The Realtime Fatigue Monitoring System (RFMS) provides field measurements of stress and fatigue on drilling risers, wellheads and other subsea systems in near real time (online versions) or in a short time after data is retrieved (offline versions). The RFMS significantly advances riser integrity management by using advanced algorithms to reconstruct stress and fatigue damage along the entire riser while measuring data at a fewer locations, and by integrating this approach into a fully automated, real-time environment.
The RFMS provides a basis for understanding all the fatigue loads on a wellhead system. Understanding the loads and managing the loads on the system ensures that the integrity of the system is not compromised, and protects the environment from any potential discharge of hydrocarbons. As a result, drilling engineers are empowered with a tool that provides real-time data on the integrity of the drilling riser, enabling informed decisions to be made in adverse environments that increase safety and efficiency of drilling operations.
The RFMS can also significantly reduce downtime with commensurate cost savings. The real-time stress and fatigue information provided by the RFMS will prove increasingly useful as riser design boundaries are extended, and as structural integrity management becomes a preeminent concern in deepwater drilling and production operations. Ultimately, a sufficient amount of quality field data are expected to lead to improved model validation and simulation accuracy, and a more focused inspection and integrity management program. Additionally, the accumulated fatigue damage estimates may be tracked on a per-joint basis as the riser joints are rotated among different well sites, thereby aiding decisions regarding the frequency of joint inspection intervals.