Marine Riser Tensioner Systems (MRTs) are a major component of off-shore drilling platforms. The drill string is threaded down the centre of a larger diameter pipe called the riser, which is connected to the well head on the sea bed at its bottom and to the drilling platform at its top. The function of a MRT is to maintain an upward tension on the riser while making adjustments for the movements of the drilling platform.
As the drilling platform moves up and down with the waves, the riser tensioner system compensates for this movement so that the riser pipe does not buckle with downward movement or pull apart with upward movement. Failures in the MRT can have a significant impact in operations, and being able to suitably monitor these can significantly reduce cost and lost time. However, traditional monitoring systems are often unable to detect wide variations in the total system load that can be indicative of trouble ahead.
This paper from issue one of Technology Insight looks at the outcomes of a joint project between the Singapore GTC and Transocean, a major world-wide drilling contractor, working with Micron Optics to pioneer work in the application of optical sensors to monitor MRTs.
This novel adaption of the ready available technology added a new dimension to the information at Transocean’s disposal, which was previously unavailable with traditional systems based on pressure transducers. The solution contributed to a better understanding of current operations, improved foresight, and a higher level of confidence in their operations.
You can find out more about this project in by downloading the whitepaper here: