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Wellhead Fatigue Analysis Method

[+] Author Affiliations
Lorents Reinås

The University of Stavanger; Statoil ASA, Forus, Stavanger, Norway

Torfinn Ho̸rte

Det Norske Veritas, AS, Ho̸vik, Oslo, Norway

Morten Sæther

Statoil ASA, Vækero̸, Oslo, Norway

Guttorm Gryto̸yr

Det Norske Veritas (U.S.A.) Inc., Houston, TX

Paper No. OMAE2011-50026, pp. 693-703; 11 pages
  • ASME 2011 30th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering
  • Volume 1: Offshore Technology; Polar and Arctic Sciences and Technology
  • Rotterdam, The Netherlands, June 19–24, 2011
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4433-5
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


Re-completion and re-drilling of existing wells and introduction of new large drilling rig systems are elements that have led to renewed focus on the fatigue capacity for existing and new subsea wells. Due to lack of applicable codes and standards for such fatigue calculations, a unified analysis methodology has been developed and described in a Wellhead Fatigue Analysis Method Statement (MS). The intention of this work is to reflect the best practice in the industry and to provide an important contribution to well integrity management. The analysis methodology is limited to fatigue damage from dynamic riser loads present during subsea drilling and work over operations. The analysis procedure may be divided into three parts. i) A local response analysis that includes a detailed finite element model from wellhead datum and below. Interaction between the structural well components and soil structure interaction is properly accounted for. The main result from this analysis is the load-to-stress curve that describes the relationship between the riser loads at the wellhead datum and the stress at the fatigue hot spots. The analysis also provides the lower boundary conditions of the global load analysis model. ii) A global load analysis where the floating mobile drilling unit (MODU) motions and wave loads on the riser are taken into account. The results are time series or load histograms of the loads at wellhead datum, with focus on the bending moment, in all relevant environmental sea states. iii) Fatigue damage assessment, where a mapping of the loads with the relevant load to stress curve is carried out together with subsequent fatigue damage calculation. Appropriate S-N curve is applied together with wave scatter diagrams for the relevant operations and durations. The final result is the accumulated fatigue damage. With a unified analysis methodology in place particular attention is placed on a structured and specified analysis input and output. Results are suggested presented as a function of time and also as a function of key analysis input parameters that are associated with uncertainty. These are prerequisites from a well integrity management perspective in ensuring analysis results that are comparable. This paper presents the essence of the Wellhead Fatigue Analysis Method that was developed in cooperation between Statoil and DNV. Currently this analysis methodology is under extension and revision in the joint industry project (JIP) “Structural Well Integrity During Well Operations”. 11 operators participate in this JIP which also has structured cooperation with equipment suppliers, drilling companies and analysis houses. The aim is to form a wellhead analysis recommended practice document.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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