Numerical simulation of a patent technology for sealing of deep-sea oil wells using nonlinear finite element method
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For over 50 years bridge plugs and cement have been used for well abandonment, work over, and are still the material of choice. However, the failures of cement abandonments using bridge plugs has been reported on many occasions, some of which have resulted in fatal consequences. A new patented product is designed to address the shortcomings associated with using bridge plugs and cement. The new developed tools use an alloy based on bismuth that is melted in situ using Thermite reaction. The tool uses the expansion properties of bismuth to sea the well. Testing the new technology in real field under more than 2km deep sea water can be expensive. Virtual simulation of the new device under simulated thermal and mechanical environment can be achieved using nonlinear finite element method to validate the product and reduce cost. Experimental testing in the lab is performed to measure heat generated due to thermite reaction. Then, a sequential thermal mechanical explicit/implicit finite element solver is used to simulate the device under both testing lab and deep water conditions.
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