Waiting on weather (WoW) can lead to significant and previously unavoidable downtime for operators. The introduction of DeltaTek’s stress and fatigue elimination technology, ArticuLock®, to the subsea market has opened up the weather window for the deployment of subsea architecture through the decoupling of the fixed MODU from the equipment being run.
ArticuLock® eliminates stress through a ball and socket concept that allows for +/- 15 degrees of articulation whilst the tool is in the unlocked position, with an optional locking sleeve or clamp to hold the tool in a rigid axial position when required.
Adding value to operations
ArticuLock® has added significant value to operations in what are recognised as some of the harshest drilling environments in the world.
Looking into an offshore South Africa deployment as an example, auxiliary operations on a dual activity MODU in the south-west corner of Block 11B had previously been impossible. The reason being the significant environmental loading caused by primarily high current, subjected an unacceptably large bending and fatigue load on the suspended casing, wellhead architecture/running tool and landing string system, whilst operations on main were ongoing.
The deployment of two ArticuLock® tools per string, with one above the wellhead running tool and the other in the moonpool, allowed the decoupling of the fixed MODU from the hanging casing strings, enabling dual operations to be conducted safely.
The technology also demonstrated its pump through and torque through capability with >1700 bbls of cement pumped through the tool, with 15kNm of torque applied to release the CART.
The enablement of dual activities on the MODU saved 14 days from top hole operations and contributed towards the customer’s net-zero goals, with thousands of metric tonnes of CO2 saved.
ArticuLock® also has the capability to extend the weather window for the deployment of subsea trees and can expedite the installation or removal of tree-caps in misaligned trees.
Modelling performed by 2H Offshore shows the significant increase in the safe operating envelope when installing a tree with the assistance of ArticuLock®. This demonstrates that operations can continue safely in significant wave height that would have previously led to downtime.
The team at DeltaTek are continually striving to learn of new applications for ArticuLock® through discussions with our customers and industry experts.
Please engage with DeltaTek’s Market Research Analyst, Andrew Thomson (Andrew.Thomson@DeltaTekGlobal.com), as he conducts a research project into further alternative applications for ArticuLock®. This will allow DeltaTek to continue to optimise our customers’ operations through our stress and fatigue eliminating technology.