A blowout contingency plan was made for a gas field in a remote area with water depth exceeding 1600 m. The worst-case discharge analysis for a representative well in the field concluded that the reservoir is capable of producing at a highly prolific rate, which posed a challenge when developing a source control contingency plan that complies with governing regulators' and operators' internal requirements. Simulations using a transient multiphase flow simulator showed that the kill requirements could exceed the capability of a single conventional relief well; however, planning to intersect and coordinate a dynamic kill using multiple relief wells involved unacceptable operations risks. Furthermore, considering rig availability, limited pumping resources, and long mobilization times for this region, planning to use multiple relief wells is not a feasable option. A recently developed subsea flow spool system can eliminate the need for multiple relief wells in the case of potentially hard-to-kill blowouts, especially where a dynamic kill using multiple relief wells would involve unacceptable operations risks. Dynamic kill simulation shows that the subsea flow spool, coupled with a supporting mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU), flexible flow lines, a supplementary flow spool, and a casing string placed inside the riser will be able to achieve a successful kill if needed. Furthermore, detailed engineering analysis of triaxial loads, fatigue, and erosion were done for critical hardware components to ensure all potential failure points were addressed.
Salehi, Saeed (School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering, University of Oklahoma) | Kiran, Raj (School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering, University of Oklahoma) | Jeon, Jiwon (Department of Industrial & System Engineering, University of Oklahoma) | Kang, Ziho (Department of Industrial & System Engineering, University of Oklahoma) | Teodoriu, Catalin (University of Oklahoma) | Cokely, Edward (The National Institute for Risk & Resilience)
Pushing the boundary of offshore drilling operations further has resulted in more complex and riskier frontiers. The paramount level of systemic complexity and risks have turned the focus of industry on the situational awareness and process safety. In case of failure at any of these accounts, the operations suffer several setbacks in terms of additional financial burden nonetheless the time. Workers have been reporting in several instances of the physiological and psychological issue which most of the time triggers an unfortunate or undesirable incidents.
Situation awareness (SA) has been conceived as directly associated with meta-cognitive faculties of human, however quantifying the cognitive abilities of a human while interacting with the systemic environment objectively is a far-fetched idea. Eye-tracking has been seen as a gateway to such ideas. Eye-tracking technology is not a recently discovered avenue. However, implementation of such technology in several highly sophisticated fields such as aviation, meteorology, and health sectors have witnessed radical changes in the past few years in SA explorations. This paper presents a comprehensive review of eye-tracking technology in the context of different high reliability organization and explores its relevance into offshore drilling operations. What will be a better way of exploration than to implement it through a case study? Keeping this in mind, a case study is also presented in this paper with the hypothesis of distinct anticipated behavior from less and more alert and aware participant. The experiments were conducted in a Virtual Reality Drilling Simulator (VRDS) equipped with eye tracking technology at OU Drilling simulator facility. The ocular activity of the participants was registered and further analyzed to assess their behavior. The cameras in such devices capture the characteristics of participants’ behavior, and through image processing algorithms oculomotor data such as eye fixation count and pupil sizes were obtained. These data were further analyzed through sophisticated statistical analysis and mathematical algorithms to generate cues to explore the relevance of the hypothesis.
Overall this paper digs into the role of eye-tracking technology to enhance the process safety and situational awareness. Results from the pilot study clearly indicate the significant deviation in case of less aware/alert participant from the ideal behavior or more aware participants. This paper will provide an initial framework for implementation of eye-tracking technology in complex real-time operations to further extend the safeguards from the human errors.
The investigation of different accidents in offshore oil and gas drilling industry indicates inadequate management systems and miscommunication as one of the major contributing factors leading to these accidents. In this paper, we will identify the common contributing factors of three major offshore oil and gas drilling accidents in the period of 2009 to 2013 using the structure of the AcciMap methodology, as a risk management and accident investigation framework that was developed by Rasmussen in 1997. This methodology analyzes the contribution of different socio-technical factors and involved key players in an accident through its hierarchical structure. This provides a broader perspective to investigate accidents and identify their common contributing factors.
The two analyzed accidents in this paper are the Hercules 265 Jack-up Rig Blowout in 2013 and the Montara Oil Spill in 2009 using the structure of the AcciMap framework. The results of this analysis will then be compared with the already developed AcciMap framework by
Moreover, the analysis of the comparison of the three aforementioned accidents shows that how lack of proper, standard well control procedures and guidelines or lack of knowledge about them when combined with ineffective communication and interoperability can prove to be deadly and harmful in different ways. It causes loss of life, property and revenue. In addition, it endangers the environment, which is already suffereing due to other human activities.
The challenge to maintain production in marginal field and to keep any related activities to be economically justified will require more optimization and innovation. Artificial lift fields using pump require many mechanical well service intervention: to install and to repair the downhole pump. Mechanical well service uses well service rig or pulling unit rig, mainly to pull and to run the tubing. One of main component of the rig is well control equipment system.
The complete package of the well control equipment system is about 30% of the rig service package. The equipment may consist of: complete BOP stack, hydraulic power unit with line, choke manifold, kill line and flare line, poor boy separator. The time needed to rig up, test, and rig down the well control equipment package has significant percentage. For simple job of artificial lift mechanical well service which main job is only pulling and running back the tubing, the percentage may be about 20% - 30%. Continuous and routine job of the mechanical well service will give significant cost impact to the total operation expenses.
One of the marginal on shore fields in Tunisia, with low productive oil production well, requires innovation to keep the production in economic limit. Cost reduction of the artificial lift well service operation is one of the main options. Optimization of the well control equipment was studied to reduce the field operation cost. Careful risk assessment had been done. Simple and low cost well control equipment was prepared. Additional procedure was introducedandsome documents related to risk control are prepared. Applying the approach, about 25% - 30% of cost saving is identified without sacrify the safety of the operation.
Well control equipment standard is an almost matured and well-regulated standard around the world. The main equipment standards are almost the same across regions, countries and companies. Mostly there are two categories of the standards related to well operation: drilling and well service. However, mostly the main well control equipment is the same for both drilling and well service. Off shore well control standard are more stringent than on shore operation. However, mechanical well service,which deals with existing perforation without any reservoir stimulation and very well-known production behaviors, are not specifically categorized in most of the standards. This type of on shore mechanical well service operation has much less risk than drilling or reservoir well service, so it is highly possible to use less well control equipment package with the proper risk assessment according to the field/well condition. The well control equipment applied in the Tunisia field will hopefully give more standard guidance for low risk marginal oil field.
In this study, both experiments and numerical simulations have been performed to study sinusoidal oscillations of an identical pair of circular cylinders in a side-by-side configuration for various gaps in the still fluid. The key parameter of Keulegan-Carpenter (KC) number in the experiment is chosen between 0.5 and 20, Strokes number (β=Re/KC) values are selected from 350 to 2810 and gap ratio is selected from 0.5 to 3 in the experiments. Compared to the single cylinder cases, a large drag coefficient increase has been observed for gap ratios from 0.5 to 1.0. This phenomenon has later been confirmed by numerical simulations (in a smaller fixed Reynolds number of 120) using Lily-Pad, a solver built on boundary data immersed method (BDIM). In the numerical results, wake visualization shows that vortices shed from the cylinder pair will induce a jet between the gap, forming a vortex pair and accelerating the fluid particles away. This jet motion helps to expel energy from the structure into the fluid, and is confirmed by the energy flux calculation on the control volume around the cylinder pair, thus explains the enhancement of the drag coefficient.
Compared to the fluid structure interaction problem of cylinders open to the uniform flow that has been widely investigated, cylinders in the oscillatory flow has attracted less attention (Xu, 2013). However its significance cannot be undermined for its rich physics as well as its prevailing existence in all kinds of engineering scenario, especially in the ocean engineering field. As Fan (2016) pointed out that examples can be found in the offshore field such as the wave induced oscillatory flow around the risers, mooring lines, point wave energy generators, pump towers in the LNG ship experiencing sloshing load in the liquid tank induced by ship motion and blow-out preventers (BOP) forced to vibrate under the influence of upper riser motion, etc. In all these scenarios, the hydrodynamic model of the problems can be sufficiently simplified as fluid structure interaction in the oscillatory flow.
In this paper, we will share the results of the collaborative efforts completed during Phase XII of the DeepStar joint industry technology development project; specifically, the results of CTR 12504, Real-time Monitoring for Critical Barriers, which was conducted within the X500 Drilling and Completions committee in 2016. We will outline the process used to identify the critical data needed to verify and maintain primary and secondary barriers to flow within deepwater wells, required to conduct safe offshore drilling operations. The objectives of Real-time Monitoring for Critical Barriers were to identify and define critical data sources required for the real-time monitoring of both, the drilling margins and physical safety barriers. The use of real-time data monitoring has now become a regulatory requirement for US deepwater and critical well operations. The scope of this work covered the Drilling, Completion, Well Testing and Well Intervention phases of a well's life cycle. An international perspective was employed by integrating the barrier strategies of API RP 96, NORSOK D-10, IOGP Reports 415 / 544, UKOG Well Life Cycle Integrity Guidelines, 30 CFR Part 250 Final Rule and NAS TRB Report 322. From these documents, the common themes and definitions were examined to produce a matrix that defined the primary and secondary barrier envelopes, identify the rig sensors for their validation, then insure that they are verified and maintained during the various operations conducted over the life of the well. The real-time data monitoring, considered in this effort, included sensors on the drilling rig's hoisting and mud systems, downhole tools, and to the largely independent sub-sea BOP stack. While the rig and downhole tool sensing equipment is fairly standardized across the industry, the same cannot be said for sub-sea BOP systems. While individual BOP vendor systems share similar overall design structures, the sensors, measurement protocols, system architecture, and data processing are unique to each. Secondary activation systems (i.e., acoustic, ROV) are also unique to each vendor. This paper addresses real-time monitoring as it applies the verification and monitoring of barrier elements.
However, the severity of this downturn has resulted in an unprecedented purging of existing paradigms. In parallel with a prolonged period of depressed commodity pricing, geopolitical upheaval, budget constraints, and loss of experienced personnel all contributed to challenges in delivering performance and technology through 2016 and into the new year. As will be shown in this feature, across operator/service companies and geographical boundaries, breakthroughs in safer and more-innovative and -efficient well-construction strategies continue to occur. Highlighted papers include topics with particular relevance: recent deepwater casing and cement design, improved understanding of rig-control systems, well-control/blowout contingency planning, new remote-operations concepts for extreme Arctic landscapes, breakthrough steerable-liner drilling, and improved drilling fluids for long horizontal onshore wells. Beyond these headlines, the reader will find valuable content and further insight into specific solutions on the most urgent drilling challenges, including safety, environmental protection, operational efficiency, reliability, and well integrity.
The investigations on the 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident in the US Gulf of Mexico (GOM) have produced a wealth of lessons learned for the industry years after the fact. In discussing the findings from the US Chemical Safety Board’s (CSB) 2016 investigation report on the incident an agency investigator said that, much like past incidents such as Piper Alpha, the learning process will likely continue into the foreseeable future and that it will be vital for the industry to carefully examine new information as it becomes available. At a presentation hosted by the SPE Gulf Coast Section’s Health, Safety, Security, Environment, and Social Responsibility (HSSE-SR) Study Group, Mary Beth Mulcahy, a chemical incident investigator with the CSB, examined the communication and management gaps that took place at Macondo and discussed how those gaps could potentially affect the relationship between operators and drilling contractors. On 20 April 2010, a blowout took place at the Macondo oil well in the GOM. The resulting explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon floating semisubmersible drilling unit led to, among other things, 11 fatalities and the largest oil spill in US history, with 4 million bbl of released hydrocarbons causing massive marine and coastal damage.
As deepwater drilling leapt into the dynamic positioning (DP) era, many drilling contractors and operators lacked an evidence-based approach for identification of potential process safety and well control failure points. Noble Corporation, a global offshore drilling contractor, (the Company or the Drilling Contractor) has undertaken a journey to scrutinize all critical aspects of deepwater well control operations to ensure a more robust understanding of well issues, operational procedural adequacy, well control intervention practices, and human factors. The Company will present the process and learnings from more than a dozen fully simulated deepwater well control exercises to increase the knowledge base and understanding of the entire industry.
In early 2015, the Company started a program of fully integrated deepwater DP drilling simulation exercises. Utilizing state-of-the-art, immersive simulations with linked software, the Company brings drilling, marine, and engineering crews together with shore based managers from both operator and drilling contractor. Multiday exercises, built on adult learning principles, confront the crews with life-like well control, weather, and equipment failure scenarios that implicate hydrocarbon containment in a deepwater well. All drilling controls are exactly replicated for each vessel, so the drill crew members are in their "native environment," seeing the same drill floor and human-machine interface as at work. Likewise, the DP and power management simulators are the same equipment found on Company vessels. Uniquely, the drilling, DP and power management software is integrated, so that faults on one system impact the others. Beyond the simulations themselves, the simulation center contains all telephone and radio communications and ship-to-shore, enabling the crew to communicate as though they were on the rig; likewise, the shore based rig management and operator drilling engineers participate via telephone. The exercise is facilitated from a high-tech control room with audio, video and instrumentation feeds, and two-way communications. Expert facilitators control events and role play additional players. The lifelike exercises are recorded and a full after-action-review debrief is facilitated with the crews afterwards to identify learnings and opportunities for improvement.
The result of the integrated deepwater DP drilling simulation exercises is a proactive, behavior-based risk management process with the operator and drilling contractor. The exercises return critical learnings and observations in five key areas:
Procedural knowledge for critical operations (e.g., well-specific operating guidelines, well control manual, bridging documents)
Observed behaviors around well control and loss of position scenarios
Human factors, including team dynamics, relationships, and trust
Enhanced situational awareness and crew communications
Further training and operational procedure development opportunities
Following the Macondo incident in 2010, industry has taken steps to improve response readiness in case of a subsea well control incident. This led to Oil Spill Response Limited's (OSRL) Subsea Well Intervention Service (SWIS) being formed. SWIS allows industry the capability to better respond to a subsea well-control incident by providing state of the art subsea well intervention equipment.
This paper will provide an overview of SWIS and demonstrate how the equipment is stored and maintained in a response ready state, including information on periodic maintenance performed and logistics philosophy for mobilisation. In addition, it will provide an update on the Containment Toolkit, allowing for cap and flow operations.
The equipment available includes 10K and 15K psi Capping Stack Systems (CSS) and Subsea Incident Response Toolkit (SIRT); comprised of Site survey, Debris Clearance, Subsea Dispersant and Blowout Preventer (BOP) Intervention System. The equipment is stored at strategic global locations, covering the main areas of oil exploration and production worldwide. It is transportable by land, air and sea and can be called upon by any OSRL SWIS Capping member. Further to this, the OSPRAG Capping Device will be discussed, which provides cover for the UK Continental Shelf.
To enhance the capability of SWIS the Containment Toolkit will be delivered to OSRL during 2015. The equipment in the containment toolkit is designed to supplement standard industry well test hardware to create a containment system. It comprises long-lead equipment not readily available in the current industry and minimises response times by allowing a responding well operator to draw on existing resources.