Laboratory for Computational Methods and Offshore Systems - LAMCSO
Since 1983, the LAMCSO team has been undertaking research activities related to the development of computational methods, and to applications on the analysis and design of offshore oil production systems. These activities have been performed mostly under a partnership with Petrobras, and more recently with other companies acting on the Oil & Gas industry.
Several types of offshore systems have been considered, including: Rigid and compliant fixed platforms; Floating production systems, such as semi-submersible platforms or FPSOs (Floating Production, Storage and Offloading units); Riser and pipeline systems.
Development of Computational Methods
Such activities include the formulation of new algorithms and numerical methods, comprising more efficient solution procedures for structural and hydrodynamic models, considering static/dynamic, linear/nonlinear behavior. Although the methods may be applied to different engineering problems in general, they are implemented on computational systems specifically oriented towards the structural and hydrodynamic analysis of offshore oil production systems – particularly the SITUA-Prosim program, which has been employed by Petrobras on several actual design activities.
The computational tools include not only numerical solvers, but also graphical interfaces with pre- and post-processing capabilities, for the generation of numerical models, and visualization / statistical treatment of results.
Moreover, “soft computing” tools have been developed, to complement and/or replace numerical methods for the synthesis and optimization of different types of offshore systems, and also for the treatment of uncertainties. For instance, the OtimRota tool has been developed and its use is being considered by Petrobras to generate optimal routes for submarine pipelines; other optimization tools have been developed, based on nature-inspired algorithms (such as Genetic Algorithms or the PSO – Particle Swarm Optimization methods), oriented to the design of riser and mooring systems. Surrogate or meta-models have also been developed, based for instance on Artificial Neural Networks, to comprise expedite analysis methods for risers and moored platforms.
Analysis and design of offshore oil production systems
Analysis and design activities comprise the different types of offshore systems mentioned above (platforms, risers, mooring systems, pipelnes, etc), on installation, operational and damaged situations. For these activities, not only the in-house computational tools are employed (such as the SITUA-Prosim system), but also available commercial programs such as Ansys and Abaqus (mainly to build Finite Element models for local analyses).
Attention has been dedicated to the study of innovative configurations for platforms, mooring systems and risers. Such activities have been performed since the beginning of the 80’s , when self-elevating platforms and different configurations of compliant towers were studied. Since then other configurations have been studied, including for instance alternative configurations of steel catenary risers (SCRs) connected to FPSO units; hybrid riser systems, including BSR systems comprised by a large-dimension sub-surface buoy; mid-water transfer systems, based in sub-surface buoys; mooring systems with ultra-short radius; floating and aerial hoses, and oceanic terminals (CALM/SALM).
Other activities related to the analysis and design of offshore system included the retro-analysis of data obtained during the monitoration of the SCR installed at the P-18 platform in Campos Basin; and the assessment of the structural integrity of pipelines with thermal loadings, dents, and corrosion defects.
Recently, special attention has been dedicated to the simulation of installation operations. In this context, the SITUA-Prosim program has been employed for the generation of numerical models, and the analysis of different installation and manipulation of pipelines, risers, mooring systems and subsea equipment (manifolds, etc).
Finally, one of the most relevant activities related to offshore systems is the proposal and establishment of new design methodologies, moving beyond the current state-of-the-art. For instance, using the new methods that have been implemented on the SITUA-Prosim program for the analysis of coupled models (platform hull – mooring lines and risers), methodologies that gradually incorporate a complete integration between the design of mooring systems and risers (that previously were performed separately) can be proposed and assessed.
The laboratory is installed on the second floor of the COPPE annex building, next to the CT-Technology Center complex of UFRJ. This building houses the expansion areas of the Civil Engineering Program that have recently been concluded; it comprises a modern infrastructure, designed according to functionality and sustainability concepts. .
The laboratory occupies and area of around 350m2, including meeting rooms, individual rooms and workstations with personal computers for the professors, researchers, D.Sc. and M.Sc. students, and undergraduate students that comprise the LAMCSO team. The hardware and software facilities (including clusters of computers) have been periodically renovated with the support of institutional research projects, submitted to the main Brazilian funding agencies (CNPq, FINEP, FAPERJ).
Prof. Breno Pinheiro Jacob (coordinator)
Prof. Fabricio Nogueira Correa, Poli/UFRJ, Collaborating Professor PEC/COPPE
Prof. Carl Horst Albrecht, Poli/UFRJ
Prof. Bruno Martins Jacovazzo, Poli/UFRJ
Prof. Bruno da Fonseca Monteiro, Poli/UFRJ
Profa. Beatriz de Souza Leite Pires de Lima, PEC/COPPE
Ivete Frango – Executive Secretary
Ramom de Araujo Frango – IT Manager