As offshore field developments move into deeper water, one of the greatest challenges is in designing riser systems capable of overcoming the added risks of more severe environments, complicated well requirements and uncertainty of operating conditions. The failure of a primary riser component could lead to unacceptable consequences, including environmental damage, lost production and possible injury or loss of human life. Identification of the risks facing riser systems and management of these risks are essential to ensure that riser systems operate without failure. Operators have recognized the importance of installing instrumentation such as global positioning systems (GPS), vessel motion measurement packages, wind and wave sensors and Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) units to monitor vessel motions and environmental conditions. Additionally, high precision monitoring equipment has been developed for capturing riser response. Measured data from these instruments allow an operator to determine when the limits of acceptable response, predicted by analysis or determined by physical limitations of the riser components, have been exceeded. Regular processing of measured data through automated routines ensures that integrity can be quickly assessed. This is particularly important following extreme events, such as a hurricane or loop current. High and medium alert levels are set for each parameter, based on design analysis and operating data. Measured data is compared with these alert levels, and when an alert level is reached, further response evaluation or inspection of the components in question is recommended. This paper will describe the role of offshore monitoring in an integrity management program and discuss the development of alert levels based on potential failure modes of the riser systems. The paper will further demonstrate how this process is key for an effective integrity management program for deepwater riser systems.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.