[Posted on July 17th, 2013 by Bill Stewart]
When you create a rig offshore, you need to focus on flexible risers. These kinds of risers are able to withstand vertical as well as horizontal movements. This makes them one of the most ideal options for floating facilities. Originally used to connect production equipment aboard floating facilities, it is now being used as the primary riser solution offshore.
As you look into riser technology, it’s important to know about the different configurations available for these risers. This includes a lazy S and a steep S which will utilize various anchored buoyancy modules. As you use these different configurations, you will also want to use riser analysis to ensure you know what you are getting.
It can be of great assistance to use software in order to learn about how the different flexible risers will operate in the water once you have placed them. Without going through a variety of tests on land, you are going to run into a variety of problems off land. Software can provide you with a variety of results to ensure you have made the accurate configurations for what you will be doing and where you will be doing it.
For example, when you use flexible risers, you will want to consider stress technology and simulate the recoil that will occur if you have to make an emergency disconnect. You will need to understand the operating limits including tension, stroke, and heave as it results to riser recoil. To ensure you have thought about all of these aspects, it can also be advantageous to work with an technology firm that specializes in offshore drilling.
Various components will be used along with flexible risers. You may need telescopic joints, keel joints, suspension joints, and various other things. It all depends on where you will be doing the drilling and what kinds of conditions your materials will be exposed to.
Ultimately, while risers provide you with a significant number of options for offshore drilling, it is still important to focus on riser capability and analysis. This means looking at tube wall thickness, riser configurations, buoyancy effectiveness, and various other aspects.
Having a flexible drilling riser is going to provide you with flexibility – but this is not enough. You have to focus on all of the other areas to ensure that you have a strong rig going forward. You also have to consider emergency situations – as they are more likely to occur offshore then you may realize.
With a strong combination of analysis software and technology consulting, you will be able to use flexible risers throughout your rig and use them with confidence knowing that they are going to handle everything that your environment is going to throw at them. Additionally, you will have the know how to respond in the event of an emergency, regardless of how major that emergency may be.