Oil and gas

How DNV GL’s acquisition of a small Norwegian company is changing the risk and consequence software market

Computational fluid dynamics - Kameleon FireEx - KFX

In October 2017, DNV GL acquired the small Norwegian company ComputIT and with it the well-established computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code, KFX Exsim. The KFX CFD tool strengthened our market position within the risk and consequence segment. DNV GL now offers a full range of tools for risk assessment and consequence analysis of accidental releases of hydrocarbon or toxic materials, as well as fires. Our risk and reliability and quantitative risk analysis (QRA) software portfolio now ranges from Phast and Safeti, efficient and well-established integral model tools, to the 3D KFX simulator for gas dispersion, fires and explosions.

Kenneth Vareide, DNV GL
Kenneth Vareide, CEO, DNV GL - Digital Solutions

Bringing greater value to our customers

“This is not just about adding a new product to our software portfolio. This is about bringing greater value to our customers by exploring the mutual benefits and potential synergies of our combined offerings. To ensure the full optimization of all of our risk tools, our development teams are now working closely together, and more importantly, with customers, to learn and exchange ideas and knowledge,” says Kenneth Vareide, CEO, DNV GL - Digital Solutions.

One example is the 3D geometry model viewer from KFX computational fluid dynamics software, which has been incorporated into the latest releases of Phast and Safeti. This fulfills a wish from many Phast and Safeti users to be able to present results in a realistic three-dimensional geometry model.

Major upgrade improves flexibility

Similarly, features from Phast process hazard analysis software have been incorporated into KFX, making the tool more user-friendly and easier to operate. In the latest release of KFX, version 3.4 for Windows , the licence system used for Phast and Safeti has been included. This provides much more flexibility, as customers can choose between stand-alone licences and a network option that can serve several users and computing resources. This is a major upgrade, as the previous Windows version of KFX only had a stand-alone licence option, which required a physical dongle.

DNV GL’s Oil and Gas business area was one of the first users of KFX for consultancy projects, and they have been KFX users for more than 20 years. During this time, DNV GL have built expertise on KFX for consequence analysis and QRAs. The acquisition enables direct sharing of this experience from the advisory teams to the KFX developers, pushing the development of KFX in a more practical and user-friendly direction. In the ongoing development of KFX, the experience from the advisory teams will be the basis for further optimization of KFX workflows for solving practical engineering problems. Also, as the advisory teams now will have direct access to the KFX developers and source code, it will be possible to tweak the code and to make case-specific adaptions to solve certain problems. This will give the advisory teams flexibility to deliver bespoke solutions to complex problems, thereby creating additional value for customers.

Further development of KFX

After the acquisition, more resources are available for further development of KFX Exsim. Some of the topics included in the short-term pipeline are:

  • Developing a specific KFX tool for mapping of gas and flame detectors. The stand-alone tool will be based on some of the core technologies in KFX today, such as 3D capabilities, as well as the gas dispersion simulation capabilities of KFX.
  • CO2 and dense gas dispersion module
    o Extend and validate KFX to handle large multiphase releases of CO2
  • LNG module
    o Development project to extend the capabilities of KFX to simulate large releases of LNG (ongoing and close to completion). The development work includes spreading of large amounts of cryogenic liquid and improved models for heat transfer between the surroundings and cryogenic liquid pools and sprays.
    o PHMSA approval for KFX
  • Exsim explosion module
    o Technical qualification programme for Exsim initiated to extend validation database.
  • KFX cloud service
    o As a part of the ongoing digitalization process within DNV GL, new cloud based solutions for KFX are being developed.

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