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Simulating the Physical Challenges of "Unconventional Oil" Abaqus accurately predicts realistic performance of well designs in challenging oilfield applications hose days, cll walls are doo locations less accessible, and the cil heavier or otherwise more cticuk to extract. All of ths has le to the development and testing of a nost of technologies needed to reach, andl recover, what is now called ul al Many of these tecanologiee have bean ‘explored and improved upon by C-FER schnolagias le. (C-FER). Originally tno Cente for Frontier Engineering Research, it was founded in the 1980s as an indus directed engineering testing, and applied research center to solve problems posed in Constructing and maintaining atfsnore ant Arctic structures in Canada, In the 1990s, CC-FER formod a wholly ownod subsidiay CC-FER Technologies Inc. to bring ts advanced engineering and testing services to the marketplace on a compatve, commercial basts Computer-aided engineering is key to oil well performance analyses day C-FER's structural, mechenica ‘lew, and relabity engineers conduct appled research and development, pform 16 SIMULIA Community News May/June 2012 {ull-scal tosting, and provide anginaoring consulting for the upstream oll and gas, and pipaline transmission industries, as wall as other inustias. “We have a longstanding tradition of rigorous physical testing for produers,” says Dr. Jur Xi, senior engineering achisor for ‘but we have neatly as long a history with ‘computer-aided e (CAE) tools From the beginning, finite elomont analysis FEA) software has been an important a C-FER, In 1984, as the company’s FEA sorvicos mot with increasing demand, they adopted Abaqus FEA. Projects conducted by C-FER using the software include design of ful-scal tests, ‘iure rvostigation, and dosign optimization, Proving out technologies for unconventional ol walls with FEA has Tong baen one of C-FER's most important tasks,” says Xe. Unconventional cil anc ‘gas typcaly refers to resources such as oll sands, heavy ol ol and tight gas shales, {doop and doop-soa reservoir, and Arctic reservoirs located below thick layers of porma‘tost. “These wells taquently involve ‘department al C-FER Technologies, Canad. ancilary extraction technologies that place considerable loads on the wellbore ‘equipment." Xe notes, For example, thermal wel technologies, such as Cyclic Stoam Stimulation (CSS), wth peak temperatures higher than 420°C, and Steam Assisted Gravty Drainage (SAGD), with peak temperatures higher than 220°C, nave baen widely Used to produce viscous heavy oil and bitumen. Many of hase apploations use laege diamotor walls with complex roa: simensional trajectories to reach the target The high temperature andr high pressure ofton causo significant formation Foaling orn the interaction of the walbore equipment with the suroundling formation. This can potentialy induce lrg deformations and changes in material provatties, causing well mechanical failures, such as bucking, shear, and ‘colapse; casing connection failures ftom parting or fuid-eaking; coment functional failures (cracking and the formation of uid ‘tow paths); horzontal wel aires due to structural damage; serviceabilly ‘lures wellbore access ancl sand control; and in are instances, wellbore leakage anc blowout evans. Since the traditional stress-based ‘rteria used for conventional wal no longer apply, C-FER developed a stain: based dasign concept for designing on