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research-article

Dynamic Performance of Annular Blowout Preventer Hydraulic Seals in Deepwater Environments

[+] Author and Article Information
Mete Mutlu

ASME Member, University of Houston, N207 Engineering Bldg. 1, 4726 Calhoun Road, Houston, TX 77204
mmutlu@uh.edu

Yingjie Tang

ASME Member, University of Houston, N207 Engineering Bldg. 1, 4726 Calhoun Road, Houston, TX 77204
ytang23@central.uh.edu

Matthew A. Franchek

ASME Member, University of Houston, N207 Engineering Bldg. 1, 4726 Calhoun Road, Houston, TX 77204
mfranchek@central.uh.edu

Rob Turlak

Transocean Inc., 4 Greenway Plaza, Houston, TX 77046
rob.turlak@deepwater.com

Jose Gutierrez

Transocean Inc., 4 Greenway Plaza, Houston, TX 77046
jose.gutierrez@deepwater.com

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4040391 History: Received August 02, 2017; Revised May 08, 2018

Abstract

Presented is the performance analysis of annular blowout preventer reciprocating elastomer hydraulic seals operating in subsea environments. The method is based on a systems level model that combines the effects of friction, material mechanical properties of the seal, installation compression, subsea hydrostatic pressure, and control system dynamics into one model. The model is calibrated using data from tests conducted on the surface and then validated on subsea operational data. Through model simulations, it will be shown that insufficient installation squeeze of the seal in combination with low elasticity seal material result in cases where the seal does not leak at the surface but show substantial internal leakage in subsea conditions. Leakage is also observed under dynamic operation when the walls of the seal groove do not energize the seal. The proposed model based analysis method in conjunction with surface level testing offer a new paradigm in evaluating reciprocating seal subsea performance a priori of subsea operation thereby avoiding costly downtimes and subsea failures.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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