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OTC 15086

Saipem 10000 Deepwater Salvage Operation


R.Cesaroni Saipem S.p.A. P.A.Potter Saipem S.p.A.
SPE Members
Copyright 2003, Offshore Technology Conference
This paper was prepared for presentation at the 2003 Offshore Technology Conference held in
Houston, Texas, U.S.A., 58 May 2003.
This paper was selected for presentation by an OTC Program Committee following review of
information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper, as
presented, have not been reviewed by the Offshore Technology Conference and are subject to
correction by the author(s). The material, as presented, does not necessarily reflect any
position of the Offshore Technology Conference or officers. Electronic reproduction,
distribution, or storage of any part of this paper for commercial purposes without the written
consent of the Offshore Technology Conference is prohibited. Permission to reproduce in print
is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words; illustrations may not be copied. The
abstract must contain conspicuous acknowledgment of where and by whom the paper was
presented.

Abstract
This paper provides a detailed account of the successful
salvage operation aboard the Saipem 10000 through the
months of September, October and November, 2001.
The target of this operation was the recovery of a
Subsea Blowout Preventer Stack which was buried below the
sedimentary mudline in 6673 feet of water depth. (2034 metres)
The salvage operation involved the Saipem 10000
for 56 days. The equipment and human resources used in the
operation were predominantly belonging to the Saipem
Group.
Wherever applicable, the contribution of external
resources is acknowledged.
The loss of the Subsea system was the result of a
hoist system failure and occurred at the completion of an
exploratory well drilled by Total Fina Elf (TFE) offshore
Equatorial Guinea. The hook weight at the time of the loss
was 575 metric tonnes. The associated marine riser string was
also lost to the sea.
Innovative techniques, many empirical by nature,
were used during the salvage operation. The success of
methods used was achieved thanks to repetitive trial and error.
Persistence paid off and two separate world records were
broken during the salvage operation.
One record was set for the water depth in which high
torque hydraulic tooling was used to disconnect the joints of a
marine drilling riser.
The other record, since then broken by 151 feet, was the water
depth from which the Blowout Preventer Stack (BOP) was
retrieved.
Introduction and Background
The Saipem 10000 is an ultra deepwater drillship which can
operate in water depths of 10 000 feet, has a Class III

Dynamic Positioning system which allows it to keep its


position at all times and a drilling capability which extends to
30 000 feet from the Rotary Kelly Bushings (RKB)
Its functions include:
Drilling Activities
Extended Well Testing
Early Production
Crude Oil Storage (140 000 Bbls)
Crude Oil Export
Well Completion Activities

The topsides drilling equipment package is outfitted with the


latest integrated control and management systems and two
drill centres, configured A and B are installed within a
single derrick structure with the following specifications:Type:
Base Dimensions:
Top Dimensions:
Height:
Static Hook Load:
Rated Maximum:

Dynamic
80 x 60 feet
60 x 20 feet
200 feet
2 000 000 lbs per rig.
5 000 000 lbs

The supplementary rig centre, located foremost,


provides facilities for riserless drilling and other activities that
require a full hoist system without riser and diverter
capabilities.

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The main rig centre, located aft, is a fully equipped


riser drill centre.
The simultaneous setback and hook load for the
substructure of each rig floor is 2 600 000 lbs.
The mud system has been designed such that cross
connections exist between the two drill centres to maximize
flexibility of operations involving drilling fluids.
Table 1 compares the core specifications with other
offshore mobile drilling units. (MODUs)
Table 1
Parameter

Semi
Submersibl
e

Standard DP
Drillship

Large DP
Drillship

Saipem
10000

Displacement (mT)

37000

22000

100000

96455

Engines, Horse Power

~ 18000

~ 22000

52800

59400

Fuel Storage (barrels)

10 500

19000

25000

39890

Length (feet)

~ 330

534

835

747.4

Thrusters, Horse Power

2 at 3500

6 at 3000

6 at 7000

6 at 5440

Variable Deck Load (short tons) 4080

6000

20000

22046

Width (feet)

~ 285

80

125

138

Drilling Fluid (barrrels)

5600

4200

15000

18157

Riser (total length, inv, feet)

5000

6000

20000

11340

Substructure Height (feet)

42

35

60

39.4

Moonpool dimensions (ft x ft)

21.5 x 42

26 diameter

80 x 30

84 x 34

Personnel

100

128

200

172

At the time of the event, approximately 2/3rds of the


marine riser inventory was deployed in the riser string.
Although part of the string was recovered, none of the joints,
following the vendors survey, were deemed fit for reuse.
Some subcomponents were found to be suitable for reuse
with recertification where applicable. Specifically, some of
the marine riser buoyancy modules and a middle section of the
instrumented riser joint have been utilized in the refurbishment
of the Subsea System.
Figure 1 shows schematically the marine riser string
configuration at the time of the accident.
The initial condition of the Subsea System at the
moment of failure of the hoist system was such that the Riser
Tensioning Ring (hereafter referred to as the Support Ring)
had been stowed in its storage position, engaged on the bottom
leading edge of the Diverter Housing and the assembly was
being hoisted to engage the Termination Hydraulic Ring
beneath the Support Ring.
During this phase of BOP Retrieval operations, the
riser string and BOP stack are supported solely by the topsides
hoist system.
Figures 2 and 3 provide pictorial representation of
the topsides configuration before and after the event.
Following detailed internal post analysis, the
following sequence of events involving the the Subsea
System can be described thus
1) Riser Handling Tool fractures and opens within the
Diverter Housing.
2) The riser string and the BOP stack descends
vertically towards the seafloor.

3) As the BOP Stack decelerates through the


sedimentary mud layer the riser string rapidly goes
into severe compression which immediately
exceeds the limit for buckling.
4) The top section of the string is now the dominant
mass and the string leans from the top culminating
in a dive led by the telescopic slip joint.
5) Meanwhile, the BOP stack has decelerated to a halt
beneath the sedimentary mudline and remains
virtually upright whilst the riser string joints
immediately above the riser adapter are subject to
a buckling condition as the top section continues to
dive subsea.
It should be noted that the sequence described here was only
known after several days duration of salvaging. At the time of
the event, the attitude of the BOP stack could only be
surmised.
Naturally, optimistically it was hoped that the BOP stack
would be found to be vertical. At this time, nothing but
speculation could be offered to describe the attitude of the
BOP stack below the mudline.
The final static configuration of the marine riser
string when the event was completed is shown in Figure 4.
The configuration can be attributed to the net buoyant effect of
the composition of the differently rated buoyancy riser joints
in the string. The calculated net buoyant effect of the string is
shown in Figure 5.
The joint cumulative number shown on the y axis of
the graph describes the position in the string with reference to
the riser running sequence listing used by the Saipem 10000.
No.1 is the instrumented joint, No.2 the 15 ft. pup joint and so
on as shown in Figure 1. The entire string consisted of a total
of 80 joints which included the special joints and the short pup
joints. It can be seen that the analysis shown here displays
only half of that amount. That half that is not accounted for in
this graph is that portion of the riser string which is shown as
Riser Debris in Figure 4.
This fact demonstrates the significant impact of the
top heavy portion of the string as it plunged subsea and into
the mudline.
The graph, Figure 6, is the result of an in-depth series of
surveys by the Sonsub Innovator ROV of the distribution of
the riser loop detected through the water column as shown in
Figure 4.
During this preliminary stage of the salvage
operation, options regarding the abondonment of the riser
string became important in the planning to commence a
salvage operation to secure the BOP stack back to surface.

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Figure 5

Weight [kg]

Buoyancy of dropped Riser


115000
110000
105000
100000
95000
90000
85000
80000
75000
70000
65000
60000
55000
50000
45000
40000
35000
30000
25000
20000
15000
10000
5000
0
1

9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40
Joint cumulative number
Total Optimistic wet weight [kg] cumulative

Total Pessimistic wet weight [kg] cumulative

Figure 6
Wet weight per joint
15000
14000
13000
12000
11000
10000

Weight [kg]

9000
8000
7000
6000
5000
4000
3000
2000
1000
0
-1000
-2000
1

9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42
Joint cumulative number
Optimistic wet weight [kg] per joint

Some of the buoyancy modules through the length of


the riser string had exceeded their maximum water depth
rating and these effectively imploded, their syntactic foam
macro-spheres being crushed by the hydrostatic pressure. A
number of such modules were revealed through the eyes of the
ROV cameras during the numerous surveys having sunk onto
the mudline in the general area of riser debris shown in Figure
4.
Other modules, notably green and black (2000 and
6000 feet rated respectively) escaped their parent riser joints
as main tube sections buckled during the string dive and
these surfaced in the moonpool and around the rig. These are
shown in Photographs 1 and 2.
Extensive meetings were held by Saipem 10000
management, head office and third party organisations which
included representatives from the Insurance company,
underwater demolition, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs),

Pessimistic wet weight [kg] per joint

soil excavation company and additional assistance and advice


was offered by a competitor, to whom a similar catastrophic
loss had befallen them.
The final decision was to use of the Saipem 10000 as
the salvage vessel due to the fact that one complete, suitably
rated hoist system, was still intact on the forwards
supplementary drill centre. The other decision, which later
proved to be 100% correct was the choice of soil excavation
techniques in preference to explosives. (as a means of
separation)
Preparations Prior to Commencement of the
Salvage Operation
The salvage team were faced with main problems. Firstly, the
disposition of the flotation suspended loop of damaged

OTC 15086

marine riser relative to the position of the BOP stack and


secondly the position and depth below mudline of the BOP
stack.
The approximate position of the buried BOP stack was known
with an optimistic degree of certainty. This was ascertained by
repeated views, both visual and via the medium of sonar scans
of the considerable depression in the mudline that could have
only mass of the BOP stack freefalling through the mudline
from a distance of 130 200 feet. (The approximate distance
of the supported string at the time of event)

Photograph No. 3

Photograph No.1

Photograph No.2

Buoyancy Modules surfacing around the Saipem

Buoyancy Modules surfacing in the moonpool

One of the early ROV surveys provided this image


(Photograph 3) of the most inversely prominent mud
displacements on the seabed. Further, the presence of a 15
foot pup joint and the top of the instrumented joint reinforced
suspicions that this indeed was the site of the buried BOP
stack.

This image gives some impression of the


considerable depth of the crater and the overall width in
consideration of the 90 foot length slick joint that overlies the
crater.
First analysis of this image then spawned a number of
speculative proposals as to the attitude of the BOP. The worst
case scenario is shown pictorially in Figure 7.
This particular BOP Stack was not fitted with any
form of emergency recovery system which, if the worst case
scenario transpired to be reality, would have serious
consequences as to the likelihood of retrieving the BOP stack.
To explain this, some historical background into BOP
stack design is given here.
10 years ago and earlier, deepwater drilling had not
been attempted simply because the technology minimum
requirements were not in place. As the technology, which
today we accept as industry standards, evolved, it became
clear that one of the severe limiting factors was both the
landing weight of the BOP stack in deep and ultra deepwater
and also the MODU payload capability coupled with the hoist
system limitations.
A number of methods have been employed to reduce
the landing weight of the BOP stack in deepwater, however
the starting point of weight reduction was the design of the
BOP stack as a whole entity.
The blowout preventers have been reduced in weight
and size using modern metallurgy to produce high pressure,
compact and ultralight BOP preventer components. Further
the enveloping framework design of the BOP stackup was
revised which resulted in an ultralight frame classified fitfor
purpose.
While todays technology has provided us with
compact BOP stacks, commonly rated at 15 000 psi wellbore
pressure, the frameworks simply support the auxiliary lines,
valves and stack auxiliaries and unlike their earlier
predecessors are not capable of withstanding the side loading
regimes that would be experienced should a stack be hauled
out the mud on the seafloor using grappling techniques on the
BOP frame.
As the picture of the hardware distribution became
clearer, it became evident that the buoyant riser watersuspended loop some 1970 feet (600 metres) high off the
mudline would have to be handled in a careful and safe

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Figure 7
Probability & Speculation Hypothesis
of BOP Attitude, following drop event..
1x
Slick
Type B

1x
Slick
Type B

1x
Slick
Type B

1x
Slick
Type B

1x
Slick
Type B

1 x Slick
Type B

ML
1x
Slick
Type

1x
15ft
Pup

Note

BOP

Inst.
Joint

This speculation is based on the unseen riser string joints and


the fact that the Vetco HMF riser joint connections are
significantly stronger than any other constituent component of
the riser joint(s).
It is known that a riser main tube section will crease in bending
a lot earlier than failure of the pin / box connection of HMF
riser.

manner, further the slick joints lying transversely over the


sunken BOP stack site would require displacement to gain
uninterrupted access to the bottom of the crater.
Figure 8 provides a view of a generated plot of the
disposition of the riser using bridge instrumentation taking co
ordinate fixes from the ROV.
The uppermost and underlying priority at this stage was to
ascertain the exact orientation of the BOP stack. A secondary
question that could be crucial in the salvage operation was at
what depth below the bottom of the crater had the BOP Stack
sunk in the sedimentary mud layer.
A question of sedimentary mud composition was
addressed by conducting an empirical seafloor penetration test.
The test was conducted from the supplementary rig centre
using a constant value of 5 metric tonnes weightonbit down
to a maximum penetration of 151 feet (46 metres). The results
are shown graphically in Figure 9.

Figure 8

Figure 9
SEABED HARDNESS TEST CHART
120

time ( 1/4 of minute)

100

80

depth below mudline


w.o.b.

60

40

20

0
0

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

50

depth below m.l. (meters)

This data showed that the top layer of sediment down


to a level of approximately 89 feet (27 metres) was very soft
and thereafter the density increased almost exponentially with
depth. These results were interpreted optimistically following

estimation of the depth of the BOP stack from crater depth and
the partially visible instrument joint and 15 foot pup joint.
Representatives from the derrick builder surveyed the
damaged structure to establish the extent of deformation
through the derrick structure with consideration to the
estimated highest value load that would be imposed during the
forthcoming salvage. It was considered that the structure
encompassing the supplementary drill centre was unaffected
then allowing operations to proceed.
An excavation company: formerly called Copipe
Systems Ltd (since renamed PSL Group) was contracted to
supply suitable excavation machines and their operating
personnel to assist in the salvage operation.
Further preparations included the use of a sub bottom profiler
sonar surveying instrument deployed from the Sonsub
Innovator ROVs. (2 identical spreads positioned residentially
port and starboard on the after deck of the Saipem 10000)
This instrument was largely unsuccessful, the visual plots on
surface being extremely difficult to interpret. Adjustments
and recalibration procedures proved to be ineffective.
Certainly the device provided very little information
concerning hardware that was buried beneath the seafloor.

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Figure 10
Crater top view
Sonar View
South
5mt

7mt
10mt

At the request of the excavation company, a precursory sonar


scan of the crater was performed by the ROVs and plotted on
the bridge Nav screen.
Figure 10 provides a sketch of the relation of the
crater boundaries to the BOP position as indicated by the
instrument joint at the site of disappearance into the mudline.

North

Soil Excavation and Removal Equipment and


Methodologies
Following consultation with the PSL, the Saipem 10000 was
supplied with JetProp and CTS (Cuttings Transport System)
machines. These were configured onboard the vessel, in
accordance with the equipment operators advice to suit the
specific requirements for this salvage operation. The various
modifications that were performed on the equipment were as a
result of empirical test runs to the seafloor and equipment
operation.
Each of the two machines used in the excavation and
removal of soil used in this salvage operation are described
below.
THE JET PROP
The machine acts on the principle of the single stage impulse
turbine which induces seawater downwards effectively
excavating the sedimentary layer hydrodynamically. The
hydrodynamic force required (3000 psi at a flowrate of 660.4
galls min-1 [207 bar at a flowrate of 2500 litres min-1] ) to
create the low pressure beneath the machine is supplied from
the surface via the rig high pressure mud pumps pumping
seawater. In satisfying the supply requirements, the turbine
rotates at a rate of 350 rpm and induces a descending water
column moving at a rate of 19.7 ft sec-1 (6 m sec-1)
The JetProp machine is deployed on drill
string and is
illustrated here in Figure 11.

Figure 11

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The JetProp machine, although highly effective, proved to be


a major contributor to reduce visibility conditions causing time
delays and hampered the progress of excavation. It was found
that the current velocity at the mudline level was very low or
nonexistent and this provided no assistance in the removal of
the clouds of suspended sedimentary particles.
The problems of poor visibility caused by the suction
excavation activities of the JetProp in the area of the main
crater were somewhat alleviated by employing the machine for
intermittent periods at a specific elevation above the mudline.
A number of distance elevations were used to best establish
the polluted opaque seawater displacement effect. (98 164
feet [30 50m.] above the mudline)
The optimum height of the JetProp above the
excavation site was 9.8 feet. (3 m.)
CTS Machine (Cuttings Transport System)
This machine displaces sedimentary mass from the extent of
its suction hose to the extent of its discharge hose using an
inductor operating on the principle of the pitot tube.
Formerly, the machine was provided with power
from an electricallydriven subsea pump though for this
salvage operation, the unit was adapted to use the pressure and
flowrate supplied via the running drill string from the rig high
pressure mud pumps.
Initial trials showed that the suction hose length was
too great at the length of 262 feet (80m.) and was subsequently
shortened to half this length.
In order to manoeuvre the machine around the
excavation site, hooks were furnished on the running string to
facilitate stowage of both hoses by ROV prior to movements.
Photographs Nos. 4 and 5 show the final preparations for the
machine prior to deployment subsea and the commencement
of deployment.
This machine requires a greater flowrate than the
JetProp though less delivery pressure topsides. (1717 galls
min-1 at 1160 psi [6500 litres min-1 at 80 bar] )
The maximum debris removal rate is 10594 ft.3 (300
3
m ) per hour using a 6in. diameter suction hose and a 10in.
diameter discharge hose.
Photograph No.4

Rig Crew members assisting PSL Operator Technician


with the preparation prior to deployment of the CTS
Machine.

Photograph No.5

Machine being deployed on drill string

The PSL Group technicians worked continuously with the


Saipem 10000 personnel and Sonsub
ROV operators
throughout the extensive excavation operations.
Once excavation operations had commenced it
became quickly apparent, that in order to reach an appropriate
depth in the crater at the BOP Stack location, a large volume
of sedimentary matter would require removal effectively
increasing the overall size of the crater depression.
Without such removal, it was seen that neither of the
excavation machines could get close enough to the bottom of
the crater to perform their function effectively.
During the excavation, readings were obtained from
the Acoustic Postioning System (HIPAP) mounted on the
Lower Marine Riser Package (LMRP) and the Riser
Instrumented Joint. Essentially, the system consists of two
sets of transponders. (Refer to Figure 1.)
The pair mounted on the instrumented riser joint make
differential comparison of readings with the pair mounted on
the LMRP which, unlike the x and y units on the
instrumented joint, are static.
The detection of these readings provided the first
indication as to the attitude of the BOP Stack buried beneath
the mud but also presented a means of precise location fixing
when running the many assorted strings that were employed
through the long process of salvage.
Figure 12 shows a readout taken from the system
instrumentation on surface.
Subsequent operations using the excavation machines utilized
a positioning transponder incorporated into the running string
to aid positioning. Whilst enlarging the delimiting boundary
of the crater, it was necessary to soften the sedimentary
surrounding material with a side entry jet sub.
It was recognised that the crater site would require
further clearing of riser string debris that constituted an
obstruction to a clear access to the BOP Stack beneath
the mudline.

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Figure 12

Figure 14 Phase One

Step 1
Transponder
25m above
JetProp to
aid position

5m 30 min

Step 2
This acoustic positioning plot provided the first
quantatitive value for vertical defletion. The plot
shows that the extension tube of the LMRP flex joint,
the riser adapter and the instrumented jont were around
9.7 degrees from the vertical plane.
6m 15 min

Figure 13 shows the initial perceived situation as of


the end of September 2001, some two weeks after the event.
Figure 13

Step 3

SE 146 DEG
LIKELY BROKEN !
PARTIALLY
COVERED BY MUD
MUX CABLE

7m 15 min
ONLY LINES CONNECTED

CRATER

ONLY LINES

CONNECTED
BLACK BOOSTER
RUBBER HOSE

Step 4

The following figures from 14 - 18, detail the


progress of the excavation works and illustrates the process
and method used to dig an extensive crater centred on the BOP
Stack co-ordinates.

10m 15 min

Step 5

ROV

30m
Visibility

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Size of excavation
dictated by soil angle
repose

Figure 15
Phase Two
Soft Seabed

Figure 16 Phase Three: Extending the crater


limits..
Existing Crater,
approx dims.
15m x 15m

Assumed
position of
wellhead, 20m
from existing
crater.

3m

Vessel to move a 1m min-1


during excavation. At end
of each run,pumps will be
shut off & vessel to return
to next way point at 10m
min-1

5m

25m

Figure 17 Phase Four: Excavation Plan

Phase Two Hard Seabed

Approx
North

6
5
4

2a
3
1a
1c
1

HP Jetting with jetting


sub/side entry subs. Breaks
up hard clay then removed
by JetProp

At this point, visibility became a real problem due to


the minimal bottom current and the fine sedimentary
deposition. This phase commenced the agreed enlargement of
the overall extents of the crater depression.

Step 1.2m from riser, 3m. from crater edge


Step 2.3m from Step 1, 3m from crater edge
Step 3.3m from crater edge, 2m from riser(assuming no
obstructions)
Step 4.3m from Step 3, 2m from riser (assuming on
obstructions)
Step 5.2m from crater edge,2m from riser (assuming no
obstructions)
Step 6.3m from Step 3, 2m from riser (assuming on
obstructions)
NOTE
All other steps performed using identical methodology

10

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On completion of positioning the JetProp above


the riser the excavation supervisor will request
the vessel DP operator offsets the JetProp 1019.7ft.(3-6m.) to the start position (this start
position will be determined using ROV survey
data).

Figure 18 Phase Five: Excavation Plan #1, Riser Pup Ref.


4 of 15 m. Runs

North

180 swathe
heading due West

When the DP operator confirms that the JetProp


is in position the ROV Supervisor will observe
the lowering of the JetProp into position at the
base of the crater. The ROV should then be
positioned at a vantage point located at the North
end of the crater to observe the planned
excavation runs to facilitate accurate monitoring
of the JetProp during transit.

East

West

3 metres

Start position for South


excavation pattern, 6 metres
East of the riser.

South

Phase Five: Excavation Plan #2, Riser Pup Ref.


4 of 15 m. Runs

North

When the ROV is in a secure position the excavation


Supv will instruct the driller to bring the pumps up to
634 galls min-1 (2400 litres min.-1) steadily over 4
minutes.

180 swathe
heading due West

R
West

East

3 metre
steps

Start position for South


excavation pattern, 6 metres
East of the riser.
South

Phase Five: Excavation Plan #3, Riser Pup Ref.


6 of 25 m. Runs

North

180 swathe
heading due West

West

Note: At this time it is expected that the transit distance


will be around 49-65ft.(15-20m.) again this will be
clarified on receiving ROV survey data on completion of
the third excavation pattern.

East

On receiving confirmation that the required flow is as


requested the excavation Supv will request the DP
operator transits the vessel along the pre-determined
route North at a vessel speed of 3.3 ft.min-1 for a
distance of 49-65 ft. (15-20m.).On reaching the end of
the run the DP operator will confirm to the excavation
Supv that the run has ended.
On receipt of confirmation from the DP operator that
the run has ended the excavation Supv will instruct the
driller to lower the flow to 79 galls min.-1 (300 litres
min-1).On receipt from the driller that the flow is as
requested the excavation Supv will request the DP
operator transits back along the route at a vessel speed
of no more than 16.4 ft min--1
On receipt that the vessel has reached the start point the
excavation Supv will request the DP operator offsets
the vessel 9.8 ft.(3m)either East or west of the riser at
the original start point.
Phase Five: Excavation Plan #4, Riser Pup Re f.

3 metre
steps

Start position for South


excavation pattern, 6 metres
West of the riser.
South

North

The following bulleted paragraphs indicate the detailed


instruction formulated by the excavation operator as a
result of exhaustive debate of methodologies between the
drilling contractor, the operator, the ROV company and the
excavation company.
The JetProp will be orientated above the riser
pup flange at a height of 9.8ft. (3m.) above
seabed. This will
be confirmed by ROV
prior to lowering the tool.

Transit distances,
steps and runs to be
confirmed following
analysis of ROV
survey data.

East

West

B OP

South

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11

During this phase of excavation of the crater, close liaison was


achieved between the interacting groups, namely PSL,
Saipem 10000 personnel and the ROV operators.
Specific survey requirements were requested by
PSL. These operators emphasised the importance of an
accurate picture of the excavation site to optimise the
efficiency of the excavation periods.
At this stage, in late October 2001, a comprehensive
sonar survey was conducted using the ROVs in accordance
with PSLs instructions. Their survey programme called for 9
discrete sonar grabs, orientated in an ordered pattern.
Figures 19 ~ 24, following, shows this schematically..

Figure 20
Crater dwg. after last jet-prop
opt.22.10.2001
30 mt

Bare
Joint, type
A crack

Figure 19. ROV Sonar Mapping # 1

Vertical
Riser Pup
Joint

30
mt

1st grabs at the base of the crater.

Grab South 180

Grab North 180


Due North

240

ROV

Riser
Pup
Joint

180 swathe
grab South
Due South

Figure 21
0.0m - Mud

37 m

ROV Sonar Mapping # 2


-7m

Due North

45
-12 m

180 swathe
grab North

10 m
-16 m

West-East Section 28.10.01

LMRP
STACK

Riser
Pup
Joint

ROV

Figure 22

Due South

52 m

0.0m -Mud Line

-7m

41
-12 m

North-South Section
- 31.10.01
N

5m

10 m
-16m

LMRP
STACK

12

OTC15086

Figure 23
37 m

Buoyancy Analysis, the majority of the buoyed loop was


composed of 90 ft. riser joints that had plastically deformed
hence imposing excessive stress on the kevlar banding
securing the buoyancy modules. In the scenario of a freely
ascending module, the terminal velocity with which it breaks
surface can be considerable and the associated inertia of such
a body is capable of causing extreme impact damage to any
object it might collide with.
The surfacing velocity of such buoyancy modules was
witnessed immediately following the event and it is clear that
the potential dangers of such an uncontrolled ascent is an
extreme hazard.
A series of calculations were performed by Saipem
engineers to quantify the escape and terminal velocity of all
buoyancy modules, dealing with each riser joint set of 10
modules on a case by case basis with respect to water depth
and buoyancy rating.

0.0m- Mud Line


9
-7m

45
-12 m

7m
-16 m

10 m
West-East Section - 31.10.01

Figure 24
0.0m- Mud Line

37 m

-7m

15 m
to
bottom
of crater

45

2.5m

-12 m

3.5m
-16 m

10m

West-East Section - 5.NOV.01

LMRP

STACK

Controlled Descent of the Riser Buoyant Loop


As shown in Figure 4, the buoyed loop of marine riser rose
some 1970 ft. (600m.) above the mudline. While this did not
present a near surface underwater hazard to shipping, it was
clear that such a structure had to be removed to restore a safe
condition.
It should be noted here that the buoyancy modules are
attached to the riser joints by means of kevlar straps secured
by stainless steel tensioning fasteners. Whilst in normal
service they provide more than adequate restraint against the
possibility of the modules escaping from their position in the
dressed joint.
In the buoyed loop however, this was not the case.
As can be seen in Annex 1: Dropped Riser Configuration and

Clearly, the 6000 foot rated buoyancy riser joints, colour


coded black, acted as the dominant buoyant contributor
providing the accumulated net uplift of the loop and
supporting it in the water column as seen in figure 4 and
Annex 1
In simple terms, the evolving plan that was agreed within the
organisation was to selectively release specific buoyancy
modules to facilitate a controlled descent of the entire loop
which would finally come to rest on its side on the mudline.
The emerging hazard and risk assessment associated with this
operation centred on the potential danger presented by the free
ascent of released modules. Two equipment and system
features of the Saipem 10000 would minimize this risk of
impact from surfacing modules.
1) The design of the ROV spreads which afforded a
substantial seafloor operational footprint, an

OTC 15086

13

appreciable lateral distance from the vessel


topsides winching and reeled ROV tether system.
2)

Figure 25

The overall maneouvreability of the vessel, using


its six azimuthing thrusters, both in manual
propulsive mode and station keeping
capabilities in dynamic positioning (DP) mode.

The assessment of the entire loop prompted a decision to


disconnect either end of the loop.
The ends were examined as different entities. At the
end of the bare joints that disappearanced into the mud and
bridged the crater depression, it was decided that the
connection between No.3 and No.4 should be disconnected
(shown in Annex 1). This then would enable, later in the
salvage operation, movement of the length comprising joints,
Nos. 1,2 and 3 thereby providing clear access to the entire
crater depression and the buried BOP stack.
To achieve a disconnection between joints Nos. 3 and 4, a
proposal was formulated which involved adaptation of the
riser joint hydraulic tooling to operate subsea, supported and
functioned by the workhorse ROV. This tooling is normally
operated by the rig crews when running and pulling riser, its
hydraulic power being supplied by a dedicated power pack.
Photograph No. 6 shows the normal usage of this equipment
whilst Figure 25 shows the outline of the tooling.
Photograph No.6

Francis hydraulic tooling in use whilst pulling


riser
The break out torque required to be generated to
break out these bolts is in the order of 33 000
ftlbf.

After several modifications to the tooling and ROV


capability, 4 of the 6 HMF riser bolts were successfully
broke beyond their makeup torque setting and unscrewed
from the threaded boxes. The following images show this feat
which later was recognised as a world record for operation of
such hydraulic tooling in this water depth.
Photograph No.7

Image showing HMF Riser Pin / Box connection in


the region of joints 2,3 or 4 in Figure 6. This
was the orientation of the riser connection
which was disconnected by the ROV adapted
riser bolt hydraulic tooling.

14

OTC15086

Photograph No.8

Where:
Cr
p
A
V2

Coefficient of drag (friction, wake & added mass)


Density of seawater (1027 kgm-3)
Cross sectional area, buoyancy module
Velocity squared

The division by 2 is derived from the kinetic energy


formula (1/2mv2)
A spreadsheet was devised whose parameters are
shown below in the Table 2.
Table 2
Joint
Velocity
ROV adapted HMF riser bolt hydraulic tooling
backing out a riser bolt

The other end of the loop showed the greatest degree


of damage and that was attributed to two reasons. Firstly, this
portion had been the uppermost portion in the deployed
marine riser string and it was seen that most of the 4000 foot
rated buoyancy had suffered fatally from the excessive
hydrostatic pressure and secondly this section had suffered
considerable impact damage as the top heavy section drove
itself into the mudline.
It was seen from visual examination that joint No.12
was the most damaged with its main tube creased and lines
broken. It was at this location that the decision was made to
effect a disconnection by using cutting equipment via ROV
intervention.
This was successful.
Prior to the calculations performed to quantify the
ascent velocity of the modules that were to be selectively
released, a detailed inventory of the entire loop was made and
formulated in a table.
The table gave the following
information:

Joint numbering (per Annex 1)


No. of complete pairs buoyancy modules remaining
on each joint (dressed with 5 pairs per 27.43m joint
[90 ft])
Nos. of missing buoyancy module restraining straps
missing.
Optimistic buoyancy wet weight per joint.
Pessimistic buoyancy wet weight per joint.
Steel weight per joint. (in seawater)
Optimistic net weight per joint
Pessimistic net weight per joint
Cumulative optimistic net weight
Culmulative pessimistic net weight

A formula was derived and the drag force experienced by an


ascending buoyancy module can be given by:
Net uplift mass = ( Cr x x A x V2 ) / 2

Zero,
increments
ms-1
ascending

Cr
0.5

Cr
0.6

Cr
0.7

Cr
0.8

Cr
0.9

Cr
1.0

Known
Net
Uplift
Const.
Const.
Const.

The numerical values in each cell were analysed


following application of the above formula and highlighted for
each value of Cr to the nearest match to the constant in the
right hand column: the known uplift value for black or yellow
buoyancy.
From this was derived the maximum expected ascent
velocity of each type of buoyancy module in the buoyed loop.
To validate the accuracy of the calculations, an
empirical test was performed by releasing an undamaged
module from the debris pile of riser joints. The planned
release and rate of ascent were measured using a straightforward time distance calculation and a stop watch to record
the time from release to surfacing.
The measured ascent velocity was found to be a close
approximation to the calculated values. These were: Black Vertical Case:
1.8 m.s-1 (6 ft.s-1)
Black Horizontal Case: 0.33 m.s-1 (1 ft.s-1)
Yellow Vertical Case:
2.1 m.s-1 (7 ft.s-1)
A final table was constructed in which modules were
selected for release, spaced equidistantly four joints apart
commencing at No.2 black and culminating at No.6 yellow
travelling counterclockwise around the loop. The table
tabulated increasing net weight in water of the loop as each
module pair were released.
A total of 9 pairs were selected although the 9th did
not require removal since the buoyed loop attained negative
buoyancy after the 8th pair were released.
Figures 26 and 27 show the distributed weight of the
loop before and after intervention.

OTC 15086

15

Figure 26
Photograph No.9
Net weight
(kg)

Weight before
Intervention

5000
0
4500
0
4000
0
3500
0
3000
0
2500
0
2000
0
1500
0
1000
0
500
0
0
1 3 5 7 9 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3
1 3 5 7 9 1 3 5 7 9 1 3 5

Joint
Number

Figure 27
Net Weight
(kg)

A 90 ft. slick (bare) riser joint can be


seen bridging the expanded crater
depression at the top of this image and the
greater excavated depth has revealed the
severly damaged 15 ft. riser pup joint
immediately above the riser instrumented
joint.

Weight after Intervention

50000
45000
40000
35000
30000
25000
20000
15000
10000
Joint
Number

5000
0

1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3
1 3 5 7 91 3 5 7 9 1 3 5 7 9 1 3 5

Final Clearance for unimpeded access


to the BOP stack.
With the crater excavation accomplished to the extent
required for uninterrupted access to the top of the BOP stack
and the buoyed riser string loop lowered to the safety of the
mudline, the salvage operation proceeded with the final
preparations to clear the crater area and ready the riser adapter
atop the BOP stack for the core activity of this salvage:
recovering the entire BOP stack to surface.
The ROV cameras now provided us with
comprehensive views of the status of hardware immediately
above the BOP stack. Photograph No. 9 illustrates this view.

The main tasks that dominated this phase of the


salvage operation were:
i)
The removal of the 15ft. pup joint from the
instrumented joint.
ii)
The removal of the instrumented joint from
the riser adapter.
iii)
Grappling and moving the obstructive bare
joints bridging over the crater top.
This was achieved by a combination of techniques
including the use of the ROVadapted HMF riser hydraulic
tooling, cutting and the use of a grappling assembly for lifting
and dragging.
Using the information obtained from the early and
kind co-operation from another drilling contractor: Pride
International (Technical Paper: SPE / IADC 67808: Pride
Africa Successful BOP and Riser Recovery Offshore
Angola)
and other external sources of consultation,
grappling and lasso assemblies were made up and
subsequently deployed subsea for the use in the clearance
operations.
The assemblies are shown in photographs Nos. 10
and 11.

16

OTC15086

Photograph No.10

Photograph No.12

The disconnection of the 15ft. pup joint from the


instrumented riser joint

The subsequent disconnection of the


instrumented riser joint from the riser adapter flange finally
gave free access to the BOP stack.
Photograph No.13
Lasso Assembly ready for deployment subsea,
shown suspended in moonpool from the rig
floor.

Photograph No.11

The riser instrumented joint arriving on surface


supported by recovery slings. Note the position
transponder on the right hand side of the IRJ.
The grappling and recovery assembly made up, ready
for deployment subsea beneath the rig floor

Upon completion of the disconnection of the 15ft.


pup joint from the instrumented riser joint, the grappling
assembly was secured to the remains of the pup joint and it
was recovered to surface.

All that remained to be done at this stage


prior to commencement of the BOP stack recovery attempt
was the lateral displacement of the bridging slick joints across
the excavated crater.
The grappling and lassoing technique is
shown in the next photograph.

OTC 15086

SAIPEM 10000 DEEPWATER SALVAGE OPERATION

Photograph No.14

A view, through the eyes of the ROV camera of the


successful grapple of joints of slick riser.

A jetting and wash tool was run into the


BOP wellbore to both establish a throughbore of the full
extent of the BOP stack and agitate the packed off and
compacted mud at the base of the BOP wellhead connector.
This operation also provided confirmation of the attitude of
the BOP stack providing assuredness that the LMRP flex joint
was not unduly cocked. Photograph No.16 shows the angular
deviation of the BOP stack.

17

Photograph No.16

The angular inclination of the top of the


BOP Stack.

Figure 28
6 5/8 34.02# S135
D.P. Used pipe.
(Tensile Strength
4727.7 kN)

STRING FOR
BOP
RECOVERY #2
S10000

Side Entry & Circ.


Sub w/ 2 Weco
Union 6 5/8 F.H.
Box 6 5/8 F.H.
Pin

18/10/01

Photograph No.15

C/O 6 5/8 F.H Box 6


5/8 Reg. Pin
All listed in
stock
onboard

C/O 6 5/8 Reg


Box 7 5/8
Reg Box

Saver Sub 5 F.H.Pin


-7 5/8 Reg Pin

51/2 F.H.
2in. Chicksan
Line or 2in.
Flexible Hose
RISER HYDR.
RUNNING TOOL
500 /750 TON

ROV assistance stabbing into wellbore with wash


tool ..

The Development of the Recovery Tooling


The design of a proper recovery tool was made
through an evolution of suggestions, ideas and proposals that
led to a final configuration as shown in Figure 28.

Fitting to circulate
into the booster
line

One factor emerged which strongly


influenced the final choice of recovery tooling assembly. The
booster line isolation valve which is located directly below the
riser adapter flange at the top of the BOP stack was known to
be in the open position. This valve is a ball type valve,
operated by a hydraulic actuator. Unlike all the other valves
on the BOP stack which move to the close or open position on
loss of hydraulic supply, this valve remains in the last position
it was functioned. During the operation of retrieving the BOP
stack this valve is left open to ensure that the booster line
drains as the riser is pulled.

18

Photograph No. 17

OTC 15086

This modified handling tool is one of the standard


riser handling tools belonging to the Saipem 10000 riser
inventory capital equipment outfit.
Its basic specifications follow.
Manufacturer:
Description:

Test Pins:

View of the mud booster line valve from beneath the


riser adapter flange. (Other kick outs seen in
this image are one stainless hydraulic conduit and a
choke / kill)

Another factor influencing the choice of the


tooling assembly was the near vertical attitude of the BOP
stack beneath the mudline. The following photograph shows
the assembly made up after use.
Photograph No.18

ABBVetco Gray
Tool CDE
Riser Handling /
Test Tool, HMF,
Class H, nom.
21in.
2 each Choke &
Kill, nom. 6in.
15K psi MWP
--------------------1 each Booster
Line, nom. 5in.
5K psi MWP
-------------------2 each Hydraulic
Lines.
nom. 2 7/8in.
5K psi MWP
--------------------1each Glycol line
nom. 3in. 15K psi
MWP

The hydraulic locking dogs which engage a


profile within the boxes of the riser joints and riser adapter are
normally operated via a hydraulic supply and control panel on
the rig floor where the tool is normally used when running and
pulling the marine riser.
modified

For this salvage operation,


in three ways:-

the tool was

A vertical reaction post to enable the ROV to remain


on station during recovery tool engagement.
The use of a modified booster line pin to provide
hydraulic communication between the chicksan hard piping
(shown red in the previous photograph) and the booster valve
on the riser adapter and thence the BOP stack wellbore.
A custom made hydraulic manifold to enable ROV
intervention to connect, operate and supply hydraulic usable
volume to operate the riser handling tool locking dogs.
The Salvage Operation of the BOP Stack

This image, recorded after the BOP stack was


successfully recovered, shows the detail of the tooling
pictorially described in Figure 28. Additional
appurtenances are a reaction post (white) for the ROV
assistance and a ROV operated hydraulic control panel
and manifold.

The operation comprised two phases.


The first was the deployment subsea of the equipment
described in the previous section and the successful positive
engagement of that assembly into the riser adapter atop the
BOP stack. The second was the simultaneous activities of
circulating through the wellbore via the running string, side
entry sub, chicksan hardpiping and hence through the mud
booster valve into the BOP stack wellbore whilst maintaining
an overpull on the running string and recovery assembly in
this first attempt to free the BOP stack from beneath the mud

OTC 15086

and retrieve it to surface.


The following ROVgenerated
images display the stabbingin of the modified riser handling
tool to the flanged connection at the top of the riser adapter.
What is clear to see in these images is the
9 inclination of the BOP stack from the vertical in relation to
the vertically suspended load of the recovery tool assembly.

19

Photograph No.21

Photograph No.19

View of the top of the modified riser handling tool


showing the ROV reaction post and the custom made
hydraulic manifold for locking dog control.

Photograph No.22

Final approach of the modified riser handling tool


to the riser adapter flange

Photograph No.20

View of ROV wet mateable connector stabbing


into the hydraulic control panel to provide the
usable volume of hydraulic pressure from the ROV
onboard hydraulic accumulator to operate the
riser handling locking dogs.

Stabbing in
Note the angular difference due to slight stack
deviation from the vertical.

20

OTC 15086

Prior to running the recovery tool assembly,


a circulation test was performed using the mud pumps at a
flowrate of 1189 galls. min-1 and a pump discharge pressure of
2277 psi.(4500 litres min.-1 at 157 bar.)
Finally, before deployment subsea,
a
bullseye slope indicator was installed on the subsea Stack to
provide accurate measurement of verticality change during the
circulating and overpulling operations.
With 750 mT bales fitted, the stabbingin
operation required the assistance of both ROV vehicles
operating subsea simultaneously and a controlled change in
vessel heading and position.
The subsequent salvage operation to free the
BOP stack from beneath the mud consumed 4 days of rig time.
Figure 29 and Figure 30 provide an insight
into the methodology and the natural progression of events.
Figure 29
Note
Applied Hook Load

Blue represents
circulation
h
Side Entry

Modified
Riser
Handling
Tool

Riser
Adapter

Flx .Jt
Upper
Ann.
Riser Conn

Lower
Ann
S/B Rams

CS Rams

UPR
MPR
LPR

W/H Conn

OPEN Valve
CLOSED Valve

OTC 15086

Figure 30
Final events depicted
diagrammatically over a
period of 4 days.

The BOP stack emerged through the moonpool


splash zone at 2300 hours on 14th November 2001.
The following images show the emergence of the
BOP stack and the initial jetwashing of the equipment prior
to a total disassembly and rebuild in the following months.

21

Day 4 Circulate at 5200 lt.min-1 and overpull 500 mT. Spot with
30MC Hi. Vis. Bentonite pill. Displace out 2nd Hi. Vis.
33MC pill. Stack moves at 445 mT
Day 3 Circulate at 4000 lt.min-1 increasing to 4900 lt.min-1.
Overpull varying between a min. of 200 mT and a max. of
495 mT
Day 2 Circulate at 4900 lt.min-1 increasing to 5200 lt.min-1.
Overpull varying between a min. of 200 mT and a max. of
495 mT.
Day 1 Circulate at 2400 lt.min-1, vary overpull between 170 495
mT.Work string every 1 hours. Increase flowrate to
4000 lt.min-1
Note returns SW side of BOP stack. Monitor Slope
Indicator

Photograph No.24

Photograph No.23

Photograph No.25

The BOP Stack emerging from the moonpool. Substantial


packed sedimentary mud required removal during this
retrieval to the BOP carrier seen in the background.

22

Photograph No.26

OTC 15086

the salvage task.


Less obvious, but nonetheless, an important issue in a
salvage attempt of this type, is the matter of handling the BOP
Stack on surface once retrieved.
Clearly, the drilling vessels own dedicated BOP
Handling System must be the most appropriate and in fact it
should be noted that mishandling of this type of modern BOP
Stack [by a salvage vessel] could potentially cause significant
damage to the structure considered as a single entity.
Finally, for the personnel involved in this salvage
operation, not enough credit can be afforded because, had it
not been for their resolve, innovation, perseverance and
unswerving willingness to work as a team, this success story
could not be related.
Saipem are indebted to all those external companies
and individuals that offered their assistance and help in this
operation.
The level of co-operation and mutual respect
remained high throughout this period and without their
willingness to work together as a team, this operation and its
chances of success would have been seriously jeopardized.
Despite the geographical remoteness of the location
of this salvage operation, the policies and practices of the
Health & Safety Executive (HSE) were at no time
compromised throughout the 56 day operation and this is
borne out by the fact there were no Lost Time Accidents.
(LTAs) for the entire period.

View of the BOP Stack following jet washing, supported in the BOP
Carrier..

Summary and Conclusion

Acknowledgements

It is true to say here that whenever an unplanned event of this


magnitude occurs in this industry, a unique energy invariably
takes over to provide the motivation, resolution and
capabilities required to accomplish the seemingly impossible.
At the outset of the consultations following this event
of the Loss of this Subsea System in ultra deepwater, some
external sources expressed serious reservations as to the
suitability of the Saipem 10000 drilling vessel with its crews
to attempt such a salvage operation. Contrary to these doubts,
it was proved conclusively that the Saipem 10000 was the
most appropriate salvage vessel platform for this operation and
achieved its task in only 56 days after the accident occurred.
This may be attributed to a number of factors:
Primarily, the twin drill centres capability meant that
the second drill centre not involved in the event was
immediately available, as it remained undamaged by the chaos
caused at the other rig centre. This fact, coupled with the
dynamic positioning capability of the Saipem 10000, proved
to be an ideal platform from which to conduct this salvage
operation.
Furthermore, the load rating capabilities of the
components of the hoist system, together with a
comprehensive inventory of suitable tubular goods and tools,
provided an array of feasible options with which to approach

The authors would like to thank the Saipem


Management for their kind permission to enable the
publication of this paper.
Furthermore, the authors would like to thank the PSL
Group for providing an insight into their equipment and
operational methods.

OTC 15086

23

Annex 1

6
17

18

SAIPEM 10000
Dropped Riser Configuration,
Composition & Buoyancy Analysis

16
15

19

20

14

24 September 2001

13

Note:
Black Arrows
indicate Optimistic
values, buoyancy
Blue Arrows
indicate
Pessimistic values,
buoyancy

Spaces indicate
HMF riser Box /
Pin Connections

12

11

10

4
5

10

Remnants of
deformed joint cut
with ROV tooling

11

Riser Joints
Debris Pile
12

Remnant
HP
Hose,
Termination
Joint Hyd.
Ring

13

Initial
Disconnection of
HMF Pin / Box
2

14

ML

1
1

24

OTC 15086

Annex 2
SAIPEM 10000

BOP STACK 18in. 15K


Configuration
Aft Side, Looking Forwards

Riser Adapter Vetco.18in. 10M BX164 flange & inconel 635 ring groove
down. Fitted for Vetco HMF Class H
21in. riser. Fitted with:
2 ea. 15K C/K kickouts, nom.6in.
w/#6 CIW clamp hub: BX 154
r/groove, 2 ea. 5K rigid conduits
kickouts: nom. 24in.w/#1 CIW clamp
hub: BX 152 r/groove. 1 ea glycol inj
kickout: nom. 3in. 15K w/#6 CIW
clamp hub: BX 154. 1 ea. mud boost
line kickout w/ 5K hydraulic ball valve:
line nom. 5in. 5K.

RA

SPRING 2001
MBV

Mud Boost Valve


2in. ball. 5 1/2in. nom. Dia.
kick in. 5K MWP

Fitted with 18in. integral NBP


SFI Code No. 3D31209

Oilstates 18in. 5M. Max. deflection: 10. BX


- 164 flange top & bottom.
SFI Code No. 3D31208
6
Max. applied tensile load: 2 x 10 lbf
Rated Spring Load Rate: 40K lbf / degree
deflection.

Upper Annular Preventer Shaffer S by F


Spherical 18in. 10M w / 18in. 10M BX - 164
Studded top, 15M BX - 164 Flange down. 2 ea.
side outlets, one blanked, other fitted with dual
block hyd. operated 31/16in. 15K Shaffer HB with
BX - 154 flanged outlets. Short sea chest. NC Vvs
Element: Nitrile, type SL, rated at 10M.
SFI Code No. 3D31204

Pipe Ram Hang - Off Capacities


3in. ~ 5in.
3in. 200 000 lbs
5in. 600 000 lbs
FJ

5in. ~ 7in.
5in. 300 000 lbs
6 5/8in. 600 000 lbs

Riser Connector Vetco E x


F high angle release. 18in.
10M, fitted with 18in. 15M
studded top, BX - 164.
Rated for 3000m water depth.
SFI Code No. 3D31201

KI

OGR IGR

Receiver
Plates:
LBOP / LMRP

UA

Mandrel Vetco high


angle release 18in.
15M with 18in. 10M
BX - 164 Flange
down.
SFI Code No.
3D31111

HARH4

Shaffer 18in. 15M S x F.


NXT door mechanisms.
CRA, fitted with Poslock ram
locking mechanisms. 15M
BX - 164 studded top; 15M
BX - 164 flange down
H2S Trim
SFI Code No. 3D31105

Isolation Valves Shaffer


15M. nom. 3in. T - HB
straight, H2S trim. For High
temperature service, CRA,
PSL 3, NO Valves

CI

GI

Retractable Stabs
Shaffer 15M. nom. 3in.
female: internal retract

MNL
Lower Annular Shaffer
S by F Spherical 18in.
10M w / 18in. 10M BX 164 Studded top, 15M BX
- 164 Flange down.
Element: Nitrile, type SL,
rated at 10M.Low Temp
service: -26F

Double Ram Type BOP


Assembly

Notice of Modification
December 2000.
Shear / Blind rams fitted with
tandem piston booster
operators..
Poslocks adjusted Jan 01

Flex Joint

LA

SFI Code No. 3D31110

Triple Ram Type BOP


Assembly

Shaffer 18in. 15M S x


F. NXT door
mechanisms. CRA, fitted
with Ultralock II ram
locking mechanisms. 15M
BX - 164 studded top;
15M BX - 164 flange
down.
H2S Trim.
SFI Code No. 3D31103

SBR
CSR

UIC UOC
UOK

UIK

Pressure
Temp.
Sensor

LOK

3in. ~ 5in

UPR

3in~5in

MPR

LIC

LOC

5in. ~ 7in.

LPR

IGI

OGI

LIK

BOP Connector
Vetco Heavy Duty, rated for 3000m water
depth. with extended neck to fit Vetco SG5
wellhead profile. 18in. 15M BX - 164
flange top.
SFI Code No. 3D31101

HD H4
W/H

18 w/h datum

OTC 15086

25

1 x 6.43 m
1 x 21.10 ft.

1 x 38.86 m
1 x 127.5 ft.

Rotary Housing / Diverter


A
bl
Flexible
Joint
11.43
37.50

RKB Datum

Slip Joint Inner


Mid Stroke

Figure 1

3.048 10.0 Tensioner Ring

Slip Joint Outer Barrel

24.38
80.0

1 x 4.27 m
1 x 14.0 ft.

Keel Joint

1 x 3.26 m
1 x 10.7 ft.

Intermediate Flex.

Riser String at time of


Loss of Subsea System

Auxiliary Lines Termination Joint &


Hydraulic Ring

4.57 m
1 x 15.0 ft.

Pup Joints: 1 x 20 ft., 1 x 15

1 x 6.1m 1 x 4.6m
1 x 20 ft. 1 x 15 ft.

Slick Joint 1 in. type A

2 x 27.43
2 x 90 ft

1 x 6.1
1 x 20

Riser Fill - Up Joint

3 x 27.43
3 x 90 ft

Slick Joint 1in. type A

3x 27.43
3 x 90 ft

Slick Joint 13/16in. type B

3 x 27.43
3 x 90

Buoyancy Joints 10000 ft.

10 x 27.43
10 x 90 ft

Buoyancy Joints 2000 ft.

22x 27.43
22 x 90 ft

Buoyancy Joints 4000 ft.

20 x
27.43
20 x 90

Buoyancy Joints 6000 ft.

1 x 27.43
1 x 90

Buoyancy Joints 10000 ft.

6 x 27.43
6 x 90

Slick Joint 13/16in. wall. Type B

1 x 27.43
1 x 90

Slick Joint 1in. wall, Type A

1 x 4.572
1x 15

15ft. Pup
Riser Instrumentation Joint

6.1
20.0

Dynamic x & y inclinometers

6.33
20.77

LMRP
Static x & y inclinometers

14.18
46.53

7.85
25.76

~ 0.8 m

~ 3.8 m

~ 3.0 m

Mud Line

LBOP
18in. Wellhead
18in. W/H Housing
30in. Housing / GRA
Conductor Pipe

26

OTC 15086

Figure 2
Topsides arrangement
prior to event: Loss of
Subsea System
Travelling Block with
12 line reeve - up

Notes

Top
Drive
U it

Bales
Elevator
Riser
Handling
Tool

Not to Scale
Topsides hoist arrangement
shown immediately prior to the
event.
Note that Riser Spider is open to
facilitate continued hoisting.
Keel Joint shown mis aligned
with underside of Diverter
Housing.
Next step in this BOP Retrieval
Procedure is capture and store
the Auxiliary Lines Termination
Joint Hydraulic Ring beneath the
Support Ring.
Though not schematically
shown here, Keel Joint cladding
overlap with the through bore
of the Diverter Housing actually
caused by an out of trim
condition of the vessel.

Landin
g Joint

Telescopic Slip
Joint

Riser
Spide

Rig

Riser
Gimba
l

Diverter
Housing

Riser Gimbal
Shock
Absorbers

Rotary Kelly

Support Ring

Keel
J i t

Intermediat
e Flex Joint

Auxiliary Lines
Termination

Sea

Termination
Joint

Riser Keel Joint


shown mis-aligned
with the through
bore internal
diameter of the
Diverter Housing

OTC 15086

27

Figure 3
Topsides Arrangement
immediately following
event, Loss of Subsea
System

Notes

Not to Scale
Top Drive impacted on top of
Riser Spider & Riser Gimbal
Assembly.
Riser Gimbal shock absorbers
compressed to various reduced
heights.

Travelling Block
with 12 line reeve
up. Wireline parted
adjacent to drum
wire anchor. Line
free

D
e
r
r
i
c
k

Wireline torn loose of anchor


and free.
Elevators fractured, remains left
within the Diverter Housing, held
by Bales.

Top Drive Unit

Angle is shown inclined to the


Port side of the vessel.

Port
Riser
Spider

S
t
r
u
c
t
u
r
e

Riser
Gimbal
Shock

Riser
Gimb
l

Diverter
Housing

Bales

Rig
Rotary Kelly

Support Ring

Elevators fractured
and open within
confines of the Diverter
Housing

Sea

28

OTC 15086

Figure 4
Initial Static
Configuration
Riser Sting.

NORTH

Tracked Riser
String following
Dropped Stack
Event.

4
8

Slick to Black

Black to Yellow

1 Grey middle

Slick

GRA
1
9

Riser Debris
and Site of
MUX Cables

1 Square = 10 metres

Suspected Site of Sunken


BOP

Mini crater with one C/K/Glycol hose visible.


Co-ordinates 30m S of Fix 9
110m WSW of GRA
Suspected site of Hyraulic Termination Joint &
Ring