges from geotechnical-geomechanical engineering (including reservoirs simulation and exploitation) to fluid mechanics engineering; from structural engineering to analysis and simulation, design and assessment. To initiate a discussion, please contact us with your specific requirements.