Decision support tool put to the test on Ormen Lange pipelay

The trend toward putting more and more production equipment on the seabed – and in increasingly deeper waters – strongly challenges the offshore construction industry to continuously improve their ability to perform such activities in a safe and cost-effective manner.

The ability to develop and plan optimised and safe installation procedures in a realistic environment is of high importance in order to meet high safety standards and prevent damage and loss of equipment during such challenging installation operations.

It is against that background that the SIMLA.Installation online analysis tool has been developed in recent years under the SIMLA.Installation Demo 2000 JIP supported by Statoil, Shell, Acergy, Marintek and The Research Council of Norway. SIMLA.Installation offers onboard data collection and storage of key parameters during installation, online 3D finite element analysis (FEA) in real-time to optimize pipelay operations and to support decisions related to specific events or emerging situations.

In 2009, the first two field tests were executed utilising the SIMLA.Installation onboard system. Both field tests were related to Acergy installation campaigns on the Ormen Lange Southern field development project: one 13km infield MEG line installed by Acergy Falcon and one 13km infield umbilical installed by Acergy Eagle, both in 860m water depth.

By transferring key information monitored on the lay vessel to onshore computers the complete offshore campaign was followed from onshore.

‘Both campaigns were executed according to plans and expectations,' reports Marintek research director Egil Giertsen.

‘SIMLA.Installation fully demonstrated its potential as a decision support tool to ensure that deepwater installation operations are executed in a safe and time/cost-effective way, with online knowledge of the condition of the pipeline during installation.' OE

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