MAROFF BIP: Riser Operation Replacement Optimization (RORO) (2018-2020) NEW FUNDED!

The project is supported by Innovation project in the business section-MAROFF

Project partners

  • Offshore Simulation Centre (Applicant)
  • NTNU in Aalesund
  • Subsea 7 AS
  • AKER solution AS

Short project description

Flexible risers are critical components for nearly all offshore floating oil and gas production. They are highly exposed to fatigue and aggressive well flow and subsequently have to be replaced when needed. Replacement intervals depend on environment, loading, fluid content, accidental or mechanical wear & tear, temperature, design life. Flexible risers are replaced or added multiple times during the lifetime of an offshore field, Statoil typically replaces 4-8 flexible risers per year. Riser maintenance represents a significant part of oil field maintenance. Due to the cost saving spree that followed the oil price fall in 2015, maintenance of oil field equipment has been down prioritized. As the oil price is increasing, more riser operations will be planned in the close future, potentially into the hundreds of replacements per year worldwide. Furthermore, to extend the operations of ageing fields additional risers are expected to be installed in the near future.

Replacements of flexible risers are very critical operations during which vessels operate close to the FPSOs/Platforms. The flexible risers are hanging very close to each other, with a risk of spaghetti effect. In addition, operations are preferably performed without shutting down field
production which increases risk to the environment. The average daily production from a FPU is 100.000 barrels per day which in today’s market represents a cash flow of 40-48 MNOK/day, or five times the total cost of the proposed project.

Primary objective of the project: Develop a virtual prototyping system for flexible riser replacement operation, which will be a standardized onshore engineering tool and offshore on-board familiarisation and risk analysis tool based on real weather and equipment situations.

The project has the following secondary objectives and sub goals:
H1: Identify platform with the most urgent needs, Define critical scenarios. Identify benchmarks for the modelling.

H2: Develop generic models for all key structures, parts and sub-units of risers and operations

H3: Develop the framework for virtual prototyping of riser replacement operations 

H4: Use the framework in simulator centers to train crews: captain, ROV, offshore operation riser management etc.

H5: Use the developed product as on-board trainer and prediction tool with “ghost function”, Augmented Reality Navscreen in 3D, with visualization of forces etc.

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