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US research centre announces 3D virtual rig

21st August 2012

HARC unveils web-based software which will showcase environmentally friendly drilling technologies for O&G professionals

US research centre announces 3D virtual rig
If visitors pass a roughneck, the worker will explain what he or she is doing and detail the environmental advantages of a given technology

A Texas-based research centre announced this month that it will develop a virtual 3D drill rig, as part of plans to familiarise oil and gas industry professionals with new and “greener” technologies for the sector.
Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) is preparing the release of a web-based program which allows users to browse a virtual 3D drill rig in order to get acquainted with the latest advances in environmentally friendly drilling technologies.

The project has been developed in conjunction with multimedia production company Epic Software Group and the Coastal Impacts Technology Program (CITP), and funded through a grant from the US Department of Interior.

“Our team has created a fun, interactive application to contrast conventional ways industry has drilled for oil and gas with newer and more environmentally friendly methods,” head of CITP Richard Haut said. “Visitors to the new site can open videos and 3D animations featuring a host of new tools that are reducing the impact of energy production on the environment.”

The software engine functions much in the same way as a gaming software, according to Epic Software Group president Vic Cherubini. A 3D virtual rig tour allows visitors to explore the rig at will, he added.

Some of the technologies showcased in the web-based program include closed loop mud systems; small footprint rigs; advanced hydraulic fracturing systems; high efficiency water handling; and processing systems.

The Epic Software Group won the contract to provide the computer animation, web graphics, video and programming for the project. The firm has developed multimedia applications for energy companies since 1990.

HARC is a non-profit organisation which focuses on the improvement of  human and ecosystem management through the application of sustainability science.