Computer simulation improves offshore drill rig safety

Los Alamos National Laboratory mechanical and thermal engineering researchers’ efforts to solve the complex problem of how ocean currents affect the infrastructure of floating oil rigs and their computational fluid dynamics (CFD) numerical simulations received recognition from ANSYS Inc., a company that provides computer-based engineering simulation capabilities.

“Because energy resources are in demand, and most of the Earth is covered by water, we are going into deeper and more challenging waters to meet our energy needs,” said Dusan Spernjak, of the laboratory’s mechanical and thermal engineering team.  “Designing a floating structure for offshore deep water oil drilling is a challenging task because drilling starts deep under the sea surface with no infrastructure in place.”

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