Wellhead Fatigue JIP; Source: 2H

Seven ‘major’ oil & gas players join phase II of JIP assisting with improving wellhead, riser fatigue estimates

Acteon’s subsidiary 2H Offshore, a provider of offshore engineering solutions, has launched the second phase of its measurement-based wellhead fatigue joint industry project (JIP), which aims to improve riser, wellhead, and conductor fatigue estimates while making drilling operations more reliable and efficient.

Wellhead Fatigue JIP; Source: 2H

2H highlights that seven “major” oil and gas operators have agreed to join the second phase of the JIP so far. The company has also issued an invitation to other interested industry players to participate and in turn benefit from the field data insights.

During the first phase of this project, 2H collaborated with nine operators to gather and analyse field measurements from ten drilling campaigns in the Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea. The information encompassed a range of environments, water depths, soil characteristics, riser and wellhead configurations, and vessel types.

According to the company, the findings from the analysis verified that industry assumptions for wave and vortex-induced vibration (VIV) fatigue assessments are conservative while the remaining fatigue life tends to be higher than that determined by typical design methods. The firm believes that a more accurate prediction of remaining fatigue life can eliminate the need for costly mitigation methods or unnecessary upgrades and downtime during severe events.

Therefore, the field data analysed from the first phase will be used during the second phase to explain uncertainties identified in the riser, wellhead, and conductor fatigue analysis. Based on 2H’s statement, the findings will further improve the accuracy of future wellhead fatigue assessments and provide an industry consensus on design methodology.

Bulent Mercan, 2H Project Manager, commented: “Wellhead and conductor fatigue challenges have become more prevalent in recent years due to the use of newer generation vessels with larger blowout preventers (BOPs) and longer drilling operations being conducted in more harsh environments. The first phase of the measurement-based wellhead fatigue JIP proved to be a great industry collaboration to solve this problem through sharing resources.

“A reliable set of analytical parameters leveraging diverse field measurements will lead to improved accuracy and more efficient drilling operations. There are a lot of learnings from the field measurements. We plan to further utilise the datasets to address some uncertainties in the analysis. The findings will be used in the near term to increase the accuracy of wave and VIV fatigue assessments and will eventually inform a revision of industry riser design codes.”