This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
oil and gas modelling

Drilling down

From identifying new sources of oil, to aiding engineers in the design and construction of off-shore platforms, modelling software plays an important role within the oil and gas industry

Bruce Klimpke, technical director at Integrated Engineering Software


he oil and gas industry is in a continuous state of research and development as the demand for fuel increases and sources diminish. There is also a global need

for a more ‘green’ approach with a required reduction in emissions and heat loss. With this in mind, more research engineers are turning to computer modelling software enabling different process to be assessed at an early stage and speeding implementation of new technology. The main simulation tool used for

computational fl uid dynamics, thermal and structural problems is the fi nite element method (FEM). The main reason for FEM popularity is the diverse number of real-world problems that it can solve, including the ability

to handle nonlinear materials and boundary conditions in addition to full transient analysis. The transients may be due to applied sources varying in time or to motional transients. Equally, the method can be applied to electromagnetic problems. As with standard thermal and mechanical

problems the device being simulated has to be divided up into many smaller divisions, referred to as elements, and in three dimensions these are usually brick or tetrahedra elements. The same is true for electromagnetic problems, but with one major difference – not only does the part have to be divided up or discretised, but the exterior around the part has to be discretised as well. This is best illustrated by an example:

suppose we have two simple loops that look like two doughnuts. Into these two doughnuts we impress a current, which will produce a magnetic fi eld. However, not only are we

interested in the magnetic fi eld inside the doughnuts, we are also interested in the magnetic fi eld around them. To do this not only must we divide the doughnuts up into bricks or tetrahedral but, far more problematic, we must divide the air around them into brick or tetrahedra elements as well. These can be simply referred to these divisions as a mesh or fi nite elements mesh. Therefore, unlike the mechanical problem

where we would only have to put a mesh inside the doughnuts, we now have a bigger problem. The air space has to be meshed – a far more diffi cult process then just meshing the doughnuts. To make electromagnetic analysis simpler we would, therefore, like to use a method that avoids having to mesh the media surrounding the device. To circumvent this we need to go back to the basic formulations used to solve electromagnetic problems which requires solving Maxwell’s equations. Maxwell’s equations can be posed in

either integral form or differential form and fi nite element solutions start with Maxwell’s equations in differential form. This requires the entire device as well as the space around it (too some arbitrary distance at least) be meshed. If we start with Maxwell’s equations integral form, however, we can produce a

JUNE/JULY 2011 45

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52