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CFD Simulation Improves Well Capping Methodology
Posted Thu September 26, 2019 @10:34AM
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Application Wild Well Control has developed a new approach to shallow-water well capping involving heavy pre-planning using CFD analysis of the well plume.

A partial list of complications for capping shallow-water well events includes large radius surface boils, and large clouds of dangerous or explosive gas/lower explosive limit (LEL) capable of igniting and creating potential fire hazards at or near the well site.


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A key component of this shallow-water capping method is the creation of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. These simulations enable engineers to model the dispersion of the hydrocarbons in the ocean as they rise from the seabed to the surface. These simulations determine the radius over which gas breaks out into the atmosphere, the so-called surface boil, and whether or not the gas concentrations are likely to form a flammable cloud.

well simulation
Simulation driven deployment solutions

As the gas rises through the water column, it drags a quantity of seawater with it. Once the gas reaches the sea surface, it disperses into the atmosphere. However, gravity prevents the upwelling seawater from doing the same, and a series of surface waves and a radial outflow develop. These surface waves and the radial outflow impact the capping stack deployment vessel, which must be able to hold its position relative to the well center.

The work is part of SURE, an industry sponsored research project to learn more about the effects and hazards of underwater gas blowouts and gas leaks.

Read the full case study at Offshore Magazine.

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  • full case study
  • Offshore Magazine
  • SURE
  • Wild Well Control
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