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PETROLEUM EXPLORATION AND DEVELOPMENT Volume 42, Issue 1, February 2015 Online English edition of the Chinese language journal

2015 Online English edition of the Chinese language journal Cite this article as: PETROL. EXPLOR. DEVELOP.,

Cite this article as: PETROL. EXPLOR. DEVELOP., 2015, 42(1): 119–122.

RESEARCH PAPER

Calculation method of riser top tension in deep water drilling

YANG Jin*, MENG Wei, YAO Mengbiao, GAO Deli, ZHOU Bo, XU Yunjin

Key Laboratory for Petroleum Engineering of the Ministry of Education, China University of Petroleum, Beijing 102249, China

China University of Petroleum, Beijing 102249, China Abstract: Through mechanical analysis, a calculation method

Abstract: Through mechanical analysis, a calculation method which meets the requirements of both the riser stability and the bottom over-pull margin was deduced. It was verified by an example of ultra deepwater well in South China Sea, and compared with two other common methods. Based on the related theories of pipe string mechanics, the effects of true axial force and effective axial force on the riser mechanical behavior were analyzed. The results show that, the bottom tensile force to Lower Marine Riser Package is determined by true axial force, and the riser’s stability depends on effective axial force. Through the force analysis of riser which simultaneously bears the internal and external pressures, the correspondent mechanical model was established, and a new calculation method of top tension was derived, which remedies the deficiencies of algorithms proposed by American Petroleum Institute and Institute of French Petroleum. Field application shows that, the value of top tension calculated by this method is basically the same as the value set by field operation, and moreover, it is more accurate than the value obtained by the algorithms of American Petroleum Institute and Institute of French Petro- leum. This method can be used to guide the design and operation of conductor.

Key words:

deepwater drilling; riser; top tension

Introduction

By providing constant axial tension force to the riser, the tensioners control the stress and displacement of the riser. With the increase of top tension, both the bending moment and displacement of the riser will decrease significantly, but the stress will increase [1] . Insufficient top tension might cause buckling failure of the riser, while excessive top tension might bring about failure of the lower flexible joint. Therefore, ac- curate calculation of riser top tension is of great significance for deepwater drilling operation. Currently, there is no unified understanding about the riser top tension, so different calculation methods have been de- veloped [2] . Based on the theory of effective tension put for- ward by C. P. Sparks [3] , two mainstream calculation methods for the tension have been established: one is API method; the other is based on residual tension at the riser bottom. Accord- ing to the API method, the set tension should ensure the riser stability, ie. the value of effective tension at each part of riser should not be less than zero [4] ; while E. Persent [5] , from Insti- tute of French Petroleum, held the effective tension at the bottom of riser was the residual tension. Both of them have their limitations, the former one only concentrates on stability, but ignores the over-pull force required by LMRP (Lower Marine Riser Package) in field operation. The latter one takes

the requirement of overpull into consideration though, regards this force as effective tension rather than true tension. From the point of pipe string mechanics, Gao Deli and Han Zhiyong [67] divided string axial tension into effective axial tension and true axial tension, and gave detailed calculation methods, physical meaning and their relationship. Based on the theory of pipe string mechanics and elastic mechanics, through force analysis of riser under internal and external pressure, considering the conditions of different drilling fluid density, a new calculation method for top tension has been established and verified by field application.

1 Axial force analysis

Take the pipe string (riser of uniform wall thickness) in simple hydraulic condition (fluids inside and outside the string are same in density) as an example to analyze the axial force of riser (Fig. 1). Cut the pipe string at random section m-m, the force analy- sis of this part is shown in Fig. 1. The weight of the truncated part is:

(1)

The hydraulic pressure acting on the bottom surface of the truncated part is:

(2)

W

s

F

b

= ΔDAγ

s

= DAγ

m

Received date: 28 Jun. 2014; Revised date: 22 Oct. 2014. * Corresponding author. E-mail: cyjin1018@vip.sina.com Foundation item: Supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (51434009; 51274215); the Group Project of Natural Science Innovation Research of China (51221003). Copyright © 2015, Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and Development, PetroChina. Published by Elsevier BV. All rights reserved.

YANG Jin et al. / Petroleum Exploration and Development, 2015, 42(1): 119–122

Explor ation and Development, 2015, 42(1): 119–122 Fig. 1 Force analysis of pipe string in simple

Fig. 1

Force analysis of pipe string in simple hydraulic condition

Based on the force equilibrium, the axial force can be ob- tained as:

(3)

This is the basic principle to calculate string axial force by

the pressure-area method. Equation (3) can be finished as [89] :

F

a

= W F DADγ

sb

s

γ A

m

F

a

DAγ

s

(

ΔD + D

γ

mm

)

A =

W

s

1

γ

m

γ

s

DA

m

γ

m

(4)

is the true force calculated by equilib-

rium relationship of statics,

widely used now;

weight, also the effective axial force, obtained by buoyancy

D γ A is virtual force. According to Equation

factor method.

(4), effective axial force is equal to the sum of true axial force and virtual force. Virtual force has no effect on the strength, deformation and failure of string [7] ; true axial force determines the tensile force to LMRP, but cannot be used to judge the string’s stability. It is the effective axial force that not only determines the strength and stability of string but also can be used as the criterion to judge buckling [8] .

2 Riser mechanical models

The local force analysis of riser is shown in Fig. 2 [10] . Ac- cording to the generalized Hooke law and Lame equation [11] , in axial direction of the riser, besides gravity and buoyancy caused by fluid, external compression force exerted by sea

In Equation (4),

F

a

m

W s

m

(

1γ γ is the buoyancy factor

s

m )
m
)

1γ γ is the string’s submerged

ms

factor s m ) 1 − γ γ is the string’s submerged ms Fig. 2 Force

Fig. 2

Force analysis of riser

water and internal force exerted by drilling fluid also have some effect on riser axial force. Therefore, the axial force system of risers can be divided into 3 parts: the external pres- sure acting on riser’s wall and exerted by external seawater,

the internal pressure acting on the wall but exerted by internal liquid, and the true axial force. When only considering external pressure, the external force of riser can be replaced by buoyancy:

(5)

In a similar way, if internal pressure is considered only, the internal force of riser is equivalent to the weight of drilling fluid:

(6)

The internal and external pressure on upper and lower sec-

tion of riser is added artificially. In order to meet the force equilibrium conditions, these forces should be subtracted dur- ing axial force analysis. Finally, the force at bottom of the riser is the effective tension [78] :

(7)

Putting the three parts mentioned above together gives the global load condition of the riser. For the entire riser string,

there is no internal and external pressure on the top of it. So,

the equilibrium equation in global load condition is:

(8)

W

water

= ρ

out

gS

out

L + W

b

W

fluid

= ρ gS

in

in

L

T =+T

e

true

p

out

S

out

pS

in

in

T

top

=+TW

e

riser

W

+ W

fluid

water

3 Calculation method for top tension

Based on API method [4] , to ensure the riser stability and

avoid buckling failure, the effective tension at the riser bottom should not be less than zero, so on the basis of Equation (8), we can get Equation (9):

(9)

this method does not take the tensile force

(over-pull force) of riser to LMRP into consideration, so it is

not ensured that the riser can be disconnected from BOP

(Blow out Preventer) timely and safely. Therefore, base ten- sile force to LMRP must be considered in actual operation:

(10)

It must be noted that the force acting on LMRP is the true

tension T true rather than effective tension T e of the riser. This is different from the method based on bottom residual tension put forward by Institute of French Petroleum which regards the residual tension at the riser bottom as the effective tension [5] :

(11)

But it is the true axial tension that balances the entire com- ponent force acting on the string in axial direction [8] . So the force pulls LMRP is the true tension. Based on Equation (7) and (10), in order to keep stability and meet the requirement of base over-pull force, the additional top tension is:

Δ≥T W + T + p S pS (12)

TW≥−W

top

riser

+ W

fluid

water

However,

TW

true

+ T

LMRP

LMRP

TT=− W

e

top

riser

W

fluid

true

LMRP

LMRP

out

out

in

in

Combining Equations (5), (6), (9) and (12), the calculation method for top tension that can meet both the requirement of stability and base over-pull force to LMRP is written as:

120

YANG Jin et al. / Petroleum Exploration and Development, 2015, 42(1): 119–122

T

top

(

max W WW

riser

LMRP

water

+ T

LMRP

+W

fluid

+−WW ,

riser

b

)

(13)

On the basis of Equation (13), when considering riser in- clination caused by platform offset, and assuming the angle of inclination is θ, then:

4

T

top

max W

(

LMRP

WW

riser

water

Application

+ T

LMRP

2

+ WW−+ sin θW

riser

b

fluid

++W

fluid

2

sin θW

fluid

)

,

(14)

Take a deepwater well in South China Sea as an example, the water depth is 1 500 meters. The riser parameters are shown in Table 1. According to the requirement of field operation, the over-pull force for LMRP is 20t. The variation (Fig. 3) of top tension with different drilling fluid density was calculated by the method advanced by this paper. It can be seen from Fig. 3:

before drilling fuild density reaching 1.800 g/cm 3 , the value of top tension meeting the requirement of over-pull LMRP is higher than the value keeping riser stable, so the set value of top tension should abide by the former one. When the drilling fluid density is over 1.800 g/cm 3 , the top tension to maintain riser stability will be even greater, so the value of top tension should choose the one that can avoid buckling failure. Considering the inclination of riser, according to the API recommondation, the rotation angle of lower flexible joint should be less than 4 degree. Simplifing the riser system as a linear string, then the effect of drilling fluid density on top tension is shown in Fig. 4. It can be seen from this figure that the top tension increases with the increase of riser inclination

Table 1

Riser parameters

 

Item

Quantity/

Joint

(Total/Single (Total/Single Joint)

Joint)

Submerged

Total

Weight/

 

Length/m

Weight/kg

kg

LMRP

1

6.31/6.31

129 000/129 000

129 000

19.05

mm

Grey Riser

27

617.22/22.86

58 428/2 164

187 428

Joint

22.23

mm

Purple Riser

12

274.32/22.86

42 336/3 528

229 764

Joint

22.23

mm

Orange Riser

22

502.92/22.86

36 520/1 660

266 284

Joint

6

096 mm

 

Filling Valve

1

6.10/6.10

6 873/6 873

273 157

23.81

mm

Blue Riser

1

22.86/22.86

330/330

273 487

Joint

Slick Joint

2

45.72/22.86

26 880/13 440

300 367

7

620 mm

 

Pup

Joint

1

7.62/7.62

2 644/2 644

303 011

Telescopic

1

34/34

33 000/33 000

336 011

Joint

1 34/34 33 000/33 000 336 011 Joint Fig. 3 Variation of top tension with different
Fig. 3 Variation of top tension with different drilling fluid density Fig. 4 Variation trend
Fig. 3
Variation of top tension with different drilling fluid density
Fig. 4
Variation trend of top tension with different drilling fluid

density when the riser is inclined

angle; when the drilling fluid density is low, platform offset has little influence on top tension, when the drilling fluid density is high, platform offset has larger inflence on top tension. Therefore, in field operation, the set value of top tension should leave enough margin to ensure top tension can meet requirement after platform offset. The API method, IFP method and the method proposed in this paper were used to calculate top tension respectively, when the roatation angle of lower flexible joint is 0°, the results were compared (Fig. 5). It can be seen from Fig. 5 on the premise of stability and 20t over-pull on LMRP, the calculated top tension after installing BOP by the method proposed in this paper is 4557 kN (about 1025 kips), which is basically consistent with the top tension (1000 kips) taken in field operation, while there are much larger deviation between the field set value and results calculated by API and IFP methods.

set value and results calculated by API and IFP methods. Fig. 5 Comparison of results obtained

Fig. 5

Comparison of results obtained by different calculation

methods

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YANG Jin et al. / Petroleum Exploration and Development, 2015, 42(1): 119–122

5

Conclusions

Based on force analysis and effect of platform offset, this paper proposed a new calculation method for top tension of riser in deepwater condition by remedying the defects of API and IFP methods. The new method can meet both the require- ment of riser stability and bottom over-pull force to LMRP. Compared with the API and IFP methods, the results calcu- lated by the proposed method is in better agreement with the field set value and can guide the design and operation of riser in deepwater.

Nomenclature

ΔD—distance from cross section to bottom of string, m; D—length of string, m; D m —distance from cross section to top of string, m; γ s —gravitational density of string, N/m 3 ; γ m —internal and external liquid density, N/m 3 ; A—cross section area of string, m 2 ; W s —gravity of truncated body, N; F a —axial force, N; F b —bottom hydraulic pressure of truncated body, N; p out —pressure intensity outside of riser, Pa; p in —pressure intensity inside of riser, Pa; p 1 —pressure intensity on the top of buoyancy module, Pa; p 2 —pressure intensity at the bottom of buoyancy module, Pa; T true —true tension of riser wall, N; ΔT true —additional top tension to avoid buckling failure and offer enough base tension, N; W riser —total weight of riser and buoyancy module, N; W water —buoyancy on the riser system, N; W fluid —weight of drilling fluid inside of riser, N; L—total length of the riser, m; S in —inner area of riser’s cross section, m 2 ; S out —total area of riser’s cross section, m 2 ; ρ out —seawater density, kg/m 3 ; W b —displaced weight of buoyancy module, N; ρ in —liquid density inside of the riser, kg/m 3 ; g—acceleration of gravity, m/s 2 T e —effective tension, N; T top —top tension, N;

W LMRP —submerged weight of lower marine riser package, N; T LMRP —required over-pull force of LMRP in field operation, N; θ—inclination angle of lower flexible joint caused by platform offset, (°).

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