Dispersion Modeling & Radiant Heat Analysis

Critical determination of exclusion zones in areas affected by radiant heat and toxic or explosive gas plumes, essential in reducing human and environmental impact

Dispersion modeling and radiant heat analysis assist in the determination of exclusion zones around the wellsite. The modeling and analysis are critical parts of well control planning for both surface intervention and relief well planning and execution. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modeling of gas dispersion and radiant heat identifies the hazards present on site in the event of a well control event and greatly reduces exposure to risk. Establishing site control boundaries delineates safe placement of emergency response personnel, command posts, well control equipment and identifies which communities need to be evacuated from the areas affected by radiant heat, toxic and/or explosive gas plumes.

During relief well operations, it is essential to perform an analysis to determine an acceptable well location beyond a pre-determined exclusion perimeter and upwind of the gas plume. Boots & Coots in-house engineering expertise utilizes CANARY™ software, a comprehensive and flexible package that enables modeling of almost any scenario, or multiple scenarios, in which flammable or toxic fluid or gas is released. In addition, we utilize Phast™ Consequence Software, by DNV-GL, which is an industry leading analytical tool that is also used to model a wide range of scenarios including dispersion and flammability effects.

Dispersion modeling and radiant heat analysis benefits:

  • Ventilation and gas dispersion modeling
  • Explosion and blast load analysis
  • Radiant heat modeling
  • Response to blast and fire loading
  • Nonlinear behavior, rate-dependent effects, and damage/failure prediction
  • Results used by multiple governmental agencies
  • Independently verified and repeatable results

The ability to adequately model and quantify the complex physical and chemical phenomena affecting fuel-burn efficiency and emissions is of high importance. In particular, the ability to adequately assess and improve system efficiency is essential in reducing environmental impact of oil spills, which could result from imperfect burning efficiency and ignition delays in a range of blowout scenarios.

Working alongside ex-NASA scientists, evaluation of burn efficiency utilizing governing principles of physics is enhanced by computer numerical modeling, employing both computational fluid dynamics and first principles of combustion engineering modeling, such as the conditions of gas-liquid flames, heat transfer, hydrocarbon fluid-particle atomization, evaporation, entrainment of oil in strong gas-liquid flows, and flame-suppression threats such as water in the formation fluids. This work is combined with an evaluation of Boots & Coots' record of prior blowout events, to provide real-world validation of our computations.

Burn efficiency model:

  • Burn efficiency predictions for an ignited well
  • Predictions of unburned oil deposition
  • Predictions of total heat flux distribution
  • Evaluation of wellhead release conditions to determine the applicability of wellhead ignition as a viable oil spill response
  • Ancillary activities required to complement wellhead ignition as an oil spill response