Subsea Condition Monitoring: Does Effective Diagnosis Increase Availability?

Fig. 2 - Failure distribution for subsea control modules based on OREDA.

The challenges encountered in deepwater development have led to the use of increasingly complex subsea systems. Consequently, operators have become more reliant on subsea monitoring equipment and instrumentation to provide field information for understanding production and equipment conditions. Production monitoring is typically the field operator’s main priority, and equipment condition and performance are sometimes overlooked, resulting in equipment failures and long production downtimes because of unplanned maintenance.

Equipment failures often occur without warning and may sometimes, when caused by environmental factors, become inevitable. To determine the cause, field operators sift through vast amounts of distributed data from the subsea control system.

The system downtime can be reduced and system availability can be increased by performing effective equipment diagnosis. With the current low-oil-price environment, subsea operators are looking to maximize returns on investment, and condition-based monitoring offers the possibility of lowering operational expenses while increasing field production.

Condition Monitoring

Condition monitoring is a proactive maintenance strategy combining software and people. Data are used to diagnose changes in the integrity of a system such that corrective action may be planned in a cost-effective manner to increase system availability. Condition monitoring is not a novel technology and is currently used in the aeronautical and automobile industries. The condition monitoring system takes integrity monitoring beyond traditional key performance indicators by utilizing all available data and information from the system and looking for trends of equipment degradation prior to equipment failure.

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Subsea Condition Monitoring: Does Effective Diagnosis Increase Availability?

Chen Yuru Serene, FMC Technologies, and Leong Pei Chze, Forsys Subsea

25 November 2015

Volume: 67 | Issue: 12