|Publication number||US20060201679 A1|
|Application number||US 11/075,555|
|Publication date||Sep 14, 2006|
|Filing date||Mar 9, 2005|
|Priority date||Mar 9, 2005|
|Publication number||075555, 11075555, US 2006/0201679 A1, US 2006/201679 A1, US 20060201679 A1, US 20060201679A1, US 2006201679 A1, US 2006201679A1, US-A1-20060201679, US-A1-2006201679, US2006/0201679A1, US2006/201679A1, US20060201679 A1, US20060201679A1, US2006201679 A1, US2006201679A1|
|Original Assignee||Williams Michael R|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (17), Referenced by (10), Classifications (8), Legal Events (1)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention is generally directed to the field of subsea oil and gas production, and, more particularly, to a support member for subsea jumper installation, and methods of using same.
2. Description of the Related Art
Flowline jumpers are used in the field of subsea oil and gas production to provide fluid communication between two items of subsea equipment. For example, a flowline jumper may be used to connect the production outlet of a Christmas tree to the end of a subsea pipeline that terminates near the Christmas tree. Thus, a flowline jumper usually comprises a length of conduit and two fluid couplings or connections, one located at each end of the conduit, which are adapted to mate with corresponding hubs connected to the subsea equipment. To facilitate installing the flowline jumper from a surface vessel, the hubs connected to the subsea equipment are typically oriented vertically upward and the flowline jumper is constructed so that the conduit and the fluid couplings lie in a single plane with the fluid couplings oriented in the same direction. In this manner, the flowline jumper may be lowered vertically from the surface vessel and the fluid couplings on the subsea jumper are landed on the hubs.
One illustrative example of an installation technique for a subsea jumper 10 will now be described with reference to
As indicated previously, installation of a subsea jumper 10 using a large, heavy spreader bar 14 and rigging requires the use of large offshore installation vessels and cranes to achieve the required hook height and lifting capacity. Handling of one or more of these large spreader bars and the associated rigging, particularly in rough weather when vessel motions are significant, can be problematic. As indicated in
Using such a traditional method, when the jumper 10 is lifted off the transport vessel, particularly in rough weather, motion of the spreader bar 14 and its related rigging can be difficult to control. Moreover, even after the spreader bar 14 is positioned subsea, the ends of the spreader bar 14 may be positioned near other subsea equipment, such as subsea trees and manifolds, thereby creating a potential situation where the spreader bar 14 hits or damages such subsea equipment. Even after the jumper 10 is installed using the traditional method depicted in
The present invention is directed to various devices and methods for solving, or at least reducing the effects of, some or all of the aforementioned problems.
The following presents a simplified summary of the invention in order to provide a basic understanding of some aspects of the invention. This summary is not an exhaustive overview of the invention. It is not intended to identify key or critical elements of the invention or to delineate the scope of the invention. Its sole purpose is to present some concepts in a simplified form as a prelude to the more detailed description that is discussed later.
The present invention is directed to a support member for subsea jumper installation, and methods of using same. In one illustrative embodiment, the present invention is directed to an adjustable support member employed in connection with the installation of subsea jumpers, and methods of using same. In one illustrative embodiment, the device comprises a subsea jumper and at least one adjustable support member coupled between portions of the subsea jumper, the adjustable support member comprising at least one hydraulic cylinder, wherein a length of the adjustable support member may be adjusted by actuation of the at least one hydraulic cylinder.
In another illustrative embodiment, the device comprises a subsea jumper and a plurality of adjustable support members coupled to portions of the subsea jumper, each of the adjustable support members comprising at least one hydraulic cylinder, wherein a length of each of the adjustable support members may be adjusted by actuation of the at least one hydraulic cylinder.
In yet another illustrative embodiment, the device comprises a subsea jumper and at least one adjustable support member coupled between portions of the subsea jumper, the adjustable support member comprising at least one hydraulic cylinder and a modular support structure comprised of a plurality of modular sections that may be coupled/decoupled from one another, wherein a length of the adjustable support member may be adjusted by actuation of the at least one hydraulic cylinder.
A method of installing a subsea jumper is also disclosed. In one illustrative embodiment, the method comprises coupling at least one hydraulically adjustable support member between portions of the subsea jumper, lowering at least one adjustable support member and the subsea jumper into a body of water and operatively coupling the subsea jumper to a plurality of subsea connections.
In another illustrative embodiment, the method comprises coupling a plurality of hydraulically adjustable support members between portions of the subsea jumper, lowering the plurality of adjustable support members and the subsea jumper into a body of water and operatively coupling the subsea jumper to a plurality of subsea connections.
In yet another illustrative embodiment, the method comprises assembling a hydraulically adjustable support member by coupling a plurality of modular sections to one another to form at least a portion of a modular support structure and operatively coupling at least one hydraulic cylinder to the modular support structure. The method further comprises coupling the hydraulically adjustable support member between portions of the subsea jumper, lowering the adjustable support member and the subsea jumper into a body of water and operatively coupling the subsea jumper to a plurality of subsea connections.
In yet another illustrative embodiment, the present invention is directed to a subsea jumper having a plurality of upstanding legs extending vertically from a horizontal section of the subsea jumper, and a lifting support member operatively coupled to said upstanding legs of the subsea jumper;
The invention may be understood by reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference numerals identify like elements, and in which:
While the invention is susceptible to various modifications and alternative forms, specific embodiments thereof have been shown by way of example in the drawings and are herein described in detail. It should be understood, however, that the description herein of specific embodiments is not intended to limit the invention to the particular forms disclosed, but on the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.
Illustrative embodiments of the invention are described below. In the interest of clarity, not all features of an actual implementation are described in this specification. It will of course be appreciated that in the development of any such actual embodiment, numerous implementation-specific decisions must be made to achieve the developers' specific goals, such as compliance with system-related and business-related constraints, which will vary from one implementation to another. Moreover, it will be appreciated that such a development effort might be complex and time-consuming, but would nevertheless be a routine undertaking for those of ordinary skill in the art having the benefit of this disclosure.
The present invention will now be described with reference to the attached figures. The words and phrases used herein should be understood and interpreted to have a meaning consistent with the understanding of those words and phrases by those skilled in the relevant art. No special definition of a term or phrase, i.e., a definition that is different from the ordinary and customary meaning as understood by those skilled in the art, is intended to be implied by consistent usage of the term or phrase herein. To the extent that a term or phrase is intended to have a special meaning, i.e., a meaning other than that understood by skilled artisans, such a special definition will be expressly set forth in the specification in a definitional manner that directly and unequivocally provides the special definition for the term or phrase.
A bridle 34 comprised of a plurality of bridle slings 36 is releasably coupled to the subsea jumper 10 through a plurality of attachment mechanisms 32, e.g., pad eyes, in accordance with known techniques. These connections may be released by an ROV (remote operated vehicle) or by a diver. The bridle 34 is coupled to a crane line 38 that is operatively controlled by a crane (not shown) located on a surface vessel. In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, through use of the adjustable support member 30, the total height 40 of the bridle rigging 34 and subsea jumper 10 may be on the order of approximately 40 feet. This is in contrast to traditional methods involving the use of a spreader bar 14 (as depicted in
In the embodiment depicted in
In the embodiment depicted in
In operation, the adjustable support member 30 of the present invention may be coupled to the subsea jumper 10 prior to positioning the subsea jumper/adjustable support member combination on a transport vessel for transport to the local installation site. Alternatively, the subsea jumper 10 and the adjustable support member 30 may be transported separately on the transport vessel and assembled at the worksite. In the case where the adjustable support member 30 is comprised of a module type structural members, such as the embodiment depicted in
Once the adjustable support member 30 is coupled to the subsea jumper 10, and that assembly is rigged for lifting by crane, the combined assembly may be lowered to the subsea installation site using a crane (not shown). During the lifting and transporting of this combined assembly to the subsea floor, the adjustable support member 30 provides the necessary structural support to maintain the subsea jumper 10 in the desired orientation and to reduce or limit undesired bending of the subsea jumper 10.
In addition to providing this structural support during the handling and installation of the subsea jumper 10, the adjustable support member 30 may also be employed to facilitate the coupling of the subsea jumper 10 to the various subsea devices 15. That is, if necessary, the length of the adjustable support member 30 may be increased or decreased to facilitate alignment of the jumper connections 12 with the hubs 13 of the subsea devices 15. In the illustrative embodiment depicted in
After the subsea jumper 10 is properly positioned and secured to the hub 13 of the subsea device 15, the adjustable support member 30 may be removed or disengaged from the subsea jumper 10 and returned to the surface for use in installing additional subsea jumpers 10. As indicated in the illustrative embodiment depicted herein, this releasable attachment may be accomplished through use of the ROV releasable pins 49. Additionally, in the depicted embodiments, the adjustable support member 30 is depicted as being positioned between the upstanding legs 10A of the subsea jumper 10 (see
Moreover, a plurality of such adjustable support members 30 may be operatively coupled to a subsea jumper 10 if desired. For example,
Although the present invention has been disclosed in the context where a prior art spreader bar 14 (see
The lifting support member 70 may be of any desired size, shape or configuration. Any type of structural members may be employed to manufacture the lifting support member, e.g., pipe, structural tubing, I-beams, angle iron, etc. In the illustrative embodiment depicted in
The lifting support member 70 will typically be coupled to the subsea jumper 10 on a surface vessel. The subsea jumper 10 has a generally U-shaped configuration defined by the upstanding legs 10A. The support members 30, 70 disclosed herein may be positioned at least partially within the U-shaped section. In the illustrative embodiment depicted in
The particular embodiments disclosed above are illustrative only, as the invention may be modified and practiced in different but equivalent manners apparent to those skilled in the art having the benefit of the teachings herein. For example, the process steps set forth above may be performed in a different order. Furthermore, no limitations are intended to the details of construction or design herein shown, other than as described in the claims below. It is therefore evident that the particular embodiments disclosed above may be altered or modified and all such variations are considered within the scope and spirit of the invention. Accordingly, the protection sought herein is as set forth in the claims below.
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|U.S. Classification||166/344, 166/347|
|International Classification||E21B33/037, E21B33/064|
|Cooperative Classification||E21B33/038, E21B33/047|
|European Classification||E21B33/038, E21B33/047|
|Mar 9, 2005||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: FMC TECHNOLOGIES, INC., TEXAS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:WILLIAMS, MICHAEL R.;REEL/FRAME:016373/0340
Effective date: 20050307