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OTC 15178 Multi-Service Vessel Well Intervention With New SILS

Clyde Hewlett/Oceaneering International, Inc.; Bill Clegg/Oceaneering International, Inc.; Don Thorne/Oceaneering International, Inc.; Peg Newman/Oceaneering International, Inc.
Copyright 2003, Offshore Technology Conference This paper was prepared for presentation at the 2003 Offshore Technology Conference held in Houston, Texas, U.S.A., 5–8 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 its 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.

effective intervention method will be required. SILS/MSV/ROV equipment combination offers a


diverless/rigless first step solution toward lowering the life cycle costs for subsea wells at any depth. Definitions BOP – Blow Out Preventor DP – Dynamic Positioning MUX E/H – Multi-phased Electro-hydraulic HAZID – Hazard Identification HAZOP – Hazardous Operation HPU – Hydraulic Power Unit MSV – Multi-Service Vessel OEM – Original Equipment Manufacturer P&A – Plug and Abandonment ROV – Remotely Operated Vehicle (work class) SILS – Subsea Intervention Lubricator System SSSCV - Surface Controlled Subsurface Control Valve Design Approach The new SILS design began with the simple objective to reduce the cost of wireline intervention on subsea completions. As many of the other technical barriers to subsea production have been overcome, downhole intervention costs remain the largest disadvantage to the complete subsea solution. Without the ability to cost-effectively re-enter the well bore, valuable reserves are often left in the ground for want of a simple downhole manipulation. The concept of subsea wirelining is by no means new. It has been employed for years in the North Sea, in relatively shallow waters, from dedicated vessels, relying heavily on diver assist. To be most cost-effective in arenas such as the Gulf of Mexico, the new SILS design would have to be fully diverless in operation and be capable of being extended into water depths up to 10,000fsw. Investigating a possible SILS solution began with a Gulf of Mexico market review of existing subsea installations where dynamically positioned MSV’s already perform a multitude of other well services. Adding wireline capabilities to any reasonably sized (250’) DP-2, MSV of opportunity seemed a logical extension of other vessel capabilities and when combined with maximum utility of the vessel’s ROV system were key considerations in keeping the SILS cost-

Abstract This paper introduces a new Subsea Intervention Lubricator System (SILS) that utilizes remotely operated vehicle (ROV) technology and a MSV to safely perform wireline well intervention on subsea completions, in water depths ranging from 300fsw to ultimately 10,000fsw. Operators employing this simplified system can consequently lower their associated costs. Introduction Demand for hydrocarbons continues to expand and subsea developments in deepwater arenas such as the Gulf of Mexico, West Africa and Brazil are projected to grow considerably. (Figure 1) To improve production, wireline intervention services for simple mechanical manipulations, component changes, downhole surveys, etc. will be required. The concept of utilizing a wireline intervention system is not new. Best known for use in surface deployed applications, the wireline lubricator, when used in the subsea environment allows access to the well bore without the need for a drilling rig and a workover riser. Historically, operators have utilized a drilling rig or a dedicated vessel and divers to perform most wireline operations on subsea wells. Now, increasing numbers of subsea developments installed in deepwater beyond the range of divers are causing operators to seek containment of project costs by searching for innovative techniques that will challenge the traditional drilling rig/diver-based intervention model. Independent of water depth, the SILS/MSV/ROV combination can lower the cost of well interventions for tasks including wireline and P&A operations. (Figure 2) As subsea wells become a more commonly employed field development solution, a safe, rapidly deployed and cost-

The smaller profile and lighter SILS can be deployed from a dynamically positioned MSV of opportunity and is designed to provide typical live-well slickline services for conventional and horizontal subsea trees. ROV and tree OEM tools. the SILS project also includes the development of a subsea mechanical casing cutter which uses ROV power to operate conventional blade style cutters. Recognizing that SILS will never have the broad capability of a drilling rig. The adapters provide a means of mechanically joining the components. efficiency and safety. Next. Adverse potential impacts to personnel safety. The nominal bore size of the subsea package components allows for work on trees with nominal 5" bores. stuffing box/latch assembly and various controls components such as accumulators. BOP assembly. The MSV can then be used to recover the tree. water depths and horizontal or conventional configurations were examined. when used in the subsea environment allowing access to the well bore without the need for an expensive. Higher pressures and larger bores have a compounding effect on overall size and costs that would have jeopardized the primary objectives of rapid and cost-effective intervention. Operations on the subsea package and casing cutter system are tailored to the use of ROVs and associated tools. a growing segment of the subsea market requiring a more cost effective-approach. While this did not cover the complete range of pressure ratings or plug sizes found in the internal tree caps of some horizontal trees. For ecological reasons.000 psi. These include the subsea wireline package. The SILS configuration also facilitates subsea well plug & abandonment. lubricator sections. the detailed system design was driven by functionality. For conventional trees. The SILS design employed a comprehensive HAZID and HAZOP approach to system development. the system must always be able to safely contain any adverse condition and leave the well such that it can be safely re-entered using a rig. The tree interface constitutes the means of adapting the subsea wireline system to various tree designs. valves. the SILS is a system that is designed to take maximum advantage of the existing capabilities of the MSV. With the system’s primary specifications decided. Each different aspect of SILS operation was story boarded and subjected to a formal hazards review. SILS System Description In order to accomplish its goals. the environment. Fail safe closure in the event of MSV drive-off. plumbing. cut the casing below mudline and recover the wellhead housing/casing stub. The methodology used is described in greater detail later in this paper. Two barrier isolation of the wellbore to the environment. specifications for existing and planned trees including sizes. the SILS technology is newer.2 OTC 15178 effective. junction plates and hot stab manifolds. PSL 3. and the mechanical casing cutter system. sealing between them SILS Applications/Use While considered a very mature technology in surface applications. is comprised of the tree interface. Therefore. The SILS system is comprised of several components and sub-systems. types. To improve the utilization of the system in the market by expanding it's work scope to include plug and abandonments. as shown in Figure 3. it is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain permits for the quantities of explosives required to sever the casing below mudline. The subsea package with it's various sub-assemblies and components together makeup the heart of the overall system. Typical tasks that can be accomplished using SILS are: Wireline Intervention: • Sleeve Shifting for Zone Isolation/Opening • Plug Setting • SCSSV Replacement (insert type) • Wellbore Surveys • Gas Lift Valve Replacement • Downhole Choke Setting • Tubing and Casing Cutting/Perforating In the case of rig-less subsea well plug and abandonment. The safety aspect of the SILS design was considered overriding. these specifications were sufficient to satisfy the 80/20 rule. Some of the other salient design parameters for the SILS include: • • • • All well fluid wetted materials per NACE MR-01-075. the surface/delivery systems. All material specifications per API 6A. The resulting decision was to produce a 5 ½” inside diameter system with an internal working pressure rating of 10. Subsea Package. . this interface is made-up of the OEM tree running tool package with appropriate adapters for mounting the BOP assembly. and deepwater are encountered. 10. the SILS is used to enter the well bore and facilitate installation of the typical three cement plugs required to safely isolate the wellbore. The new SILS should be available for rapid mobilization to the DP MSV of opportunity and would not be consigned to a dedicated vessel. The surface components support the subsea package installation and/or operation. a mechanical casing cutter system was also developed and tested. the well and other assets were evaluated and fed back into the design for mitigation. The system's basic design provides for utilization on projects where high-pressure.000 psi that could be used on both horizontal and conventional trees. rig deployed workover riser. The subsea package.

The subsea package is deployable off the deck of a DP MSV equipped with a moonpool. An emergency disconnect mode is also provided. On horizontal trees. The red mode adds to this the closing of the upper shear ram. A coupling junction plate mounted on the latch assembly allows for the remote connection of the mating coupler halves located on the stuffing box assembly.OTC 15178 3 and aligning the bore of the wireline system to that of the particular tree for wireless access. It also reduces the number of umbilical control required for the system. these couplings convey the necessary functions of hydraulic packer pressure and lubricating fluid supply between the main assembly and the stuffing box. The tool catcher is a hydraulic-actuated release mechanism that is designed to catch the top of a wireline tool string. Controls. emergency shutdown red and emergency disconnect. each with independently operated drums. Deployment Equipment. The system requires the ability to circulate well bore fluids out of the subsea package as well as allow for pumping fluids into the well bore for kill and cementing operations. a gripper ram and finally a shear seal ram. The BOP assembly is fitted with hydraulic accumulators for this purpose. tool trap. Lubricator riser sections are designed with special bolted flanges and are approximately 10 feet long. The hot stabs in turn engage mating manifolds on the subsea package. The arrangement. The ports allow for cementing. The subsea package is controlled via a direct hydraulic system design that includes a surface HPU. The emergency shutdown yellow mode provides for a single valve actuation that closes all subsea cementing/flushing valves. the ROV and vessel position the package directly over the tree mandrel and therefore do not require additional alignment mechanisms. emergency shutdown yellow. The control of the tree interface connector and the BOP to the lubricator connector are via ROV supply.000 psi flanges on each end. The subsea package is configured with hydraulic/mechanical means of ejecting the hot stabs out of the manifolds for emergency disconnection mode requirements. is generally arranged from bottom to top with a shear seal ram. The interlock mode prevents the accidental unlocking of the stuffing box latch while the well bore is in an uncontrolled condition.5 inch 10. This mode essentially disengages the circulation line large bore hot stabs and severs the control umbilical that then by design leads to the fail-safe closure of all BOP rams. situated just above the connector in the lower lubricator joint. Located on top of the subsea package is the remotely removable stuffing box assembly. circulation and flushing operations. lubricator riser sections and upper adapter with stuffing box latch assembly. The tool trap. The stuffing box latch assembly is mounted to the upper riser section and provides a hydraulically actuated connector for locking and sealing the stuffing box. where it allows for remote connection to the BOP assembly upper mandrel. The BOP assembly is comprised of a 4-ram style BOP utilizing 5. a stripper ram. A special control panel mounted to the umbilical reel provides necessary safety operating mode functionality. This is accomplished by use of a dual circulating riser system. capable of shearing 2-1/8" sinker bar. provides a hydraulic function mechanism for capturing wireline tools in the event of failure of the supporting wire. Hydraulic pressure causes the tool trap flapper to retract from the bore so the workstring can pass. an 183/4 connector is provided with the system. the controls were limited to less expensive rental equipment readily available for call out. These modes include a latch/upper BOP close interlock. The BOP utilizes autolocking actuators that require 3500-psi maximum operating pressure. The system is made up of dual 1-3/4 inch outside diameter coiled tubing strings stored on dual units. It also provides a means of simulating a rig drill floor by providing a . During wireline running and pulling operations. reel and umbilical. The BOP body is configured with API 6A 11 inch 10. Tool strings can be pulled up through the trap that acts similarly to a check valve. The conventional tree design utilizes the installation alignment capabilities of the OEM tree running tool. A metering pump assembly is used to control and supply high-pressure lubricant for wire stripping operations. Porting in the BOP body allows for the connection of plumbing to a port that enters below the lower ram and above the upper ram cavity. The hydraulic connector is a dog style design and is located on the lower end of the sub-assembly. tool catcher and mating coupler junction plate to mate to the junction plate couplers mentioned above. This improves installation operations by eliminating the need for an umbilical at the time the BOP system section is landed on the tree. The pump is attached to the lubricator portion of the system. while re-configurable to some degree. the gripper BOP ram and the stripper BOP ram. two injection ports. The system is configured with 3 riser sections but more can be added should longer wireline tool packages be needed.000 psi rated BOP elements. Circulation System. For horizontal trees. Flexible high pressure hose jumpers on the subsea end of the coiled tubing strings allows for connection to large bore hot stabs. A flapper falls back into the bore after any tools are pulled through. A special handling A-frame/spider assembly provides the means to handle the large equipment loads and heights. This assembly contains two pressure activated packing elements. The lubricator section of the subsea package is comprised of a hydraulic connector. The bottom flange is made-up to the tree interface adapter while the upper flange is mated to a connector mandrel. Some functions on the subsea package are ROV controlled. The catcher is intended to prevent the accidental dropping of the wireline tool string in the event the wire is broken at the rope socket. As a means of minimizing initial development costs. The tool trap mentioned above is a backup to the catcher. Future incorporation of MUX E/H controls will allow the system to extend its operating depths by reducing the reaction times to actuate subsea hydraulic functions. The BOP section contains two ROV panels arranged to group functions logically by operation.

efficient and cost effective. Ultimately. dropped objects. which is currently under construction for application in deepwater areas such as the Gulf of Mexico. • Rapid demobilization. the relative probability or frequency of each failure was given a factor and a risk matrix was created by the product of these factors.4 OTC 15178 false rotary table in a structure that covers the moonpool (16 x 16 feet) opening. this translates into a total job cost differential of US $2-3 million in favor of SILS. it should be possible to accomplish a sliding sleeve. High product factors infer unacceptable risks returning to the beginning of the process for additional safeguards. SILS Relative Cost Advantage The SILS cost advantage relative to the drilling rig is derived primarily from the following: • System is compact and does not require a dedicated vessel • System is easily mobilized onto an MSV and can transit quickly to site without tug assistance. a mechanical casing cutter system was developed for the SILS project. SILS HAZID & HAZOP Results Once the basic configuration of SILS was known. For example. Through maximum utility of existing technologies. A hydraulic motor package is designed to land on the gripper assembly. As the duration of the job on station increases. the relative advantage of SILS is diminished. • Once the SILS is run there is no ancillary equipment such as risers to run and retrieve. The simulated drill floor is retractable to allow full access to the moonpool opening. to vessel drive offs and tools stuck in the well. . The possible consequences of each failure were also noted and a numerical factor assigned relative to severity. Conclusions This paper describes a new subsea wirelining system. Change out of cutter blades dictates that the motor assembly is relatively easy to recover and so all interfaces to it are ROV operable. The movement in the GOM towards more environmental friendly operations has lead to the restrictive use of explosive charges for well P&A operations. This water flows down the work string to the cutter assembly where it both energizes the cutter blades and washes out cuttings. primarily in MSVs and ROVs. (Figure 4) The design includes a gripper assembly that is landed on the wellhead housing and which is mechanically gripped via hydraulically generated forces to react cutter tool torque. Any mitigating features of the design to safeguard personnel. the design team developed schematics and storyboards to represent all the operational aspects of the system. the operational time line for SILS versus moored rig intervention for a simple subsea wireline intervention is less than half. Once in application and commercially successful. (Figure 6) Taking into account typical spread rates for in an area such as the Gulf of Mexico. A multi-disciplinary team was then assembled. Attached to the motor package is a work string that includes spacer subs as required and a mechanical rotor cutter tool package. SILS will make subsea well intervention more cost effective than conventional rig based methods. Similarly. • The MSV DP system can take up station quickly without the time and cost of running anchors. the environment and the assets were noted. the numerical values of these factors were used to determine if. While the absolute cost of a specific job will depend on many factors including regional market conditions. Rigorous application of hazard and qualitative risk assessment through the design cycle helped shape the system to be safe. SILS. wireline operations. Figure5 is a graphic representation of the process. the methods proved will be used to expand into a full suite of electric line services as well as subsea coiled tubing equipment. zone change in a deepwater subsea well (3000fsw) for less than US$1million verses US$4-5 million from a moored semisubmersible-drilling rig. As a consequence. vessel operations and ROV operations. and what additional safeguards would have to be designed into SILS. Cutting/operating water is delivered to the system via the circulation riser system. These failure conditions ranged from simple component failures. The A-frame is designed for a 60-ton load and can slew while moving loads from the work deck to the moonpool. Each operational scenario was played out in sequence and subjected to a series of “what if” failure situations. Mechanical Casing Cutter System. The motor is powered by taking hydraulic power from the ROV system itself. with representatives from the design team.

OTC 15178 5 Worldwide Subsea Completions Expected to Nearly Triple Number of Subsea Completions Completed 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 68 60s 87 70s 80s Estimated 2748 Total = 3556 1092 426 808 90s 00s Figure 1 Source: Quest Subsea Database – January 2003 .

6 OTC 15178 SILS/MSV/ROV Subsea Wireline Intervention Source: Oceaneering Figure 2 .

OTC 15178 7 SILS Assembly Stuffing Box Latch Lubricator Sections Stuffing Box Flying Lead BOP Assembly Subsea Tree Interface Source: Oceaneering Figure 3 .

8 OTC 15178 ROV Operated Mechanical Casing Cutter Figure 4 Source: Oceaneering .

OTC 15178 9 HAZID / HAZOP Process Assemble Team: Experts on System Design / Process Define Risk Matrix (Ranking for Probability and Impact) Document HAZID / HAZOP Analysis Create Operations Storyboards •Nominal •Contingency Review Ops Storyboards. Brainstorm Potential Hazards for each Step Review Safeguards for Hazard Prevention Recommend Action for Additional Safeguards Implement Safeguards in Design and Ops Procedures Assign Probability (P) Assign Impact (I) Calculate Risk (R) { R=PxI } NO Risk Acceptable ? Verify Implementation of all Safeguards prior to Equipment Delivery or Job Initiation YES Source: Oceaneering Figure 5 .

10 OTC 15178 Subsea Well Wireline Job Time Comparison 250 200 Hours 150 100 50 0 Operation Preparation Anchors Transit Anchored Semi DP Semi MSV Vessel Type Figure 6 Source: Oceaneering Estimates .