MSC Software simulates Pioneer’s rigs

ADAMS multi-body dynamics simulator tuned with real world drilling data.

Pioneer Natural Resources has commissioned a bespoke edition of MSC Software’s ‘Adams*’ multibody dynamics simulation platform to address drilling ‘operations, dynamics and dysfunctions.’ MSC Software (a Hexagon unit) has worked in simulation since 1965 when it was awarded the original contract to commercialize NASA’s Nastran finite element analysis package.

Now Adams is being customized to the requirements of the oil and gas industry. The simulator will allow users to vary drill string components, operating parameters, wellbore geometry, lithology and control algorithms to understand their effect on drilling dynamics.

Pioneer CTO Chris Cheatwood said, ‘MSC has a proven track record of providing physics-based dynamic modeling to automotive and aerospace. This is a unique opportunity for us to help bring the same capability to US onshore independent operators. The software allows us to simulate drilling an entire well from start to finish, monitoring parameters we’ve never had access to before. We can test multiple well design and compare the results side-by-side to select the optimal configuration.’

Pioneer is helping MSC refine and validate the software by gathering real-world data using sensors on the drill string to acquire ‘ground truth’ measurements to verify and improve the models.

* Analysis by digital simulation of analog methods.

This article originally appeared in Oil IT Journal 2017 Issue # 5.

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