TAMU Pemex

Offshore Drilling

Lesson 2 Station Keeping
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Lesson 2 - Station Keeping
 Environmental Forces  Mooring  Anchors  Mooring Lines  Dynamic Positioning
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Station Keeping
The ability of a vessel to maintain position for drilling determines the useful time that a vessel can effectively operate. Stated negatively, if the vessel cannot stay close enough over the well to drill, what good is the drilling equipment?
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Station Keeping - cont’d
Station keeping equipment influences the vessel motions in the horizontal plane. These motions are: surge, sway, and yaw. Generally, surge and sway are the motions that are considered. Yaw motion is decreased by the mooring system and is neglected in most mooring calculations.
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Station Keeping

When investigating or designing a mooring system, the following criteria should be considered:

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Operational Stage
1. The vessel is close enough over the well for drilling operations to be carried out. This varies between operators, but is usually 5% or 6% of water depth. Later, other criteria, based on riser considerations, will be discussed.

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Non-operational but Connected
2. The condition from the operational stage up to 10% of water depth: Drilling operations have been stopped, but the riser is still connected to the wellhead and BOPs.
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Disconnected
3. The riser is disconnected from the wellhead and the BOPs, and the vessel can be headed into the seas: Displacement > 10% of water depth

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Station Keeping - cont’d
Example Water Depth = 1,000 ft Drilling: 50-60 ft Connected: 100 ft max
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1,000’

Environmental Forces Acting on the Drilling Vessel
(i) (ii) Wind Force Current Force

(iii) Wave Force These forces tend to displace the vessel
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The Station Keeping System
Must be designed to withstand the environmental forces Two types:
 Mooring System (anchors)

 Dynamic Positioning (thrusters)
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(i) Wind Force
The following equation is specified by the American Bureau Shipping (ABS) and is internationally accepted:

FA = 0.00338 VA Ch C s A

2

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Wind Force
Where:
FA = 0.00338 VA Ch C s A
2

FA = wind force, lb VA = wind velocity, knots C S = shape coefficien t from Table 3 - 1, dimensionl ess C h = height coefficien t from Table 3 - 2, dimensionl ess A = projected area of all exposed 2 surfaces, ft . This area changes w ith both heel and yaw.
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Table 3-1. Shape Coefficients

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Table 3-2. Height Coefficients

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(i) Wind Force - example
FA = 0.00338 VA Ch C s A
? VA = 50 (wind velocity, knots) Ch = 1 (height coefficient) Cs = 1 (shape coefficient) A = 50 * 400 (projected target area, ft2)
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Then

FA = 0.00338 * 502 * 1 * 1 * 50 * 400 FA = 169,000 lbf = 169 kips
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(i) Wind Force - example
FA = 0.00338 VA Ch C s A
2

VA = 50 (wind velocity, knots) 1 knot = 1 nautical mile/hr = 1.15078 statute mile/hr 1 nautical mile = 1/60 degree = 1 minute = 6,076 ft
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(ii) Current Force
2 Fc = g c C s Vc A

Where:

Fc = current drag force, lb C s = drag coefficient, dimensionless. Same as the wind coefficient (Table 3 - 1) Vc = current velocity, ft/sec 2 A = projected area, ft  lbft * sec 2   lbf  gc = 1   ft 4  

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(ii) Current Force - example
2 Fc = g c C s Vc A

Vc = 2 (current velocity, ft/sec) Cs = 1 (shape coefficient) A = 30 * 400 (projected target area, ft2) Fc = 1 * 1 * 22 * 30 * 400 Fc = 48,000 lbf = 48 kips
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(iii) Wave Forces - (a) Bow Forces:
for T > 0.332 L

Fbow =

0.273 H B L T
4

2

2

T = wave period, sec L = vessel length, ft B = vessel width, ft H = significant wave height, ft
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Bow Forces - cont’d
for T < 0.332 L
Fbow = 0.273 H B L (0.664 L − T) 4
2 2

NOTE: Model test data should be used when available
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(iii) Wave Forces - (b) Beam Forces
for T > 0.642 B + 2D

Fbeam =

2.10 H B L T
4

2

2

Where D = vessel draft, ft NOTE: API now has Recommended Practices with modified equations
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Beam Forces - cont’d

for T < 0.642 B + 2D
Fbeam = 2.10 H 2 B 2 L (1.28 B + 2D − T )
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Floating Drilling: Equipment and The Mooring Line Its Use
T

Figure 3-1. The catenary as used for mooring calculations.
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The Mooring Lines Resist the Environmental Forces

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The Shape of the Mooring Line:
H  xw  y= cosh   w  H 
cosh z = (ez + e-z )/2

The equations used for mooring calculations for one single weight line are:

H = T − wd = Tcos θ

T θ H V

θ = cos −1 (H / T) V = T − H = H tan θ
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2

2

More equations used for mooring calculations:
V H s= = tan θ w w H T +V  H x = ln   = ln (sec θ + tan θ) w  H  w L = x + A −s
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Where:
T = tension of the line, lb θ = angle of the line with respect to the horizontal degrees H = horizontal restoring force, lb. H is constant over the length of the suspended line for any given valu e of T. w = line weight per unit length, lb/ft s = suspended line length, ft d = water depth (should include height of outboard fairleader above water line). ft
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and:
= ordinate = d + H / w , ft = horizontal distance from the vessel to the point wher e the line touches the seabed, ft H/w = a translati onal boundary condition used to account for the force H, ft L = horizontal distance from the vessel to the anchor, ft A = total mooring line length, ft y x
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Station Keeping
Table 3-4. Example of Single Line Restoring Forces

Try to duplicate this Table
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T

θ

H

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Single Line Restoring Force, kips

Too Hard

Looks OK

Too Soft
Offset - Percent of Water Depth

Figure 3-2. The effect of changing line weight-single-line calculations.
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Single Line Restoring Force, kips

Effect of Initial Tension
Water Depth - 500 ft Chain - 2 in., 42.6 lb/ft Initial Tension ( KIPS )

Offset - Percent of Water Depth

Figure 3-3. The effect of changing initial tension only--single-line calculations.
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Effect of Water Depth
Single Line Restoring Force, kips
Initial Tension - 30 KIPS Wire Rope 3 in. 18.6 lb/ft Water Depth , ft

Offset - Percent of Water Depth

Figure 3-4. The effect of changing water depth only; single-line calculations.

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Station Keeping
1. In shallow water up to about 500 feet, a heavy line is needed, particularly in rough weather areas. 2. Chain can be used (but may not be advisable) to water depths of about 1,200 feet. 3. Composite lines may be used to ~ 5,000 feet.
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Station Keeping - cont’d
4. Beyond about 5,000 feet, use dynamic positioning 5. Calm water tension should be determined to hold the vessel within the operating offset under the maximum environmental conditions specified for operation.
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Station Keeping - cont’d
6. Once the riser is disconnected, the vessel heading may be changed to decrease the environmental forces on the vessel.

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Station Keeping

Typical Mooring Patterns for NonRectangular Semis
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Typical Mooring Patterns for ShipLike Vessels and Rectangular Semis
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Typical 8-line Mooring Pattern

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Table 3-5. Effects of Mooring Line Patterns

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crown Crown pad eye

stock shank

Anchor shackle fluke

Figure 3-8. Drag anchor nomenclature.
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Mooring Program
This author has developed a mooring program for use on a portable calculator (HP-97). The advantage of this program is that it can be carried with the calculator and used in remote locations, even on the rig. There are other programs available. All programs should have the following capabilities:
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Mooring Program should...
1. Be able to calculate the total restoring force and tension in the most loaded line vs. offset. 2. Be able to handle a minimum of ten mooring lines. 3. Be able to handle composite line data for wire rope and chain.
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Mooring Program should...
4. Have iteration limits such that the worst error for calculating forces in a line will be less than 0.1% of the smallest value anticipated. 5. Include stretch in both the wire rope and the chain. Errors of over 30% have been encountered when chain stretch was not included.
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Setting Anchor with Workboat
Pendant

Anchor before touching bottom Drilling vessel winching-in cable

Mooring Line

Fluke

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Fluke Tip Touching Bottom Mud Pressure Holds Fluke Open

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Anchor Set and Digging In

Pendant Slacked

(What is Piggyback?)

Figure 3-12. The sequence of setting an anchor with a workboat.
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Strand Construction for Mooring Lines

6 strands, 19 wires per strand
( IWRC - Independent Wire Rope Core )
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Table 3-7. Wire Rope Specifications 6 x 37 Bright

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Wire Rope Specifications 6 x 37 Bright
Diameter in 1 2 3 3.5 Weight lbs/ft 1.85 7.39 16.6 22.7 Strength tons 49.1 190 414 555
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Fatigue Life of 3/4” Wire Rope

Load = 30% of breaking strength: Life = ~105 cycles Load = 20% of breaking strength: Life > 4*106 cycles
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Figure 3-15. Chain Nomenaclature.

Stud Link Chain

Pitch

Wire Dia.

Stud keeps chain from collapsing 3” chain has breaking strength > 1,000 kips!
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Chain Quality Inspection
Chain quality needs to be inspected periodically, to avoid failure: (i) Links with cracks should be cut out (ii) In chains with removable studs, worn or deformed studs should be replaced (iii) Check for excessive wear or corrosion
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Table 3-10. Table for Renewing Stud-Link Chain

For 3” chain, renewal dia. = 2 11/16”
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Figure 3-18. Typical wire rope connection to chain.

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link
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Wire Line Tensiometers

Outboard Fairlead

Mooring Winches

Wire Rope location for barge
Read tension while moving slowly
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Station Keeping
Figure 3-20. Drum Capacity and minimum drum-tosheave spacing Rd > 200 dwire θ = 1.5 (smooth) Rd θ = 2.0 (grooved)
o
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o

Figure 3-21. Deck machinery arrangements for ship-like vessels.

Dual Wildcat

Chain Stopper

Chain mooring requires a wildcat & chain stopper. Tension is usually measured with a load cell.
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Figure 3-22. Typical chain wildcat and fairlead locations on a semi.

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Dynamic Positioning
Dynamic positioning uses thrusters instead of mooring lines to keep the vessel above the wellhead. Glomar Challenger used dynamic positioning as early as 1968. The Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) uses dynamic positioning.
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Advantages of Dynamic Positioning
(i) Mobility - no anchors to set or retrieve - Easy to point vessel into weather - Easy to move out of way of icebergs (ii) Can be used in water depths beyond where conventional mooring is practical (iii) Does not need anchor boats
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Disadvantages of Dynamic Positioning
(i) High fuel cost (ii) High capital cost (?) (iii) Requires an accurate positioning system to keep the vessel above the wellhead. Usually an acoustic system - triangulation
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Simple position-referencing system
H1 H2 H3

WH1 = WH2 = WH3 W

WH1 = WH3 WH2 > WH1 , WH3

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Acoustic Position Referencing
To understand the operating principles of acoustic position referencing, assume that: 1. The vessel is an equilateral triangle. 2. The kelly bushing (KB) is in the geometric center of the vessel.
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Acoustic Position Referencing
3. The hydrophones are located at the points of the triangular vessel. 4. The subsea beacon is in the center of the well. 5. No pitch, no roll, no yaw and no heave are permitted.
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Diagram of controller operations.

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