Drilling Rigs & AutomationNews

DNV GL launches decision support tool for BOP retrievals

DNV GL has launched the BOP-RDT, a real-time risk-informed BOP retrieval decision support tool to enable operators to determine when to retrieve the BOP for repair after a detected component failure. Developed at the company’s R&D center in Rio de Janeiro, the tool provides a comprehensive decision support system, using quantitative and qualitative methods to assist the decision-making process by substantially reducing the degree of subjectivity.

“Any failure in a BOP during drilling is undoubtedly a cause for concern,” said Luiz Fernando Oliveira, developer of the tool and Manager at the Rio R&D center. “However, not all component failures are equally significant. Though some may lead to the total loss of a BOP critical safety function, others may have no impact on its continued safe use. Therefore, it is important to determine as concisely as possible when to leave it alone or retrieve it for immediate repair. This tool reduces uncertainty and improves decision-making on individual cases, ultimately saving on the costly implications of downtime during drilling.”

In deepwater the cost of a BOP retrieval for repair can be in the region of $1 million or $2 million and in ultra-deepwater conditions such as Brazil, West Africa and Gulf of Mexico this can easily double.

Using deterministic criteria, the BOP-RDT applies a detailed qualitative method to help guide decision-making. This is based on the losses of redundancy resulting from the impact of detected failures on the reliability structure-function of all BOP critical safety functions included in the system. The tool also offers a fully quantitative risk-informed decision support system. This is based on an advanced time-dependent reliability analysis of each safety function before (normal condition) and after one or more detected component or subsystem failures. Alternatively, a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods and criteria can be used to guide the BOP retrieval decision and allow for its use in different regions of the world.

This complex information, obtained by numerical computational algorithms, is transformed into a very intuitive graphic visualization user interface. As a result, users will be presented with color-coded indicators of the reliability degradation of each BOP safety function due to any detected component or subsystem failure in the BOP.

Retrieving a BOP is a necessary but expensive operation, costing upwards of $1 million to $2 million. This cost can easily escalate in developing ultra-deepwater regions, such as Brazil, West Africa and Gulf of Mexico. It is also the main cause of downtime during drilling activity.

“Brazil attracts the world’s highest offshore capital expenditure on oil and gas developments, especially for deepwater,” said Alexandre Imperial, Regional Manager, Southern America, DNV GL – Oil & Gas. “International oil companies understand the huge untapped oil and gas potential offshore. Like any operator, in any region in the world, cost efficiencies can be gained from making the right decision, quickly and effectively. This new tool, which was developed at our R&D center in Brazil, provides technical, financial and reputational benefits to operators.

“It is very user-friendly, fully customizable to each BOP and does not require risk or reliability experience to use it. As it improves consistency of BOP retrieval decisions, while providing a track record of failed and restored components, it gives stakeholders increased transparency on drilling activity. Its main purpose is to ultimately reduce BOP downtime while maintaining acceptable safety margins.”

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