Riser Tensioner Force Variations
- T.J. Kozik (Texas A And M U. College Station) | J. Noerager (Exxon Production Research Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Society of Petroleum Engineers Journal
- Publication Date
- December 1978
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 399 - 408
- 1978. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 1.10 Drilling Equipment, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 4.2.4 Risers, 1.6 Drilling Operations
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Original manuscript received in Society of Petroleum Engineers office Feb. 24, 1976. Paper accepted for publication June 14, 1977. Revised manuscript received Aug. 21, 1978. Paper (SPE 6309, OTC 2648) first presented at the Eighth Annual Offshore Technical Conference, held in presented at the Eighth Annual Offshore Technical Conference, held in Houston, May 3-6, 1976.
Excessive riser-force variation on the upper joint in a riser string can lead to buckling and excessive fatigue. This variation is caused by two components of the riser support system - the riser tensioning system and the telescopic, or slip, joint.
Using specific examples, two conclusions are reached. First, the force variation at the top of the riser string may be much greater than that indicated by monitoring the tensioner system's air-tank pressure. Second, a major contribution to this pressure. Second, a major contribution to this variation can be pressure drop in the air valves.
The riser tensioners and slip joint (Fig. 1) form the support system for the riser string used in floating drilling operations. Although tensioners are the primary support mechanism, their forces are transmitted through the slip joint to the upper joint in the riser string. In many deep-water drilling operations, the riser string is isolated in bending by an upper ball joint from the more massive telescopic joint. This upper ball joint interacts directly with the riser string; therefore, the forces seen at that joint become riser-string forces because of the tensioner support system.
Ideally, the tensioner support-system forces at the upper ball joint should provide a net axial load on the riser string and should be constant in magnitude as well as direction. However, the nonideal behavior of the riser tensioners - as well as the inertia and geometrical effects associated with vessel, slip joint, and riser-string motions - result in load variations. Generally, the upper ball-joint force vector depends on time.
No limits as yet have been determined for allowable variations of the riser-string forces resulting from the riser support mechanism. Nevertheless, measuring these variations analytically and qualitatively is important when assessing the effectiveness of the support mechanism or when providing important information about the boundary providing important information about the boundary conditions necessary to analyze the riser string.
Our paper has two purposes. First, to emphasize by numerical examples the strong dependence of riser-tensioner force variations on the character of the assumed losses (pressure chop) in the tensioner-system air valves. Second, to present an analytical expression and numerical results for the tensioner-system force variations at the upper ball joint, thereby emphasizing the strong effects of vessel motion on riser-string force.
The typical drilling riser tensioner is a hydropneumatic mechanical system (Fig. 2) that provides tension in the cable attached to and supporting the outer barrel of the slip joint.
Kozik studied the cable tensioner variation ( r) resulting from cable motion. A convenient form for his equation is
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