Development of Drillpipe-Riser-Intervention Systems Offshore West Africa
- Chris Carpenter (JPT Technology Editor)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- June 2015
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 104 - 106
- 2015. Society of Petroleum Engineers
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- 42 since 2007
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This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper SPE 170308, “Drillpipe-Riser-Intervention-System Successful Experience in Offshore West Africa,” by Henri de Fonvielle and Laurent Bordet, Vallourec Drilling Products; William Campbell and Nenad Susak, Total; and Mitra Marajh, FMC Kongsberg International, prepared for the 2014 SPE Deepwater Drilling and Completions Conference, Galveston, Texas, USA, 10–11 September. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
This paper details the technical and economic challenges in west Africa that have led to the design of drillpipe-riser-intervention-system (DPRIS) solutions. Depending upon the field requirements, two different types of drillpipe-riser systems using a proprietary double-shoulder connection have been used by operators. A first solution was developed in 1999 featuring a seal ring close to the external shoulder. Subsequently, a new solution featuring a gas-tight metal-to-metal seal on the pin nose was developed.
Well-completion and -intervention operations in offshore environments are growing in complexity because of increasing water depths and working- pressure requirements. These environmental factors are having a major effect on tubebody minimum-tensile-load capacity and gas-tight-connection requirements. As early as 1996, an operator accelerated the development of a new type of completion and intervention system when it discovered the Roncador field in 1800 m of water offshore Brazil. A dedicated project team was created to develop the DPRIS. The operator had already identified its need for a mobile early-production riser for use with a floating production unit performing extended flow testing of production wells. The new DPRIS could be used for subsea tubing-hanger and production-tree installations and as an early-production riser.
DPRIS use has greatly expanded; more than 50 systems currently operate in deepwater offshore regions. The first use of the system in west Africa occurred in 1999 on the Girassol project. A second-generation drillpipe riser has since been designed featuring new connection designs and hydrogen-sulfide-resistant materials and has been subject to evaluation, testing, and field performance.
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