PSA announces subsea wellhead fatigue seminar

Source: The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) invites you to a seminar on wellhead fatigue in a system perspective. The focus is integrity, learning, sharing experience and preventing major accidents.

The goal of the seminar is to increase the general knowledge on issues related to wellhead fatigue for subsea facilities, as well as to share experiences in the industry. The main focus is on a system and big picture mindset from the drilling facility via the drilling riser to subsea facility and down into the well.

The seminar is free and will be held in English.

Subsea wells have existed in the oil industry since the early 1960s, but until the late 1980s, this was a rare development solution.

Norway has been in the driver’s seat in the technology development with several large subsea developments in the 1990s and 2000s. The efforts have led to considerable expertise on the part of operating companies, suppliers, consultant firms and research institutions. Norway has also been a key contributor in the development of standards in the area.

The development towards higher pressure and temperature, deeper water and more inhospitable areas, has led to major changes in equipment in relation to subsea facilities. Both the equipment on the seabed and facilities for drilling and intervention have increased substantially in weight and size.

If you combine this with demanding Norwegian weather conditions, we can see a major change in the loads which subsea wells, primarily the wellhead (connection point with riser and rig), are exposed to.

Calculation methods, standards and documentation of loads have not followed this development. In order to gain an overall picture of the loads, it is vital to look at all of the contributors in the system, from the drilling facility on the sea surface via the drilling riser to the subsea facility and down into the well. The dependency between components and systems means that there are challenges in relation to a complete overview of loads in the system and uncertainties in relation to estimation of the total load scenario.

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