Submerged, Buoyant Wellhead Or Riser Patents (Class 166/350)
  • Patent number: 8474538
    Abstract: A connector assembly that can be used to connect a tension ring to a telescoping joint on a riser by using a lower set of hydraulically actuated dogs. A set of hydraulically actuated hang-off dogs on the connector assembly can be used to connect the tension ring to a diverter housing mounted on a rig. To prevent accidental disengagement of the hang-off dogs, a hydraulically actuated lock ring is used to provide a positive stop against the back of the hang-off dogs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2013
    Assignee: Vetco Gray Inc.
    Inventors: David Andrew Wallace, Martin Urquhart
  • Patent number: 8430170
    Abstract: A bottom-to-surface connection installation of at least two undersea pipes (10a, 10b) resting on the sea bottom, the installation comprising: 1) a first hybrid tower comprising: a) a vertical riser (1a) anchored (3a) to a first base and connected to a said undersea pipe (10a) resting on the sea bottom and having its top end connected to a first sub-surface float (2a); and b) a first connection pipe (4a) preferably a flexible pipe, providing the connection between a floating support (11) and the top end of said riser; and 2) at least one second rigid pipe (1b) rising from the sea bottom on which it rests (10b) or from a second undersea pipe resting on the sea bottom to which its bottom end is connected, said bottom end not being anchored at said first base, up to the sub-surface where its top end is connected to a second float (2b) situated substantially at the same depth as said first float (2a) and fastened to said first float at least respectively a flexible second connection pipe (2b) providing its c
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2013
    Assignee: Saipem S.A.
    Inventor: François-Régis Pionetti
  • Patent number: 8425156
    Abstract: An underwater buoy for hanging a duct between a sea bed and the surface, the buoy including a frame and a plurality of modular members mounted in the frame, the modular members extending between their two opposite modular-member ends, the frame including a longitudinal body for receiving the extended tubular duct, and retainers mounted on the body for maintaining the modular members substantially parallel to the body. The retainers include two retaining structures spaced from each other along the body. The retaining structures are maintained in a fixed position relative to each other in order to hold at least one modular member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2013
    Assignee: Technip France
    Inventor: Pierre-Armand Thomas
  • Publication number: 20130092387
    Abstract: Systems, computer readable medium, program code, and methods for monitoring and managing a plurality of marine riser assets are provided. An example of a system includes a computer and a computer readable medium containing a program code of instructions that when executed by the computer, cause the computer to perform operations for tracking the subsea deployment and retrieval of each of a plurality of riser joints. The operations can include receiving riser joint identification data from a riser joint identification indicator connected to the respective riser joint during the operational deployment thereof, and identifying the respective riser joint being operationally deployed to thereby track the deployment thereof. The operations can also include receiving riser joint identification data from the riser identification indicator of the respective riser joint during retrieval thereof, and identifying the respective one or more riser joints being retrieved to thereby track the retrieval thereof.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 6, 2012
    Publication date: April 18, 2013
    Applicant: VETCO GRAY INC.
    Inventor: Vetco Gray Inc.
  • Publication number: 20130087342
    Abstract: A riser system and method including a bore submerged surface package of valves, a cross over assembly with a high pressure-low pressure connector connected to the bore submerged surface package of valves, a high pressure insert, and a telescoping flow tube. The riser system also include a high pressure bore subsea stack, a low pressure slip joint, a tension ring, a flex joint, a diverter, a mandrel capable of interfacing with the high pressure-low pressure connector, a high pressure mandrel crossover and at least one high pressure insert riser joint, a high pressure-low pressure latch, a telescoping flow tube telescopic conduit, at least one telescoping flow tube latch, a telescoping flow tube low pressure flex joint, a telescoping flow tube main housing, or a rotating control device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 4, 2012
    Publication date: April 11, 2013
    Applicant: HELIX ENERGY SOLUTIONS GROUP, INC.
    Inventor: HELIX ENERGY SOLUTIONS GROUP, INC.
  • Patent number: 8387703
    Abstract: A tube buoyancy can system for tensioning a top tension riser. In some embodiments, the system includes a tubular can coupled to the top tension riser and a pressurized gas system configured to selectably inject pressurized gas into the tubular can. The tubular can includes an enclosed upper end having at least one closeable opening therethough, an open lower end configured to allow seawater to flow freely into and out of the tubular can, and an inner surface extending therebetween. The inner surface is devoid of structural obstructions which substantially inhibit the free flow of seawater through the lower end. When the opening is open, the tubular can is ballasted by seawater. When the opening is closed and pressurized gas is injected into the tubular can, the tubular can is de-ballasted of seawater.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2013
    Assignee: Horton Wison Deepwater, Inc.
    Inventors: Lyle David Finn, Edmund Muehlner
  • Patent number: 8371385
    Abstract: The device described herein combines a subsea wellhead and a tree mandrel into a single piece. The wellhead includes a tree valve block having an upper and lower section. The lower valve block section is integral with the wellhead and includes access between the production line and the tubing annulus to the main bore of the wellhead.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2013
    Assignee: Vetco Gray Inc.
    Inventor: Caspar G. Lewis
  • Publication number: 20120325487
    Abstract: Systems and methods for stabilizing a riser or similar object against motion can include engaging two or more cylinder apparatus to the object. Communication of fluid between cylinder apparatus, responsive to a force on the object, can limit movement of the object, such as through extension or retraction of pistons within the cylinders. The cylinder apparatus can include internal channels that can accommodate coiled tubing, slickline, wireline, and similar conduits or devices, enabling operations to be performed through the cylinders, independent of their position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 23, 2011
    Publication date: December 27, 2012
    Inventor: David Wright
  • Patent number: 8333243
    Abstract: A tensioner anti-rotation device and method that transfers rotational force from an offshore platform deck to a riser in response to waves and currents. The device includes a bracket mounted on the deck, and a rib that transfers force from the deck through the bracket, to the rib, and into the riser such that the tensioners on the riser are not subjected to torque.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 18, 2012
    Assignee: Vetco Gray Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph W. Pallini, Jr., Fife B. Ellis
  • Patent number: 8322438
    Abstract: An offshore drilling riser joint has a central riser pipe, a number of auxiliary lines mounted around it, and a buoyancy module assembly of a buoyant material. A pair of upper thrust sleeves slide over two of the auxiliary lines, each of the upper thrust sleeves having a flange in contact with an upper end of the buoyancy module assembly. Each of the upper thrust sleeves transfer upward thrust imposed by the buoyancy module assembly to an upper support flange mounted to the central riser pipe. A pair of lower thrust sleeves slide over two of the auxiliary lines. Each lower thrust sleeve has a lower thrust flange that is engaged by a lower end of the buoyancy module assembly. Each of the lower thrust sleeves transfer weight of the buoyancy module assembly while out of water to a lower support flange mounted to the central riser pipe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2012
    Assignee: Vetco Gray Inc.
    Inventors: Eric D. Larson, Rick L. Stringfellow, Jesse L. Bullard, Jim R. Reams
  • Publication number: 20120298373
    Abstract: The disclosure relates to an assembly including a supporting buoy and an anchoring assembly (28) comprising a base (100) attached to the bed (12) of the expanse of water. The assembly comprises a flexible anchoring line (30) connecting the anchoring assembly (28) to the supporting buoy (26). The anchoring line (30) comprises a lower section (84) made of chain links (92). The anchoring assembly (28) comprises a device (110) for guiding the lower section (84). The lower section (84) is movably mounted in the guide device (110) relative to the base (100), between an extended configuration and a contracted configuration, and a locking member (114) which can be released from the anchor line (30) on the anchoring assembly (28).
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 4, 2011
    Publication date: November 29, 2012
    Inventors: Ange Luppi, Philippe Espinasse
  • Publication number: 20120247782
    Abstract: A marine riser includes one or more buoyancy modules running along a length of the marine riser, wherein the one or more buoyancy modules are molded such that an umbilical may be secured along a length of the one or more buoyancy modules.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 30, 2012
    Publication date: October 4, 2012
    Applicant: DEEP DOWN, INC.
    Inventor: Ron Smith
  • Patent number: 8256993
    Abstract: Disclosed is a riser tower structure including a plurality of elongate objects. The riser tower structure is provided with blocks, preferably of buoyant material, along at least part of its length. The blocks provide the riser tower with a substantially circular cross-sectional profile, wherein one or more strakes are provided on the outside of the blocks. The strakes in a main embodiment are helical. Also disclosed is a corresponding method of constructing such a riser tower structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 11, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2012
    Assignee: Subsea 7 (COM) Inc.
    Inventors: Jean-Pierre Branchut, Michael Middel
  • Patent number: 8172481
    Abstract: An undersea installation for transporting hydrocarbons between a seabed and a surface and to a method for installing same. The installation includes a tubular undersea pipeline, a float and a coupling device. The undersea pipeline has a rising part, a connecting part and an intermediate portion. The coupling device includes a first longitudinal part and a second part connected in a coupling region of the first part. The coupling region of the first longitudinal part and the float being configured to be connected together. The first part is configured to pivot about the coupling region while bending the intermediate portion when the rising part is unwound and tilts towards the seabed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2012
    Assignee: Technip France
    Inventor: Ange Luppi
  • Patent number: 8136599
    Abstract: The invention provides a marine riser apparatus (1) for use in the production of hydrocarbons from offshore wells and an associated method of installation of the apparatus at sea. The riser tower comprises rigid pipelines arranged in a riser tower bundle (2) and extending from a wellhead on the seabed (4) to a point below the sea surface where they are connected to flexible jumpers (3) which extend from the tower structure to connect the tower structure to a surface vessel or platform (5). The riser apparatus further comprises a buoyancy device (7) attached to the riser tower bundle, such that the buoyancy device is located above and exerts a buoyancy force on the riser tower, the buoyancy module also supporting an intermediate section of at least one of the jumpers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2012
    Assignee: Acergy France S.A.
    Inventor: Vincent Marcel Ghislain Alliot
  • Publication number: 20120061091
    Abstract: Methods, systems, and program product for monitoring and managing a plurality of marine riser assets are provided. An example of a method includes tracking the subsea deployment and retrieval of each of a plurality of riser joints. This can include deploying the plurality of riser joints from a vessel to form an operationally deployed marine riser string, reading riser joint identification data from a riser joint identification indicator connected to the respective riser joint during the operational deployment thereof, and identifying the respective riser joint being operationally deployed to thereby track the deployment thereof. The method can also include retrieving one or more of the operationally deployed riser joints, reading riser joint identification data from the riser identification indicator of the respective riser joint during retrieval thereof, identifying the respective one or more riser joints being retrieved to thereby track the retrieval thereof.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 18, 2011
    Publication date: March 15, 2012
    Applicant: Vetco Gray Inc.
    Inventor: Amin Radi
  • Publication number: 20120055677
    Abstract: The present invention is directed a rotating flow control diverter having a riser adapter. The riser adapter allows the rotating flow control diverter to be positioned in a riser string below the drilling platform. The rotating flow control diverter has two flanged connections that connect to the flanged connections of riser pipe such that the rotating flow control diverter becomes an integral part of the riser string. The rotating flow control device has means to circulate lubricating fluid in the bearing assembly without the need for external feed lines.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 31, 2011
    Publication date: March 8, 2012
    Inventor: Michael Boyd
  • Publication number: 20120006557
    Abstract: A cap is lowered onto and secured to a subsea member with an external flange, effecting a seal between the external flange and cap. The cap includes a tubular outer body defining a cavity, and a tubular inner body defining a bore, wherein the lower end of the inner body resides within the cavity. The cap also includes a lower engaging member coupled to the outer body that is radially movable between an inward state and an outward state and configured to alternately engage and disengage at least one of a backside of the external flange. Finally, the cap includes an upper engaging member coupled to the outer body and being radially movable independently of the lower engaging member between an inward state and an outward state and configured to engage and disengage the inner body.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 21, 2010
    Publication date: January 12, 2012
    Inventors: Thomas A. Fraser, John G. Landthrip, Eric D. Larson, Dale Norman, Jamie C. Gamble, Satish N. Ramasheshaiah, Sara N. Riddle, James R. Reams
  • Patent number: 8083439
    Abstract: A riser support system for use in a body of water comprises a buoyant and ballastable support structure and a plurality of substantially vertical and rigid risers each of which is attached to the inside of the support structure at a location below the center of buoyancy of the support structure and below the surface of the body of water. Usually, each riser passes through the inside of a single tube in the support structure. Typically, the riser support system is used to support a plurality of risers and their surface wellheads inside the hull of an offshore platform, usually in such a manner that the axial movement of the risers and support structure is independent of the axial movement of the hull.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 27, 2011
    Assignee: Union Oil Company of California
    Inventor: Stephen B. Wetch
  • Publication number: 20110303416
    Abstract: A specialized conduit 10 of undetermined length with an emergency disconnecting flange or coupling 9B as well as lower flared fittings and O-rings at the lower end of specialized conduit: a) for sealing conduit to wellhead casing liner and b) cleaning wellhead casing liner during entry and said specialized conduit has an upper reinforced tapered shroud over the specialized conduit that when inserted into wellhead casing liner creates a tight metal to metal seal and said specialized conduit tip is reinforced with a machined stainless steel nose piece and upper end of specialized conduit is fitted or formed with coupling or bolt flange to attach to a new LMRP, creating a Lower Emergency Marine Riser (LEMR) to insert into a wellhead for rapid replacement of defective BOP creating immediate and uninterrupted well production and simultaneous containment.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 14, 2010
    Publication date: December 15, 2011
    Inventor: JOHN WAYNE HERMAN, II
  • Patent number: 8074720
    Abstract: A system, program product, and method for monitoring and managing a plurality of marine riser assets is provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 13, 2011
    Assignee: Vetco Gray Inc.
    Inventor: Amin Radi
  • Publication number: 20110290499
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus for installing deepwater completions and performing well intervention from a vessel that can perform other duties while not running completions or performing interventions. The system for installing deepwater completions and performing well intervention may comprise a surface pipe handling and deployment package including a horizontally operated rig that may also be operated in a slanted mode. Deepwater completions may be deployed from the vessel via a buoyant horizontal riser (BHR), which may be supported by a submerged buoyant tensioning system (BTS). In this manner, the cost of performing completion or intervention operations may be significantly reduced compared to such operations run from a drilling rig.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 31, 2011
    Publication date: December 1, 2011
    Inventors: Ronald Van Petegem, Kevin Quick, Egill Abrahamsen, Brian Michael Carline, Karsten Heidecke, Doyle Frederick Boutwell, JR.
  • Patent number: 8047297
    Abstract: A system for and method of limiting and controlling the unintended subsurface release of an exploration or production riser system is provided including one or more means for anchoring the riser or casing stack at one or more pre-determined points upon the length of the riser, and/or on the housing of an associated buoyancy chamber or the like, and/or on a particular portion of the riser as dictated by the operational environment, and/or on an anchor portion secured in the sea floor; and a network of restraining members disposed on the anchoring means. A lower anchoring portion includes one or more anchors disposed in communication with a wellhead, or with the sea floor or below the sea floor mud line, or with a well casing portion. A network of restraining members forms an essentially continuous connection from the buoyancy member portion to said bottom anchor portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 1, 2011
    Assignee: Anadarko Petroleum Corporation
    Inventors: Keith K. Millheim, Eric E. Maidla, Charles H. King
  • Patent number: 7975769
    Abstract: The invention relates to a hydrocarbon exploration system, comprising a first vessel (1) having a turret (3) around which the vessel can weathervane, the turret being moored to the sea bed (4), and a second vessel (7) connected with at least one riser (12) to a subsea well (5), the first vessel (1) being connected to the second vessel via a fluid transfer duct (20) comprising a first end section (23) attached to the turret of the first vessel (1), a substantially horizontal mid section (24), and a second end section (22) attached at or near the second vessel (7), the second vessel (7) weighing between 2,000 and 15,000 ton its base being attached to the sea bed via taut tendons (9), the weight exerted by the fluid transfer duct (20) on the second vessel being below 1,000 ton, a power generator being situated on the first vessel (1), power being transferred from the power generator via an electrical swivel on the first vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 12, 2011
    Assignee: Single Buoy Moorings Inc.
    Inventors: Jack Pollack, Hein Wille
  • Publication number: 20110114329
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for providing a controllable supply of fluid, and optionally power and/or communication signals, to a subsea equipment are provided. The fluid may be a water-based fluid, oil-based fluid, or chemicals. The apparatus includes a reservoir disposed on a seabed for storing a supply of fluid for delivery to the subsea well equipment. A subsea pumping device is configured to receive the fluid from the reservoir, pressurize the fluid, and deliver the pressurized fluid to an accumulator of a hydraulic power unit disposed on the seabed. The hydraulic power unit can store the pressurized fluid and control an output of the pressurized fluid to the subsea well equipment, thereby providing a subsea fluid source for the subsea equipment.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 18, 2009
    Publication date: May 19, 2011
    Inventors: Chukwuemeka U. Emecheta, Thomas E. O'Donnell, Omid Oujani, Hailing An, Baha T. Tanju, George Siappas
  • Publication number: 20110108281
    Abstract: The method of providing flotation modules on subsea drilling riser joints comprising providing flotation modules as a full circle, installing said flotation modules sequentially onto the end of the central pipe of said drilling riser joints in a desired orientation, providing passageways through said flotation modules which extend from one end of said subsea drilling riser joints to the other end of said drilling riser joints.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 10, 2009
    Publication date: May 12, 2011
    Inventor: Benton Frederick Baugh
  • Patent number: 7934560
    Abstract: A free standing riser system includes a riser, a subsea intervention unit, and an umbilical line. The riser includes interconnected joints linked to one another, a lower-end of the riser being coupled to a wellhead and an upper-end of the riser enclosed in a buoy assembly, including a terminal, the riser being maintained in an erect, substantially vertical position. The subsea intervention unit is provided above the riser, and includes three connections: one connection to the terminal of the riser, one connection to a flexible jumper that is connected to a FPU, and one connection that provides a vertical conveyance to an intervention rig.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2011
    Assignee: Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. - Petrobras
    Inventors: Francisco Edward Roveri, Cezar Augusto Silva Paulo, Roberto Rodrigues, Renato Brandão Mansano, Carlos Alberto Giacomin Pereira
  • Patent number: 7921919
    Abstract: A system comprising a surface installation in position above a plurality of subsea wells disposed within the watch circle of the surface installation. A plurality of flowlines directly couple at least one of the plurality of subsea wells to the surface installation. A control station, a hydraulic power unit, and an injection unit are disposed on the surface installation. A distribution body is disposed on the seafloor and is coupled to each of the control station, hydraulic power unit, and the injection unit via one or more umbilicals. A first wellhead component is disposed on one of the subsea wells and is coupled to the distribution body via one or more flying leads that provide electrical, hydraulic, and fluid communication. A second wellhead component is disposed on another one of the subsea wells and coupled to the distribution body via one or more flying leads that provide electrical, hydraulic, and fluid communication.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2011
    Assignee: Horton Technologies, LLC
    Inventor: Edward E. Horton, III
  • Publication number: 20110017465
    Abstract: A riser system including: at least one riser for extending from infrastructure on a sea bed and each riser having a riser termination; an end support restrained above and relative to the sea bed and having attachment means to couple each riser termination for storage and decouple each riser termination for coupling to a floating vessel; and an intermediate support supporting an intermediate portion of the riser to define a catenary bend between the intermediate support and the riser termination device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 23, 2009
    Publication date: January 27, 2011
    Applicant: AMOG Pty Ltd.
    Inventors: Stuart Wales, Christopher Turner
  • Publication number: 20110011320
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to novel methods and apparatus for the design, installation, use, recovery, and reuse of a Self Supporting Riser (SSR) for wells that are not under a platform. The SSR of the present invention uses standardized joints that can be recovered, potentially warehoused, and recombined in different configurations for different purposes or locations. Emphasis is on methods and apparatus that use relatively small vessels subject to high motions in the installation, use and recovery of the SSR. The SSR is adapted for high current and/or deep water applications for purposes of downhole well intervention and subsea equipment installation. In contrast to the apparatus and processes of the prior art, this invention addresses a comprehensive system design.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 1, 2010
    Publication date: January 20, 2011
    Applicant: MY TECHNOLOGIES, L.L.C.
    Inventor: Charles R. Yemington
  • Publication number: 20110005766
    Abstract: A downhole deployment system comprises a spoolable tubular member (76) adapted to be coupled to a subsea assembly and to extend to surface level. The deployment system also comprises a spoolable support member (96) adapted to extend through the spoolable tubular member (76) and into a wellbore. The spoolable tubular member (76) may define a conduit between the subsea assembly and the surface and the spoolable support member (96) may be utilised to extend through this defined conduit and into a wellbore, for example to deploy a tool into a wellbore, to engage a downhole tool or other object, for example for activation, retrieval or the like.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 24, 2008
    Publication date: January 13, 2011
    Inventor: David Michael Shand
  • Publication number: 20100307762
    Abstract: A substantially cylindrical buoyancy module for a marine riser includes a plurality of buoyancy elements separated along at least one helical separation plane.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 3, 2010
    Publication date: December 9, 2010
    Applicant: Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc.
    Inventors: Donald Paul Howard, Alan Hugh Summers, Harris A. Reynolds, Kati Rachelle Andrus
  • Publication number: 20100243262
    Abstract: The invention discloses a subsea device comprising a can, a string of risers, a blowout preventer and a string of tie-back pipes. The blowout preventer is installed on the can. The top of risers is connected to a rig and its bottom is mounted on the blowout preventer. The upper of tie-back pipes is fixed to the can. The lower of tie-back pipes is mounted to a wellhead in the seabed by a subsea wellhead apparatus and connected to the casings for collecting oil/gas stored in formations by the subsea wellhead apparatus. A passage communicating the blowout preventer with tie-back pipe is jointed on the can. A pipeline, transporting oil/gas, mud and cuttings in drilling process, is divided into two sections, both tie-back pipes and casings, by the wellhead apparatus settled on seabed, thereby ensuring security of the rig in the drilling process and stronger operability of entire production system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 10, 2008
    Publication date: September 30, 2010
    Applicants: CHINA NATIONAL OFFSHORE OIL CORPORATION, CHINA OILFIELD SERVICES LIMITED
    Inventors: Yongfeng Guo, Shaojun Ji, Changquan Tang
  • Patent number: 7798233
    Abstract: The present invention relates to overpressure protection systems and methods for use on a production system for transferring hydrocarbons from a well on the seafloor to a vessel floating on the surface of the sea. The production system includes a subsea well in fluid communication with a turret buoy through a production flowline and riser system. The turret buoy is capable of connecting to a swivel located on a floating vessel. The overpressure protection device is positioned upstream of the swivel, to prevent overpressure of the production swivel and downstream components located on the floating vessel. The device may include one or more shut down valves, one or more sensors, an actuator assembly, and a control processor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 21, 2010
    Assignee: Chevron U.S.A. Inc.
    Inventors: Jeremiah Daniel, Jin-Sug Chung, Ramanathan Ramaswamy, Joseph M. Gebara, John L. Upchurch
  • Patent number: 7793726
    Abstract: A marine riser system for transferring fluid between a well on the seafloor and a vessel floating on the surface of the sea. The riser system has a turret buoy capable of connecting to a floating vessel; two or more hybrid risers, each of the hybrid risers having a vertical riser, a riser buoy attached to the upper portion of the vertical riser and a flexible jumper connecting the riser buoy to the turret buoy, and wherein the hybrid risers are secured to the seafloor. A flowline may connect a lower portion of each of the vertical risers to a subsea manifold, which interconnects the flowline and a subsea well. The subsea manifold is capable of controlling the flow to or from a subsea well. The hybrid risers are positioned about the turret buoy so that the turret buoy is horizontally balanced while disconnected from a vessel. In another embodiment, the marine riser system is capable of directing a fluid from the floating vessel to a subsea export flowline.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2010
    Assignee: Chevron U.S.A. Inc.
    Inventors: Jeremiah Daniel, James E. Dailey, Ruxin Song
  • Patent number: 7793724
    Abstract: An improved subsea manifold system that is capable of being used in an early production system for producing hydrocarbons from a plurality of wells from a common riser system. The subsea manifold is able to control the fluid from a multiple of subsea wet-tree wells while at the same time giving the operator the option to isolate production from a single subsea well for production evaluation. The subsea manifold also includes a pigging loop which enables efficient pigging of the flowline(s) of the early production system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2010
    Assignee: Chevron U.S.A Inc.
    Inventors: Jeremiah Daniel, James E. Dailey
  • Patent number: 7793725
    Abstract: The present invention relates to overpressure protection systems and methods for use on a production system for transferring hydrocarbons from a well on the seafloor to a vessel floating on the surface of the sea. The production system includes a subsea well in fluid communication with a turret buoy through a production flowline and riser system. The turret buoy is capable of connecting to a swivel located on a floating vessel. The overpressure protection device is positioned upstream of the swivel, to prevent overpressure of the production swivel and downstream components located on the floating vessel. The device may include one or more shut down valves, one or more sensors, an actuator assembly, and a control processor. Each shut down valve and sensor is coupled to a production flowline. Each of the sensors is capable of generating a signal based upon a pressure sensed within the production flowline. The actuator assembly is connected to each of the shut down valves for operating the shut down valves.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2010
    Assignee: Chevron U.S.A. Inc.
    Inventors: Jeremiah Daniel, Jin-Sug Chung, Ramanathan Ramaswamy, Joseph M. Gebara, John L. Upchurch
  • Patent number: 7784546
    Abstract: An offshore oil well drilling assembly is provided that includes an offshore platform; and a tension lift frame, which supports a coiled tubing injector and a blow out preventer connected thereto and for further connection to a wellhead, wherein the tension lift frame is a free standing assembly that is supported by the platform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2010
    Assignee: Schlumberger Technology Corporation
    Inventor: Bart Patton
  • Publication number: 20100186965
    Abstract: An off-shore structure is installed in a body of water. The body of water extends above a floor, such as a seabed, and has a water surface. A buoyant pontoon and a top structure are provided separately from each other. The top structure has a deck, a plurality of legs that are connected to the deck, and a jacking system for displacing the legs relative to the deck. The pontoon is submerged below the water surface. The submerged pontoon is connected to the floor with tendons. The top structure is aligned above the submerged pontoon connected to the floor. Then, the legs are jacked-down relative to the deck until the legs abut against the submerged pontoon connected to the floor. Subsequently, the jacked-down legs are attached to the submerged pontoon and the deck is jacked-up relative to the pontoon until the deck is standing above the water surface. A number of risers are installed for providing a fluid communication between the floor and the deck after jacking up the deck above the water surface.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 7, 2008
    Publication date: July 29, 2010
    Applicant: SINGLE BUOY MOORINGS INC.
    Inventors: Hein Wille, Jack Pollack
  • Publication number: 20100181074
    Abstract: A system for and method of limiting and controlling the unintended subsurface release of an exploration or production riser system is provided including one or more means for anchoring the riser or casing stack at one or more pre-determined points upon the length of the riser, and/or on the housing of an associated buoyancy chamber or the like, and/or on a particular portion of the riser as dictated by the operational environment, and/or on an anchor portion secured in the sea floor; and a network of restraining members disposed on the anchoring means. A lower anchoring portion includes one or more anchors disposed in communication with a wellhead, or with the sea floor or below the sea floor mud line, or with a well casing portion. A network of restraining members forms an essentially continuous connection from the buoyancy member portion to said bottom anchor portion.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 30, 2010
    Publication date: July 22, 2010
    Inventors: Keith Millheim, Eric E. Maidla, Charles H. King
  • Patent number: 7748464
    Abstract: The current subject matter relates to compliant variable tension risers to connect deep-water subsea wellheads to a single floating platform in wet tree or dry try systems. The variable tension risers allow several subsea wellheads, in water depths from 1220 to 3050 meters, at lateral offsets from one-tenth to twice the depth or more, to tie back to a single floating platform. Also, the current subject matter relates to methods to counter buoyancy and install variable tension risers using a weighted chain ballast line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 6, 2010
    Assignee: Kellogg Brown & Root LLC
    Inventors: Shankar U. Bhat, John Christian Hartley Mungall, David Brian Andersen, Kevin Gerard Haverty, Sean K. Barr, Davinder Manku
  • Patent number: 7744314
    Abstract: Buoyancy unit for use on a riser for sub sea applications, particularly for great depths, with a clamp 11 to be tensioned around the riser 16, and with a tensioning member 18 to damp the clamp 11. Buoyancy bodies 26, 27 are provided to engage with the clamp 11, said clamp 11 having at least one arched element 12-15 providing an annular structure to enclose the riser and to be pressed thereto with a tensioning strap 18. The buoyancy bodies 26, 27 are attached to the arched segments, The clamp 11 is cast from of a concrete material where at least the outer shell or layer is provided to prevent the intrusion of water, the casting of the clamp preferably containing powdered aplite.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2010
    Inventor: Hallvar Eide
  • Patent number: 7712539
    Abstract: A riser for connection between a vessel and a fixed connection point on the seabed, in the form of an “L”, where the bottom riser arm is connected to the fixed point (2) on the seabed and the top riser arm (3) is connected to the vessel at the point (4). An elastic element (5) is connected to the bend (6) between the riser's arms and an anchoring point (7) on the seabed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2010
    Inventor: Kjelland-Fosterud Einar
  • Publication number: 20100000739
    Abstract: A variable buoyancy subsea running tool for use with subsea transportable devices, such as a tree cap. The buoyancy of the running tool may be varied through fluid or gas displacement in one or more containers. Alternatively, the running tool may be configured with a buoy that has static buoyancy, with the buoyancy of the running tool being varied through the addition of a counterweight. The running tool can be used to install or uninstall a tree cap on a subsea tree. Installation of a tree cap may be actuated by a remotely operated vehicle. Additionally, the running tool may be moved by a remotely operated vehicle and may have additional features such as a position locator device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 2, 2009
    Publication date: January 7, 2010
    Inventors: Glen H. Cuiper, Paulo Cezar Silva Paulo
  • Patent number: 7628206
    Abstract: Disclosed are compliant variable tension risers (106) to connect deep-water subsea wellheads (102) to a single floating platform (104). The variable tension risers (106) allow several subsea wellheads (102), in water depths from 4,000 to 10,000 feet, at lateral offsets from one-tenth to one-half of the depth, to tie back to a single floating dry tree semi-submersible platform (104).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 8, 2009
    Assignee: Kellogg Brown & Root LLC
    Inventors: Shankar Uluvana Bhat, John Christian Hartley Mungall, Kevin Gerard Haverty, David Brian Andersen, William Lewis Greiner
  • Publication number: 20090260831
    Abstract: A high pressure sleeve for a dual bore high pressure riser is provided. The high pressure sleeve is arranged for forming a connection between either the annulus bore and the high pressure sleeve, or for forming a connection between the high pressure sleeve and the production bore. The choice of connection is made by rotation of the sleeve.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 21, 2009
    Publication date: October 22, 2009
    Inventor: Harald Moksvold
  • Patent number: 7591315
    Abstract: A subsea riser disconnect assembly 10 may be actuated from a drilling rig DR by axial movement of an upper riser 35 relative to a lower riser 28, for disconnecting the upper riser 35 from the lower riser 28. A subsea riser valve assembly 20 may be actuated from the drilling rig DR by axial movement of the upper riser 35 relative to the lower riser 28, for sealing an interior portion of the lower riser 28 and well bore WB below the subsea riser valve assembly 20. A drill pipe disconnect 30 may be actuated from a drilling rig DR, either onshore or offshore, for disconnecting an upper portion of drill pipe 236 from a lower portion of drill pipe 240. The drill pipe disconnect 30 may be actuatable by hydraulic and/or mechanical forces applied to the drill pipe disconnect 30 from the drilling rig DR. The drill pipe disconnect 30 may be compatible for use with or without the subsea riser disconnect assembly 10 and/or the subsea riser valve assembly 20.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 22, 2009
    Assignee: TIW Corporation
    Inventors: Eddie E. Dore, Britt O. Braddick
  • Patent number: 7591316
    Abstract: A known deepwater solution for production risers for extracting oil and gas is the SLOR™ riser. The design of the SLOR™ riser is not compatible with large numbers of risers and thus there is a need for a deep water riser that can be deployed in large numbers, for example 20 to 30 risers. The present invention discloses a support frame that can be used to receive a plurality of risers, which can then be connected to a surface vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 22, 2009
    Assignee: 2H Offshore Engineering Ltd.
    Inventor: Stephen Hatton
  • Patent number: 7559723
    Abstract: A hull-to-caisson interface connection assembly accommodates high tension loads between the hull and a caisson of a Spar-type platform, while facilitating angular flexing motion and constraining lateral and axial movement. The interface connection assembly includes an annular bearing shoulder at the top end of caisson, and a laminated bearing assembly mounted in the bottom of the hull and defining a passage through which the upper portion of the caisson passes, so that the caisson shoulder seats against the upper end of the bearing assembly. The bearing assembly includes a laminated structure of alternating steel and elastomeric flex elements, bonded to each other to flex together as a unit, rather than sliding relative to each other. The laminated structure of the bearing assembly supports the vertical tensile loads applied by the weight of the caisson on the hull, while also accommodating the angular loads applied between the caisson and the hull.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2009
    Assignee: Technip France
    Inventor: Harvey O. Mohr
  • Publication number: 20090151956
    Abstract: A subsea lubricator system is disclosed which includes a lubricator tube adapted to be positioned subsea above a subsea well, a pressure control head adapted to be positioned above the lubricator tube, at least one pressure sensor adapted for sensing at least one of a pressure in the subsea well or an ambient seawater pressure proximate the pressure control head, and at least one pump that is adapted to be positioned subsea to inject a lubricant into the pressure control head at a pressure that is greater than the sensed pressure. A method of operating a subsea lubricator system positioned above a subsea well, the lubricator system including a pressure control head, is also disclosed which includes monitoring at least one of a pressure within the well and an ambient seawater pressure proximate the lubricator system, and injecting a lubricant into the pressure control head at a pressure that is greater than the monitored pressure.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 12, 2007
    Publication date: June 18, 2009
    Inventors: John Johansen, Olav Inderberg