In order to facilitate real-time monitoring of accumulated wellhead fatigue damage, it is necessary to measure the wellhead bending moment in real-time. This paper presents a novel method to estimate the wellhead bending moment in realtime using acceleration and inclination data from the motion reference unit (MRU) sensors installed on BOP and LRJ, riser tension data and a trained neural network model. The method proposed in this paper is designed with a Recursive Neural Network (RNN) model to be trained to estimate the wellhead bending moment in real-time with high accuracy based on motion MRU sensor data and riser tension time series of a few previous cycles. In addition to the power of modeling complex nonlinearities, RNNs provide the advantage of better capturing the dynamic effects by learning to recognize the patterns in the sensor data and riser tension time series.

The RNN model is trained using virtual sensor data and wellhead bending moment from a finite element (FE) model of the drilling riser subjected to irregular wave time domain analyses based on a training matrix with limited number of significant height (Hs) and peak period (Tp) combinations. Once trained, tested and deployed, the RNN model can make real-time estimation of the wellhead bending moment based on MRU sensor data and riser tension time series. The RNN model can be an efficient and accurate alternative to a physical model based on the indirect method for real-time calculation of wellhead bending moment using real-time sensor data. A case study is presented to explain the training procedures for the RNN model. A set of test cases that are not included in the training dataset are used to demonstrate the accuracy of the RNN model using Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE), Normalized Root Mean Squared Error (NRMSE) and coefficient of determination (R2) as a metrics.

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