Research Papers: Offshore Technology

An Innovative Device to Enhance Conductor Bearing Capacity in Deepwater Drilling Operations

[+] Author and Article Information
Kanhua Su

School of Petroleum Engineering,
Chongqing University of Science
and Technology,
Chongqing 401331, China
e-mail: sukanhua@126.com

Jianming Yang, Stephen Butt

Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science,
Memorial University of Newfoundland,
St. John's, NL A1B 3X5, Canada

Contributed by the Ocean, Offshore, and Arctic Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF OFFSHORE MECHANICS AND ARCTIC ENGINEERING. Manuscript received January 20, 2017; final manuscript received August 17, 2017; published online September 29, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Celso P. Pesce.

J. Offshore Mech. Arct. Eng 140(1), 011302 (Sep 29, 2017) (8 pages) Paper No: OMAE-17-1014; doi: 10.1115/1.4037830 History: Received January 20, 2017; Revised August 17, 2017

Deepwater environments raise higher demand on the bearing capacity of the drilling conductor below the mudline. To deal with this problem, a conductor bearing capacity enhancement device was designed. The setting capability of this device and its axial bearing capacity were analyzed with soil mechanics and pile theory. Furthermore, a calculation model was developed, and a numerical method was used to solve for the lateral capacity, coupled with drilling platform, riser, conductor, seabed soft soil, and the device. The result shows that proper setting depth of the device is primarily determined by the property of the soil, rather than the conductor jetting operation. Additionally, appropriate determination of the diameter and wall thickness (WT) of this device can greatly improve the lateral bearing capacity of the conductor.

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Fig. 1

Conductor bearing capacity enhancement device schematic diagram

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Fig. 2

Three-dimensional assembly drawing for enhancement device

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Fig. 3

Computing process of device depth

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Fig. 4

Schematic diagram for combined strings

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Fig. 5

Effect of OD and WT on device setting depth (in soil type 1): (a) varied OD and (b) varied WT

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Fig. 6

Effect of soil parameters on device setting depth (with varied OD): (a) in soil type 2 and (b) in soil type 3

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Fig. 7

Comparison of the bending rigidity for the equivalent casing string

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Fig. 8

Effect of the device size on the lateral bearing capacity: (a) lateral displacement and (b) bending moment

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Fig. 9

Effects of the soil type on the lateral bearing capacity: (a) lateral displacement and (b) bending moment

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Fig. 10

Effects on the bearing capacity versus time at mudline: (a) lateral displacement, (b) bending moment, and (c) soil reaction force




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