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Aberdeen-based design consultancy Cognity has completed an offshore oil-drilling project faster and more cost effectively 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.

Cognity had to overcome a number of design challenges; the biggest being that conductors must be positioned securely and accurately to maximise oil production.

If a drilling attempt fails the hole collapses and the area is inaccessible to others via traditional drilling approaches since traditional conductors follow the path of least resistance.

Poorly positioned conductors, known as junked slots, cannot be drilled and require sidetracking, which is time consuming and expensive.

The conductor must also withstand compressive forces exceeding 450 tonnes during driving, which compounds the design complexities.

Rae Younger, managing director at Cognity, said: ‘Using Ansys software, we developed a solution that doubles the load-carrying capacity of the conductor steering mechanism, saving our customers time and money.

‘High-performance computing (HPC) simulation allowed our team of engineers to develop virtual prototypes and iteratively evaluate design options with rapid turnaround,’ Younger added.

This level of detailed engineering simulation enabled Cognity to complete the design for the steerable conductor in six months.

Simulation removed the need for expensive physical prototypes during the concept design phase and reduced both project costs and duration.

The steerable conductor can now be positioned with accuracy during driving in highly variable soil conditions and avoids the risk of junked slots.

It is currently at the manufacturing stage and will be land trialled later this year before deployment offshore.

Cognity uses Ansys simulation for drilling project

Aberdeen-based design consultancy Cognity has completed an offshore oil-drilling project faster and more cost effectively 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.

Cognity had to overcome a number of design challenges; the biggest being that conductors must be positioned securely and accurately to maximise oil production.

If a drilling attempt fails the hole collapses and the area is inaccessible to others via traditional drilling approaches since traditional conductors follow the path of least resistance.

Poorly positioned conductors, known as junked slots, cannot be drilled and require sidetracking, which is time consuming and expensive.

The conductor must also withstand compressive forces exceeding 450 tonnes during driving, which compounds the design complexities.

Rae Younger, managing director at Cognity, said: ‘Using Ansys software, we developed a solution that doubles the load-carrying capacity of the conductor steering mechanism, saving our customers time and money.

‘High-performance computing (HPC) simulation allowed our team of engineers to develop virtual prototypes and iteratively evaluate design options with rapid turnaround,’ Younger added.

This level of detailed engineering simulation enabled Cognity to complete the design for the steerable conductor in six months.

Simulation removed the need for expensive physical prototypes during the concept design phase and reduced both project costs and duration.

The steerable conductor can now be positioned with accuracy during driving in highly variable soil conditions and avoids the risk of junked slots.

It is currently at the manufacturing stage and will be land trialled later this year before deployment offshore.

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