Design of a Riser Recoil Control System and Validation Through Full-Scale Testing

Stahl, M.J., Hock, C.J.


This paper discusses the development of a riser recoil control system for a state-of-the-art drilling vessel. This control system, designed using computer simulation, is capable of controlling riser recoil in water depths of 3,000 to 10,000 ft and a wide range of tensions. Two full-scale tests occurred in 6600 ft of water in the Gulf of Mexico. Data from the first test, using 400 kips overpull, showed that only minor adjustments to the computer program were required. A second test, with 800 kips of overpull and only 20 ft of telescopic joint stroke occurred two days later. We believe that a riser disconnect test under these conditions is unprecedented. Data from both tests demonstrated that the system functions as intended and that the analysis method is valid.

This work shows that computer simulation is a reliable method of developing robust solutions for riser recoil control. Similar analysis is also useful in simulating existing systems to determine operating limits and investigate potential enhancements.

Stahl, M.J., Hock, C.J., "Design of a Riser Recoil Control System and Validation Through Full-Scale Testing", Proceedings of the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, SPE-62959-MS, October 1-4, 2000, Dallas, TX