Plume Force Landing Analysis

Modeling Phase Separation and Plume Trajectory Force Effects of a Blowout in Real Time

In smoothed particle hydrodynamic analysis, a plume is a mixed-fluid column moving through a water body according to Gaussian distributions. Several effects control the motion of the fluid, including momentum (inertia), diffusion and buoyancy (density differences). Pure jets and pure plumes define flows that are driven entirely by momentum and buoyancy effects, respectively. Flows between these two limits are usually described as forced plumes or buoyant jets. Buoyancy is defined as being positive when, in the absence of other forces or initial motion, the entering fluid tends to rise. Situations where the density of the plume fluid is greater than its surroundings (i.e. in still conditions, its natural tendency would be to sink), but the flow has sufficient initial momentum to carry it some distance vertically, are described as being negatively buoyant. Plume shapes can be influenced by flow in the ambient fluid (for example, if local wind blowing in the same direction as the plume results in a co-flowing jet) and invariably widen due to entrainment of the surrounding fluid at its edges.

Using information from such bodies as HYCOM, WW3 and NOAA, metocean conditions including bathymetry, wind speed, direction, air temperature, humidity, wave phenomena, salinity, temperature, stratification, density-driven currents and internal waves, historical seasonal sea level changes, storm surges, tides, and ice occurrence, are examined. Powerful computer analysis of the interactions enable the predictive modeling to estimate not only where a surface breach will occur, but also when it is likely to occur.

Complex well release problems can be addressed by building complex simulations, allowing the discovery of relatively simple solutions.

Design and execution of dual point offset capping operations are analyzed through our coupled smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) system which incorporates sea state impact on vessel motion, suspension system dynamics, well dynamics in terms of maximum flow and gas/oil ratio, hydrodynamics of the capping system, and unsteady blowout flow-field solutions. For the first time, the industry has the ability to design and certify source control solution plans in advance, for a wide range of well release conditions, with the confidence that all the complex system interactions are modeled and can be accounted for during the capping operation: 

  • Full operational scenario simulations
  • Contingency case simulations
  • Evaluation of wind/current on deployment success
  • Source release simulation across wide GOR range
  • Alternate capping geometries comparisons
Through the application of our integrated multi-physics analysis capability to the evaluation of capping operations for subsea well releases, we are able to significantly reduce the amount of time required to design and execute a subsea capping solution.