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J .M. Busch, SPE, ARCO Alaska Inc. B.J. Policky, SPE, Sohio Alaska Petroleum CO. D.CG. Llewelyn, SPE, BP Alaska Exploration Inc.
Summary This paper summarizes the methods used to compare the risk of a blowout for a well completion with a subsurface safety valve (SSSV) to a completion without an SSSV. These methods, which could be applied to any field, include a combination of SSSV reliability and conventional risk analyses. The Kuparuk River Unit Working-Interest Owners recently formed a group to examine the risks associated with installing and maintaining SSSV's in the Kuparuk field. Considering Kuparuk field operating conditions, the group was charged with determining whether SSSV's are a safety asset or whether the numerous operating and maintenance procedures make them a safety liability. The results indicate that, for the Kuparuk River Unit, an SSSV becomes a safety liability when the mean time between SSSV failures is less than 1 year. Because current SSSV mean time to failure (MTTF) at Kuparuk is approximately 1,000 days, they are considered a safety asset. Introduction
The use of SSSV's in onshore North Slope development wells was adopted as a statutory requirement to prevent oil spills caused by casing collapse in a permafrost environment. The primary reason for installing an SSSV in a well completion is to reduce the risk of a blowout, an uncontrolled flow of well fluid to the environment. However, a number of wireline and workover operations specifically conducted to service SSSV's in an individual well are likely. These operations, in turn, represent additional risk of a blowout. A typical risk analysis was used to compare risk with and without SSSV's. The steps of the analysis are as follows. 1. Define the equipment system, in this case the two alternative well completions to be studied. 2. Developthe possible failure modes that could affect the reliability of the system. 3. Build a fault tree to describe these failure relations. 4. Develop component failure rates for each branch of the fault tree, including the development of the relationship of SSSY availability to the other components of the fault tree. 5. Calculate the total failure probability as a function of SSSV MTTF. Not all the component failure rates were derived easily because of the nature of the data required. Thus some of
Copyright 1985 Society of Petroleum Engineers
the failure rates are based on engineering judgment. This does not affect greatly the comparison of two very similar well completions, because the relative failure rate is more important than the absolute failure rate. When a component failure rate appeared to have significant influence on the results, a range of values was used in the calculation.
System Definition The standard production well completion for the Kuparuk field (Fig. 1) has a tubing-retrievable subsurface safety valve (TRSSSV) installed at approximately 2,000 ft [610 m] measured depth below the surface. In the rare event of a TRSSSV failure, the first repair method is by wireline manipulation. If this is unsuccessful, the TRSSSV is locked in the open position, and a wireline-retrievable subsurface safety valve (WRSSSV) is used <lS an insert inside the TRSSSV. If the WRSSSV fails, it can be retrieved and replaced by wireline operations. If the failed WRSSSV cannot be retrieved or repaired, however, a workover is required. A workover is required also in the event of a leak in the subsurface hydraulic control line. These Kuparuk field operational procedures were analyzed and used to develop the well-system model under . study. System Failure Modes To analyze the completion reliability, the possible failure mechanisms were identified. These included completion equipment failure, operational failures, and several catastrophic events, such as drilling-rig derrick collapse, plane crash, and vehicle collision into wellheads. Certain risks that could not be quantified-such as acts of war, acts of sabotage, and acts of God (earthquakes, etc.)were omitted from the study. Fault Tree Development
The application of fault-tree risk analysis to well completion systems is well documented by Woodward. I The reliability of a component or system of components is the probability that it will perform its functions for a specified time interval and is predicted generally by a singleparameter exponential distribution:
R(t)=e-"t, .............................. (1)
where R(t) is the probability the component will operate without failure for time period t under the stated operating conditions. A is the component's failure rate and is
. In a noncritical failure..av.. .. hours Mean unsafe waiting time. valve failures were classified as either critical or noncritical. 4 was used in this study.5 19..av= 7" CASING Fig. the valve continues to act as a blowout barrier.7 6. The calculation method presented by Engen and Rausand 2.. anyone component may fail.25 16" CASING 6 3 -TRSSSV 10-3/4" CASING --3-112" TUBING W/GASLIFT MANDRELS In a parallel combination. hours Mean time to lock out TRSSSV..TABLE 1-SSSV AVAILABILITY INPUT PARAMETERS Parameter 3" TREE SSSV CONTROL LINE SSSV critical failure rate. (2) where As. 1-Schematic of a typical Kuparuk field completion.. For the fault tree describing a completion with the SSSV. Mathematically.. divided by number of failures. Mathematically. SSSV availability is a function of SSSV failure rate. Availability is defined as the mean proportion of time an SSSV is capable of functioning as a barrier to a blowout. such as failure to reopen after closing and premature closure.. Two very similar fault trees were developed. SSSV availability (A s... A critical failure... days Mean safe waiting time. ... In a series combination. % of total SSSV noncritical failure rate. i=1 n .. hours Mean time to repair (lockout not included). These failures usually are found during routine inspections that occur at 3.... % Inspection interval...av.. A brief summary of their availability technique and the assumptions used in this study are presented below.. For the purpose of determining SSSV availability. there are two added components-the wireline and the workover work associated with SSSV service operationsbecause there is a blowout risk associated with the number of operations needed to service SSSV's.... hours Miscellaneous wireline operations.. inspection and replacement procedures used in the field. which in turn is a function of SSSV life.. every component must fail in service.......av) is mathematically defined as follows: As.. 2) and one for a well without an SSSV (Fig.. -I is defined as the MTTF..3 and Engen et at..6 24 12 21 0. This is defined as an AND logic gate.. and failure to hold in a seating nipple. % of total Mean time to inspect. one for a well with an SSSV (Fig... and the frequency of other well service operations. SSSV Availability An important parameter for calculating blowout risk for a well with an SSSV is the availability of the SSSV. JOURNAL OF PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY .. The two basic ways in which components interact in a risk analysis are series and parallel..to 6-month intervals in the Kuparuk field.. R OR (t)=l- II [l-Ri(t)] . i=1 ..... renders the valve useless in preventing a blowout. the reliability of the combined operation is as follows. where MTTF is time multiplied by population...iXPi... 3). the reliability of the combined event is simply the product of the reliability of each component: n ~ As. failure to close on command.. This is defined as an OR logic gate. The reciprocal of the failure rate A. months if MTTF greater than 500 days if MTTF less than 500 days 75 25 1. trips/well/year Probability of failure to reopen after closing. assumed constant for the stated operating conditions.. (3) PACKER II II KUPARUK SANDS Constructing the fault tree for this study involved relating the identified risks to each other.i equals the mean proportion of time the valve system is a blowout barrier for the ith SSSV performance. (4) i=1 RAND(t)= 1814 II Ri(t). such as leaking when closed.
3-Fault-tree diagram for completion without SSSV. OCTOBER 1985 1815 . 2-Fault-tree diagram for completion with SSSV.Fig. Fig.
4 is a plot of SSSV availability vs. Discussions were held with the two m~jor blowout specialists who operate worldwide. 216 55 271 Relevant to Kuparuk Number Blowouts Prevented' 5 6 All Wells Total 12 14 11 11 2 4 6 9 2 3 2 2 o 1 3 2 2 2 1 1 2 2 2 3 1 1 1 55 41 23 Pi is the probability of the ith SSSV performance. The parameters used to calculate SSSV availability for a typical Kuparuk well are summarized in Table 1. at current Kuparuk SSSV failure rates (MTTF = 1. 'Tl 100 1000 10000 SSSV MEAN TIME TO FAILURE . Blowout Statistics Several data sources were used to determine failure rates associated with each event in the fault-tree diagram. Other data needed to calculate SSSV availability include the amount of routine wireline work. the expected workover interval.DAYS Fig. SSSV MTTF assuming various inspection intervals. These included blowout specialists. Kuparuk field history. (2) a critical failure is found to have occurred by the time of inspection. The edited list of blowouts was then subdivided into two categories: blowouts relevant to Kuparuk and blowouts that would have been prevented with an operative SSSV (Table 2). Three valve performances were assumed for this study: (1) no failure is found by the time of inspection. and (3) a noncritical failure occurs by the time of inspection. MTTF for various inspection intervals. The operating time required to inspect or to perform a repair also must be identified as either safe or unsafe waiting time. trade journals. therefore. JOURNAL OF PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY . This plot indicates that. Fig.000 days). sabotage.5 I ' . and insurance companies. 4-SSSV availability vs. was neglected. The probability of more than one failure occurring between routine inspections is small and. Fifty-five of these blowouts occurred during the production phase of operations (Table 2). and the SSSV inspection interval. more frequent inspections provide only a small additional increase in safety when compared to a 6-month inspection interval. published technical reports. These include the relative number of critical and noncritical failures. Safe waiting time is the time after a noncritical SSSV failure or that time during a repair operation when the well is secured.8 iIi -l « ~ « (f) (f) (f) 0.9 u f= 0:: t- « u- >::::i 0. and accidents unique to offshore structures were not included in this study.1979-82 Drilling Blowouts Production Blowouts Total Production Blowouts Description Workover Leak between tubing hangar and master valve Tubing leak followed by casing failure Packer leak followed by casing failure Wireline work COiled tubing operations Equipment failure during stimulating or killing Human negligence Vehicle damaged wellhead Nonrelated fire caused tree leak Gas from nearby well damaged wellhead Stuck backpressure valve Sabotage Total 'With operationat SSSV instatted. fourteen of these occurred during workover operations. 1816 1 MONTHi Z 0 0.6 0.7 > 0. .TABLE 2-WELL BLOWOUT SURVEY RESULTS FOR NONCOMMUNIST WORLD. that the SSSV failure rate is independent of valve type was assumed also. It was assumed that these parameters apply appropriately to either a WRSSSV or a TRSSSV. . The time between a critical SSSV failure and securing the well for repair is unsafe waiting time. Blowouts caused by the use of non-API equipment. This information was used to compile a list of 271 blowouts that have required the use of blowout specialists in the noncommunist world in the past 3 V:z years.
9/well-year Airplane crash (> 5 miles from airport) 6. Sensitivity analysis OCTOBER 1985 Calculation Results The calculation results were plotted to show blowout risk vs.TABLE 3-BLOWOUT FREQUENCIES USED TO CALCULATE SYSTEM BLOWOUT RISK 2..J ~ a::: A blowout resulting from an aircraft crash was possible at Kuparuk because of the proximity of well pads to a busy airstrip that handles large jet aircraft. 1.2 x 10 -5/well-year Wellhead failures 3. Data from the first 12 months of Kuparuk field operations show an SSSV MTTF of 980 days. the failure rate was determined from studies performed at Sandia Natl.000 rig years) was based on historical data from rig insurance companies. minimum 1. 5-Typical plot of relative blowout risk vs. Sensitivity Calculation During the study. rig collapse was treated separately because of the relatively close spacing (60 to 120 ft [18. Published information was used to estimate the number of producing wells capable of free flow to the surface in the noncommunist world at the beginning of 1981 (halfway through the blowout survey period). A limited amount of data concerning the expected number of workovers required to repair SSSV's was available. or by control-line failure. Workovers would be required only in the event of unsuccessful SSSV repair by wireline.6 mD of wellheads on the pads in the Kuparuk field.J .DAYS Fig. With 40 hours of wi reline work per well-year and 275.4/operation maximum 2. represents the point at which the SSSV is neither a safety asset nor liability. therefore. showed this to be a critical factor. In this case a workover frequency of 10% per SSSV failure was assumed.000 operations through four blowouts per 10. 2.. Blowout risk is reduced by including SSSV's under all conditions studied if the SSSV MTTF is more than 420 days.. Laboratories. by stuck WRSSSV.. 5).6 x 10 -6/well-year ( < 5 miles from airport) 1. Also plotted is a line showing blowout risk without an SSSV. Sensitivities on wireline blowout rates covered the range of one blowout per 1 X 10 7 wireline hours through one blowout per 5 X 10 7 wireline hours.000 workovers during 1970-79.4 x 10 .8/wireline-hour Wireline operations.000 ft) 1.0 x 10 . The basic blowout-frequency data are summarized in Table 3. For this SSSV failure rate. Conclusions 1. The derrick collapse failure rate (one rig collapse per 4. As a result.6/well-year Tubing/casing failure HIGH :x:: (f) a::: I- o :::> 3: > W m w o .0 x 10 .0 x 10 -6/well-year Vehicle collision 2. The estimated total was 275. indicating that under assumed conditions the SSSV is a safety asset. For example.0 x 10 . Workover risk was based on Gulf of Mexico statistics that indicate that the blowout frequency was four per 10.. three wirelinerelated blowouts occurred during the 3. which is independent of SSSV life. 2. SSSV MTTF. and 25 % of oil wells on gas lift.000 wells.000 days) implies that a larger percentage of failures are caused by control line failure. These types offailures usually would be repaired by wireline operations. 6 Wireline-related blowout frequency was based on the number of wirelinerelated blowouts and an estimate of the hours of wireline work performed in the noncommunist world during the same time interval. minimum 4.3/well-year Tubing failures (top 2. Sensitivity results give a range of crossover points from an MTTF of 100 to 420 days. 3. it was found that the frequency and blowout rate assumptions for workovers and wireline work to service failed SSSV's had a major effect on the results. a relationship between SSSV failure rate and SSSV repair workovers was developed for the Kuparuk field based on the following assumptions. 5 Similarly. Low SSSV failure rates (MTTF > 2. The data obtained from these sources were used to estimate a blowout frequency for each type of failure mode in the fault-tree diagrams.0 x 10 ...3 X 10 7 wireline hours is indicated.0 x 10 . the well completion with an SSSV shows a decrease in blowout risk as SSSV life improves.7/wireline-hour maximum 1.4/operation Workovers. a wireline blowout frequency of one blowout per 1. The crossover point.. Then these frequencies were used in the fault-tree calculations to determine the probability of a blowout.000 wells. High SSSV failure rates (MTTF < 500 days) would imply that the SSSV itself was failing often (relative to control-line failure). A blowout attributed to aircraft crash has not been documented. 7-11 Wells capable of flow were defined as gas wells. 5. LOW 100 1000 10000 SSSV MEAN TIME TO FAILURE . sensitivities were run on these parameters. the MTTF of the SSSV. Workover blowout rate sensitivities covered the range of two blowouts per 10. which occurs at MTTF = 300 days (Fig. workover frequency of 2 to 5 % per SSSV failure was assumed.000 operations.0 x 10 . Therefore.3 to 36. In Fig.0 x 10 .5/rig-year Derrick collapse 3. flowing oil wells without artificial lift. SSSV inspection frequency of 3 instead of 6 months does not improve SSSV availability significantly at cur1817 .5-year survey period.
Eng.E. Ekofisk 1977-1980. 1982) 204. Also. and BP Alaska Exploration Inc. for permission to publish this paper. "Producing Gas Wells Maintain Steady Rise. 3. 2..: "DHSV Arrangement II. Failure Statistics. (April 1982) 713-20. M. Revised manuscript received Oct.: "Assessments of the Probabilities of Aircraft Impact with the Sandia Pulsed Reactor and Building 836." paper OTC 4355 presented at the 1982 SPE Offshore Technology Conference. Tech.. 10." Pet. Pet. and Rausand." World Oil (Feb. 1981). S. 4. 5-8." World Oil (Feb. "Blowout Risks Still Growing Concern. R. M. The study also reinforced the importance of increasing SSSV life to reduce blowout risk.. Sandia Natl. 7. B." Offshore (Feb.D. "International Well Survey.: "Analysis of Safety Barriers in Well Systems. Moore. Engen. PennWell Publishing Co. 15. and Tjus. 11. 3. 31. 1984. Woodyard.54* E+OO mile x 1. Sohio Alaska Petroleum Co." Sandia Laboratories Report SAND 76-0366 (Nov. The results are most sensitive to the frequency of SSSV repairs completed by workover and the associated workover blowout risk." SINTEF Report STF18 A81003 (Jan. 5. International Petroleum Encyclopedia. 1981).. M. Acknowledgments We wish to thank ARC a Alaska Inc. 1976). 1982) 127. 5. References 1.: "Reliability of Downhole Safety Valves Used in the North Sea. we thank the Red Adair Co. 8. 1983. Engen. Paper accepted for publication Feb. G. 1984. Paper (SPE 12193) first presented at the 1983 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition held in San Francisco Oct.048* in. "Oil Wells on Stream Reach Record Level. Bilinger. 15. This objective can be achieved best by continued industry efforts to develop a more reliable SSSV and to improve field operating procedures. Tulsa (1982) 336-52. 1818 JOURNAL OF PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY . for providing blowout data. May 3-6. G. and Boots & Coots Inc.609 344* E+OO • Conversion factor is exact.: "Well Servicing Tops the $4-Billion Mark. X 2. Laboratories. m cm km JPT Original manuscript received in the Society of Petroleum Engineers office Oct..H. 6. (Juiy 1982)30-32. Houston. A." J." SINTEF Report STF18 A81075 (Dec. and Rausand." Pet. Rausand. SI Metric Conversion Factors E-Ol ft x 3. 9. Albuquerque. Engen. 1982) 203. Eng. 5. L. (July 1983) 32.: "Risk Analysis of Well Completion Systems.rent levels of SSSV performance.
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