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Petrobras Relies on ANSYS Simulation Technology as a Key Enabler for Product and Process Design Innovations and Operational Excellence

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ANSYS, Inc . announced that Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras) in Brazil, one of the world’s most innovative integrated oil and gas companies, has broadened its technology relationship with ANSYS. Petrobras will utilize multiple simulation and modeling applications from ANSYS in pursuit of its innovation initiatives in product and process design, enhancing its operational excellence in production, refining and processing.

“Simulation-driven product and process development is helping us to improve the performance of refining equipment through the study and application of new technologies. It is a key element of our innovation strategy and in maintaining our global leadership,” said Maucir de Almeida, refining process optimization manager at Petrobras headquarters. “The breadth and depth of the ANSYS product portfolio, with its unparalleled modeling and high-performance computing (HPC) capabilities, makes it uniquely appropriate to address the full range and complexities of our applications that require rapid, high-fidelity simulations.”


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Currently, technology from ANSYS is a part of the design process at Petrobras’ Research and Development Center (CENPES), the heart of the company’s expansion in the world energy scene. “In our group, for example, engineers are using large and complex computational fluid dynamics (CFD) studies, running in clusters, to analyze the flow behavior inside different pieces of equipment. These simulations are helping us to propose modifications and test new scenarios that lead to more efficient and reliable refinery processes,” said Washington Geraldelli, basic engineering coking and separation manager at CENPES. “Today at several refineries, we have a range of equipment operating better as a result of new technologies that were tested using CFD from ANSYS.”

Oil and gas-affiliated companies around the globe use multiphysics and HPC-based engineering simulation solutions from ANSYS for a variety of applications, spanning the entire value chain from reservoir to gas pump. For example, current field development decisions are driven by both economic and technologic viability. The available petroleum supplies are in smaller reservoirs, deeper waters and harsher environments, with ever increasing engineering challenges (for example, the recent discovery at Tupi field by Petrobras, located under a thick layer of salt at a depth more than 4.5 miles beneath the ocean’s surface). The reserves usually require additional processing before they can be transported for refining. Engineering simulation tools from ANSYS assist petroleum and service companies not only to evaluate and assess feasibility but also to reduce risk and increase ratability of equipment and processes.



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Beyond discovery, solutions from ANSYS enable product and process design innovations, reduce the cost of experimentation, and help improve reliability and safety. Typical applications in the oil and gas industry include exploration of new technologies for upstream drilling, evaluation of enhanced oil recovery technology, offshore platform safety and operation, addressing regulatory requirements for critical designs and off-shore operations, erosion in equipment and piping, and accounting for thermal and highly nonlinear stress effects in onshore and offshore oil and gas machinery.

“We are pleased seeing our relationship with Petrobras grow over the years. The affiliation is a validation of both our strategy and our solutions along with the value they create for the oil and gas industry. We view our relationship with Petrobras to be critical in allowing us to continue our leadership in delivering comprehensive engineering solutions to the oil and gas industry,” said Chris Reid, vice president of marketing at ANSYS, Inc.


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Engineering Simulation and Scientific Software (ESSS) Ltda., an ANSYS channel partner in South America, has been working very closely with Petrobras. “ESSS has exceptional engineering talent on-site at Petrobras and is well positioned to represent and support CFD solutions from ANSYS. We will continue to strengthen our support of Petrobras and build additional capabilities useful for all aspects of the oil and gas industry in South America,” said Marcus Reis, director at ESSS.



About Petrobras S.A. 

Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. operates in a number of areas in the energy sector. The company’s operations are divided into Exploration & Production, Gas & Energy, Supply, and International, ranging from oil and gas exploration to distribution, passing through refining and supply. The company is one of the largest oil companies in the world – with more than 100 production platforms, 16 refineries, 30,000 kilometers of ducts, and 6,000 gas stations, employing some 68,000 people and having earned U.S. $14 billion in 2006. Petrobras is headquartered in Rio de Janeiro and has offices and administration managers in major Brazilian cities. Petrobras is also present in other countries, namely Angola, Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Nigeria, and the United States, as well as having the support of its overseas offices in New York and Japan.



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