ANSYS Simulation and Modeling to Play Big Role for Petrobras

ANSYS, Inc. announced that Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras) in Brazil, one of the world's most innovative integrated oil and gas companies, has broadened its technology relationship with ANSYS. Petrobras will utilize multiple simulation and modeling applications from ANSYS in pursuit of its innovation initiatives in product and process design, enhancing its operational excellence in production, refining and processing.

"Simulation-driven product and process development is helping us to improve the performance of refining equipment through the study and application of new technologies. It is a key element of our innovation strategy and in maintaining our global leadership," said Maucir de Almeida, refining process optimization manager at Petrobras headquarters. "The breadth and depth of the ANSYS product portfolio, with its unparalleled modeling and high-performance computing (HPC) capabilities, makes it uniquely appropriate to address the full range and complexities of our applications that require rapid, high-fidelity simulations."

Currently, technology from ANSYS is a part of the design process at Petrobras' Research and Development Center (CENPES), the heart of the company's expansion in the world energy scene. "In our group, for example, engineers are using large and complex computational fluid dynamics (CFD) studies, running in clusters, to analyze the flow behavior inside different pieces of equipment. These simulations are helping us to propose modifications and test new scenarios that lead to more efficient and reliable refinery processes," said Washington Geraldelli, basic engineering coking and separation manager at CENPES. "Today at several refineries, we have a range of equipment operating better as a result of new technologies that were tested using CFD from ANSYS."

Oil and gas-affiliated companies around the globe use multiphysics and HPC-based engineering simulation solutions from ANSYS for a variety of applications, spanning the entire value chain from reservoir to gas pump. For example, current field development decisions are driven by both economic and technologic viability. The available petroleum supplies are in smaller reservoirs, deeper waters and harsher environments, with ever increasing engineering challenges (for example, the recent discovery at Tupi field by Petrobras, located under a thick layer of salt at a depth more than 4.5 miles beneath the ocean's surface). The reserves usually require additional processing before they can be transported for refining. Engineering simulation tools from ANSYS assist petroleum and service companies not only to evaluate and assess feasibility but also to reduce risk and increase ratability of equipment and processes.

Beyond discovery, solutions from ANSYS enable product and process design innovations, reduce the cost of experimentation, and help improve reliability and safety. Typical applications in the oil and gas industry include exploration of new technologies for upstream drilling, evaluation of enhanced oil recovery technology, offshore platform safety and operation, addressing regulatory requirements for critical designs and off-shore operations, erosion in equipment and piping, and accounting for thermal and highly nonlinear stress effects in onshore and offshore oil and gas machinery.