HOUSTON – With proper planning, design, analysis, and early updating of manufacturing specifications, fatigue damage to a wellhead can be managed from drilling and completion through workover and abandonment .
In a presentation prepared for the 2011 Offshore Technology Conference, experts from Cameron International and 2H Offshore Engineering said that drilling and completion during favorable weather, a complete understanding of the conductor structural capabilities, and manufacturing with the best welds possible and NDE processes for verification can extend the life if a wellhead system .
The study used wave-induced first order fatigue and a rigid wellhead system in typical drilling mode for its analysis. This highlighted the importance of making fatigue assessments for each specific well to account for the exact equipment and conditions at each location.
The authors found that by taking into consideration the fatigue implications early in the design and configuration phase, changes, if needed, can be implemented during equipment design and manufacture much more readily than later in the cycle. They also pointed out the uncertainty in fatigue capacity definition due to uncontrolled parameters such as drilling duration and weather.