Pulse Structural Monitoring (Pulse), an Acteon company, has provided a real-time wellhead fatigue monitoring system for drilling and well testing operations on the Lancaster Discovery, west of Shetland in the UK North Sea.
The well operator, Hurricane Energy plc, wanted to check the wellhead fatigue model during drilling operations to prevent significant damage. Real-time monitoring of the motion of the lower marine riser package (LMRP) provided early warning of excessive LMRP movement and instant visualisation of any wellhead fatigue damage from the rig.
The well was drilled horizontally through fractured granite basement to obtain commercial flow and protect the Lancaster asset. The monitoring system was in place for both the drilling and testing phases of well operations. The potentially harsh environmental conditions encountered west of Shetland posed several operational challenges for Hurricane; and the decision to install the monitoring system was part of the company’s intense focus on safety throughout this high-profile operation.
The Pulse system used a combination of INTEGRIpod™ motion data loggers with an acoustic Doppler current profiler for measuring current speed and direction through depth. A real-time, hazardous-area rated motion logger installed topside measured vessel motion and identified its effect on the motion of the subsea blowout preventer–LMRP stack. Pulse installed an operator station on the rig running its proprietary DrillASSURE™ software and programmed alarms to provide instant warning of any predefined operating limits being exceeded.
Brian Taylor, Head of Sales, Pulse, said: “This contract shows that the demand for integrity monitoring services is going beyond the traditional majors and international oil companies; independent companies are now taking a proactive approach to asset integrity management. Pulse has supported several independent operators on the UK Continental Shelf with the provision of integrity monitoring systems, either during exploration or workover of existing wells. This contract underlines our ability to provide flexible monitoring systems to meet the requirements and budgets of offshore operators.”