As HPHT activity continues to grow and well conditions become more severe, more advanced analysis methods are required. Thermal/heat transfer and structural Finite Element Analyses (FEA) play a fundamental role in the design of subsea equipment for HPHT application.

The objective of this study is to evaluate the effect of seawater convective heat transfer coefficient on design verification of a subsea drilling connector in the HPHT environment (bore pressure more than 15,000 psi, and/or bore temperature more than 300°F). The design verification work contains the elastic-plastic assessments including protection against plastic collapse (global), local failure, hydrotest and ratcheting criteria. The fatigue study is also performed per ASME Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code, Section VIII, Div. 3, Article KD-4 in compliance with API 17TR8. The effect of seawater convective heat transfer coefficient on the global, ratcheting and fatigue criteria is studied/presented. Results show that the higher value of heat transfer coefficient (convection) results in more thermal gradients through assembly causing higher stress and plastic strain deformation in the connector components and lower fatigue life.

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