13 May 2015 Operational verification of a blow out preventer utilizing fiber Bragg grating based strain gauges
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Abstract
Ultra-deep water BOP (Blowout Preventer) operation poses numerous challenges in obtaining accurate knowledge of current system integrity and component condition- a salient example is the difficulty of verifying closure of the pipe and shearing rams during and after well control events. Ascertaining the integrity of these functions is currently based on a manual volume measurement performed with a stop watch. Advances in sensor technology now permit more accurate methods of BOP condition monitoring. Fiber optic sensing technology and particularly fiber optic strain gauges have evolved to a point where we can derive a good representation of what is happening inside a BOP by installing sensors on the outside shell. Function signatures can be baselined to establish thresholds that indicate successful function activation. Based on this knowledge base, signal variation over time can then be utilized to assess degradation of these functions and subsequent failure to function. Monitoring the BOP from the outside has the advantage of gathering data through a system that can be interfaced with risk based integrity management software and/or a smart monitoring system that analyzes BOP control redundancies without the requirement of interfacing with OEM control systems. The paper will present the results of ongoing work on a fully instrumented 13-½” 10,000 psi pipe ram. Instrumentation includes commonly used pressure transducers, accelerometers, flow meters, and optical strain gauges. Correlation will be presented between flow, pressure, acceleration signatures and the fiber optic strain gauge’s response as it relates to functional verification and component level degradation trending.
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Alan L. Turner, Philippe Loustau, Dan Thibodeau, "Operational verification of a blow out preventer utilizing fiber Bragg grating based strain gauges", Proc. SPIE 9480, Fiber Optic Sensors and Applications XII, 94800E (13 May 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2177085; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2177085
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