Virtual prototyping: a case study of positioning systems for drilling operations in the Barents Sea
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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This study proposes a framework for comparative study on three different positioning solutions for mobile offshore drilling units (MODUs) using high modulus polyethylene (HMPE) ropes, including active mooring with an HMPE rope, conventional dynamic positioning (DP) and active hybrid position-keeping (AHP-K). The goal of the positioning systems is to keep the MODU above the wellhead with acceptable riser-angle loading, minimal energy consumption, reduced underwater noise generation, and harmful emissions. This is the first time a holistic study has been performed on positioning that factors in the financial and environmental costs. The time domain simulation, which includes sea-state, wind, and current profiles, is performed with a well-developed software architecture and control algorithms for MODU position-keeping. The case study addresses a MODU drilling in the Barents Sea. Simulation results show that AHP-K is more efficient compared to the other two positioning solutions for drilling operations in the studied environment.