Subsea oil and gas production involves assemblies such as trees, manifolds, and pipelines that are installed on sea floor. Each of these components is exposed to severe working conditions throughout its operational life and is difficult and expensive to repair or retrieve installed. During installation and operation, a rig/platform and several supply vessels are stationed on the waterline directly above the well and installed equipment below. If any object is to be dropped overboard, it presents a hazard to the installed equipment. A subsea tree comprises of a number of critical components such as valves and hydraulic actuators, in addition to several electrical components such as the subsea control module and pressure/temperature gauges. Their ability to operate correctly is vital to the safe production of oil and gas. If an object were to impact and damage these components, resulting in their inability to operate as intended, the consequences could be severe. In this paper, a typical subsea tree frame is analyzed to ensure its ability to withstand the impact from an object accidentally dropped overboard. This was accomplished using nonlinear dynamic Finite Element Analysis (FEA). In this study, the framework was struck by a rigid body at terminal velocity, resulting in a given impact energy. Displacements and resultant strain values at critical locations were then compared to allowable limits to ensure compliance to the design requirements.
Dropped Object Impact Analysis of Subsea Tree Frame
Karpanan, K, & Hamilton-Smith, C. "Dropped Object Impact Analysis of Subsea Tree Frame." Proceedings of the ASME 2014 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference. Volume 4: Fluid-Structure Interaction. Anaheim, California, USA. July 20–24, 2014. V004T04A092. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/PVP2014-28742
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