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Simulation software speeds up oil drilling project

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Cognity, a design consultancy based in Aberdeen, Scotland, has completed an offshore oil drilling project 75 per cent faster than conventional design methods would allow, by using simulation software from Ansys. The project involved a design for conductor casing – the pipe that is driven into the ground prior to drilling to prevent soft mud collapsing around a designated hole. To ensure success, Cognity had to overcome a number of design challenges; the biggest being that conductors must be positioned securely and accurately to maximise oil production.

The level of detail in the engineering simulation enabled Cognity to complete the design for the steerable conductor in just six months – a time frame months, or possibly years, less than would have been required using traditional design methods. Simulation removed the need for expensive physical prototypes during the concept design phase and reduced both project costs and duration.

‘Traditional approaches in oil and gas engineering projects are now being complemented by new and innovative ways to achieve goals in a faster, more cost-effective way, with a higher degree of certainty and fidelity,’ said Ahmad Haidari, global industry director for energy and process at Ansys. ‘Advances in engineering simulation software offer the potential to model the entire lifecycle of a project, early in the engineering design cycle. This leads to faster design and lower costs, and ultimately success.’