PTC held a virtual user group/webinar this month on the application of Mathcad in oil and gas. PTC claims that Mathcad is used by most major oils to leverage their intellectual property and to capture engineering ‘context and intent,’ something that ‘cannot be done with either Excel or CAD*.’ PTC divides the mathematical/engineering as follows. Hand-held calculations are OK for ‘one-off’ engineering problems. Excel is ‘pervasive but imperfect’—formulae are hard to read, units of measure are not properly manages and spreadsheets are error prone. Domain-specific programming-based solutions require specialized capabilities and are ‘geared to simulation and modeling.’
Mathcad on the other hand offers human readable ‘natural’ math, annotation, is ‘unit aware,’ can automate and capture workflows and offers interoperability, notably with other components of PTC’s product line.
Offshore engineering contractor Saipem used Mathcad in a ‘dropped object study,’ a risk assessment of falling crane loads on subsea pipelines. A Mathcad worksheet has been developed for decision support in locating pipelines and subsea valves, replacing a prior ‘rule of thumb’ approach. Saipem is now working on impact consequence analysis.
Another user, ‘Drillers.com’ has used Mathcad to deploy an online electronic drilling manual. Here Mathcad worksheets are available to perform a variety of calculations for casing strength etc. and to assist in well planning.
Maersk Drilling has migrated from spreadsheets to Mathcad ‘to avoid inconsistent results and significant errors.’ The company has standardized on Mathcad for calculations and documentation. The tool is now considered a ‘best practice’ for drilling performance and production improvement—resulting from more effective calculations and communication.
Weatherford stated that Mathcad is an improvement on Excel and is used inter alia to visualize deviation survey data and perform conversions using inbuilt functionality.
Subsea 7 uses MC to perform (and document) pipeline and structural calculations to ISO and DNV specifications.
Hydrocarbon accounting specialist Smith Rea was having similar ‘issues’ with Excel regarding reuse, transparency and audit capability. The company now has developed worksheets for meter data auditing according to the ISO5167:2003 standard.
PTC wound up underlining Mathcad’s integration with CAD—notably its own Pro/Mechanica and Pro/Engineer tools. A rather long demo ensued showing Mathcad’s role as a bridge between Excel, Pro/Engineer and Mechanica for finite element analysis. Other use cases include alarm analysis, seismic signal processing and economic optimization of refinery product. More from links/1003_8.
* Computer-aided design.
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