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Russian 3D Digital Twin Modeling Could Improve Oil Production

© Sputnik / Maxim Bogodvid / Go to the mediabankAn oil pumpjack in Tatarstan, Russia
An oil pumpjack in Tatarstan, Russia - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.11.2022
According to scientists at Volgograd State Technical University (VolgSTU), the developed methodology of digital twins will increase the strength of steel ropes used in oil extraction without the need for expensive preliminary testing.
Russian scientists have used computer modeling to discover a solution to one of the oil industry's principal headaches.
About two-thirds of global oil wells use sucker-rod pumping systems. These systems are connected to a pump, which is submerged in the well by a steel rod. In recent years, this rod has begun to be replaced by a special steel rope that allows the pump to be placed in a slanted well with a small diameter, Volgograd State Technical University (VolgSTU) explained.
This, however, generated a problem in improving the operational reliability of the rope rods. Due to insufficient strength, they fall into disrepair, which slows down the oil production process. Therefore, today, there is a practical demand for optimizing their design, scientists added.
Traditionally, steel cables and ropes are designed according to scientific and technical documentation, and the force that the designed sample can withstand is determined experimentally. However, strength calculation algorithms cannot take into account all design features, such as the size and shape of the wires in the layers, or the size of gaps between the wires, they explained.
© AP Photo / Sue OgrockiA pump jack is silhouetted against the setting sun in Oklahoma City on March 22, 2012.
A pump jack is silhouetted against the setting sun in Oklahoma City on March 22, 2012. - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.11.2022
A pump jack is silhouetted against the setting sun in Oklahoma City on March 22, 2012.
Understanding the difficulties, scientists at Volgograd State Technical University developed a method to calculate the required parameters for rope rod assembly using a digital twin. In other words, specialists use computer programs to create a detailed 3D model of the projected rope and select the optimal ratio of design parameters.

“As a result of our study, we drew a conclusion about the reliability of computer modeling behavior under different loading schemes for the complex multi-element system, which is the closed multilayer steel rope,” Leonid Gurevich, head of the VolgSTU Materials Science and Composite Materials Department, said.

He added that university researchers identified the impact of minimal changes in the dimensions on the distribution of stress and strain on the product.
Next, they produced the designed rope in metal and submitted it to a certified organization for field testing. This reduces the number of repetitive and expensive tests.
The digital twin makes it possible to check several alternative options, identify the advantages and disadvantages of each, and choose the best one, which saves not only money but also time when putting new types of design into production, the expert explained. The results of their study were published in The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology.

“We are now developing an optimal rope. We will specify the most appropriate wire diameters, the gaps between the wires, and compare the results of making various changes. According to our calculations, the method will increase the load-bearing capacity of the rope rods of oil rigs by 20 percent,” Gurevich continued.

The specialist pointed out that the calculation of the actual properties of wire products using computer modeling had already been tested in the design of overhead power line wires and lightning ropes. The samples provided greater strength than those already in use in the industry.
The next task of the scientific team is to combine capabilities with leading organizations that design and produce ropes to create high-quality steel components for oil rigs, Gurevich added.
The research is part of a VolgSTU strategic project within the framework of the "Priority 2030" program.
The university’s development program includes four strategic projects, including the “Center for Digital Scientific and Educational Projects and Developments,” and the “Technologies for Industrial Innovation Cluster.”
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