[Posted on January 22nd, 2014 by Bill Stewart]
When you are conducting any kind of offshore project, such as drilling, riser analysis is critical. You have to be sure you have the best designs possible, taking into consideration all environmental factors. If you do not have the best design, you may run into various problems out on the water. Accidents and incidents have occurred in the past and you can avoid many if you do the necessary advance planning.
You are always going to deal with waves in the ocean. Depending upon how extensive these waves are, they are going to affect your ability to float your entire operation.
The riser analysis is done to ensure your design has structural integrity. You may have a drilling vessel as well as a wellhead on the ocean floor. The waves in between will determine how much everything is rocking back and forth. You don’t want to run into situations where you don’t have a strong enough cable – or a long enough one.
The analysis will tell you what you need to know. You may need to obtain added equipment before leaving the shore to anticipate various problems. The rise analysis can be done on the computer, providing you with pages of data. From there, you can incorporate this data into other calculations and ensure your designs are sufficient based upon the information you are getting.
Just as you look at mooring analysis when it comes to docking stations, the same has to be done with the risers. Riser diameters and materials are going to play a role, as will the water depths. In many drilling projects, you may be dealing with depths of one thousand feet.
Many of the newer drilling operations are going into deeper waters. This means that designs you had when you were drilling into 500 feet of water are no longer valid. The riser analysis will ensure that you won’t have issues with the waves once you are out there. If you do not perform the necessary analysis, you may find that you are unable to drill effectively because of not making the necessary connections.
If you look at some catastrophic events that have taken place on oil rigs in the past, you can attribute many of them back to not having accurate numbers. Many drilling companies don’t take environmental factors into consideration at the level they need. You don’t want to make assumptions that the waves will only be a certain height or that the water depths will only be so deep.
You have to plan for the unexpected – and riser analysis is going to help. You may have begged, borrowed, and stole your way to obtain enough funds to drill. You will never get investors to give you money again if your project falls apart. A little analysis can go a long way to preventing accidents.