Hydraulic hot stab connections between the testing skid and the fluid containment and supply skid or skids are provided to allow the fluid to flow through between the pumping skid and the fluid containment and supply skid or skids.
The flow meter on the testing skid will display the volume pumped on the data logger display. A final sample of the power fluid is tested to ensure the required cleanliness standard. In one embodiment, the testing skid includes at least one electrical testing module that is adapted to check for continuity by measuring one or more of conductor resistance using a microhmmeter, insulation resistance using an insulation resistance tester, and time domain reflectometry TDR using a time domain reflectometer.
In one embodiment of the invention an optical testing module is included for testing fiber-optic cables by optical time domain reflectometry OTDR. In one embodiment, the skid will have hydraulic, electrical and fibre optic flying leads fitted with wet-mate connectors to make the connections between the testing skid and the subsea umbilical termination assembly SUTA fitted at either end of the static umbilical.
In one embodiment of the invention, looping equipment is pre-installed to also allow testing on the SUTA at the opposite end of the static umbilical from where the skid is docked. Data logger s are mounted on the skid to record the measurements taken via electrical and fiber optic flying leads connected to the logger.
In one embodiment, at least one hydraulic flying lead connects to a hydraulic circuit on the skid.
Record of Val-Kyrie: ROV
In one embodiment instrumentation, including flowmeters, pressure sensors, etc. In one embodiment of the invention, a subsea control system testing skid is adapted for testing of one or more of dynamic umbilicals, static umbilicals, flying leads, subsea control modules, production trees, test and intervention trees, manifolds and distribution units. In one aspect the skid is customized to the individual constituents and design parameters of the equipment to be tested.
The subsea equipment are thus tested in their final position on the seabed whilst waiting to be connected to the other parts of the subsea control system by utilizing a testing skid mounted to and powered by a ROV, SV or AUV.
In one embodiment of the invention, testing skid utilizes the hydraulic power of an ROV, SV or AUV to carry out testing the control system component before connection to the remaining parts of the subsea control system. One embodiment of the present invention, the Subsea Testing Skid includes at least one pump that is operable to overcome the hydrostatic pressure of water up to and over 3, m 10, ft deep.
Ignoring changes in gravitation as one departs from the earth's surface, a constant value for g of 9.
For m of water ft , the value is approximately p. In m of water ft , the hydrostatic pressure is approximately 4, p. Thus, in the context of certain embodiments of the present invention, the pump is capable of providing pressure testing to 1. In certain embodiments, the high pressure pump will be able to deliver flow in situations where ambient pressure at the suction of the pump may be in excess of p.
Typically, the system will be set up so that the fluid added to the umbilical to give the desired test pressure is drawn from a bladder that has been delivered to the subsea testing location. The bladder contents will be at ambient sea pressures. The discharge side of the pump that will deliver the test pressure is adapted to provide at least psi.
In some embodiments the high pressure pump is operable to deliver as much as psi. High pressure pumps able to deliver such pressures are positive displacement pumps.
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In one aspect, the testing skid includes a high pressure positive displacement triplex pump operable to provide 20, psi of pressure. The skid will include a filtration unit at the pump fluid intake to ensure that contaminants are not introduced into the control system conduits to be tested. Additional pumps may be present on the skid to provide other services, such as for instance a backflush pump together with backflush pump filter to maintain the filters in a state of continued efficacy.
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The fluid conduits can also be flushed to achieve cleanliness levels to required standards. In other embodiments, the skid includes a sample collection module. A sample solution is introduced into one or more fluid conduits in the control system and samples are taken at pre-determined intervals for evaluation using a pump, filtration unit and sampling bladder. In one embodiment of the invention, the skid provides a physical framework facilitating the full range of subsea control system testing.
To this end it is designed to carry several different pieces of equipment in module format, depending on the details of the job in hand. As depicted in FIG. The modules and their included functionalities are selected depending on the testing or service project. In one embodiment as depicted in FIG. In one embodiment as depicted, an optical testing module may be included for testing fiber-optic cables by optical time domain reflectometry OTDR. After the desired components are selected and mounted on the skid, hydraulic, electrical and fibre optic flying testing leads fitted with wet-mate connectors are included that are customized to fit the particular subsea termination assembly of the control system equipment to be tested.
Data logger s are mounted on the skid to record the measurements taken via the testing modules connected to the logger. The data loggers may be mounted in the same housing as the respective testing modules. The selected modules and their respective leads are mounted on the testing skid and delivered to the offshore location. In one embodiment, the minimum power required by the skid from this source will be approximately 70 HP. More power may be required in certain applications. The testing skid is preferably provided with buoyancy, such as by one or more buoyancy compensator s , in order that it can approximate neutral buoyancy at various depths.
An optional protective bumper 54 may be affixed to all or only portions of frame Buoyancy is provided to the skid by a plurality of fixed cell foam blocks An ROV interface plate 52 is mounted to the top of frame Hydraulic bulkhead 53 provides an interface for the ROV hydraulic pump, which provides power to the skid. In the depicted embodiment, a test fluid supply bladder is mounted within the frame and covered with a protective cage 56 to avoid inadvertent rupture. In other embodiments, each testing module, whether optical, electrical or hydraulic, shares a housing with its respective data logger and the testing modules 70 , 72 and 74 as depicted in FIG.
Further buoyancy blocks 55 in the center of the skid are visible in this view. Also visible is the filtered housing 62 overlying the high pressure pump and the full extent of the control fluid bladder and its protective cage 56 housing. Also depicted in the view of FIG. Each of the modules is in operable communication not shown with the hot stab and the data loggers. In other embodiments, the testing module, whether optical, electrical or hydraulic, shares a housing with its respective data logger and the testing modules 70 , 72 and 74 would not appear as depicted but would be disposed as depicted for data logger In alternative embodiments such as that depicted in FIG.
In the depicted example, fluidic flying lead 86 is connected to the skid in operable connection with certain fluidic conduits and valves of the skid, such as those under the ROV operable panel including double block and bleed The electrical flying lead 82 is connected to, or otherwise in, electrical communication with the electrical testing data logger. An optical testing flying lead, if included, would, in certain embodiments, be connected to its data logger and extend from the skid generally as does electrical flying lead Fluidic or hydraulic hot stab 84 is attached to the terminus of fluidic flying lead 86 , while electrical or optical hot stab 80 is attached to the terminus of electrical or optical flying lead In most cases the hot stabs include zero leak type wet mate connectors that prevent water ingress during connection.
The hot stabs can be male or female stabs but are in any event customized to mate with fluidic, electrical or optical terminus 96 of aspects of the control system to be tested.
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The termini of the flying leads are shown from a different perspective in FIG. Typically the electrical flying lead will have a harness that is attached to, and obtains test power from, the ROV. In some aspects, the ROV is connected by a tether to the surface and information and power is relayed between the surface and the skid through the ROV. In one embodiment, a plurality of hot stabs is provided, one hot stab for each of a plurality of different testing modules disposed on the testing skid.
In other embodiments, a reciprocal hot stab head 90 , such as that figuratively depicted in FIG. As used herein, a reciprocal hot stab head, is a custom head that is a matching reciprocal of the connection end of an umbilical or connection port of a subsea control module. As depicted, the reciprocal head may terminate in one or more couplings, such as fluidic couplings 92 and electrical couplings In one embodiment, flying leads are bundled at the reciprocal hot stab head but separate for connections to the skid.
In one aspect, the hot stabs are color coded for ready identification by the ROV operator. ROV operable panel 60 includes double block and bleed valves and provides easily grasped valve and switch handles.
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The skid includes high pressure pump disposed beneath filtered housing A filter or filter bank 63 is disposed in-line between the control fluid supply bladder 56 and the high pressure pump to ensure cleanliness of the supplied hydraulic fluid. Hydraulic motor 65 operates the high pressure pump. A ROV hand operated pump 61 is included to equalize the pressure between the skid mounted pump and fluidic conduits of the subsea control system before valves separating the two are opened.
The hand pump is operated by manual strokes from an arm of the ROV. All publications, patents and patent applications cited herein are hereby incorporated by reference as if set forth in their entirety herein. While this invention has been described with reference to illustrative embodiments, this description is not intended to be construed in a limiting sense. Various modifications and combinations of illustrative embodiments, as well as other embodiments of the invention, will be apparent to persons skilled in the art upon reference to the description.
It is therefore intended that the appended claims encompass such modifications and enhancements. Year of fee payment : 4. Apparatus and methods are described for subsea control system testing including one or more of electrical, optical and fluidic conduit testing, wherein the testing is conducted subsea using a subsea testing skid.
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In one embodiment of the invention a subsea pipeline service skid is provided that includes at least one skid mounted pump dimensioned to deliver from about to about p. Modular construction of the skid permits customization for testing service of unique subsea control equipment. SUMMARY The present invention is directed to a methods and apparatus for subsea testing of subsea oil and gas drilling and production control systems including subsea umbilicals, flying leads, and the subsea control modules that control production trees, completion and test trees, blowout preventers, manifolds and distribution units.
The following further acronyms are used herein. Example 1 In one embodiment, a subsea control system testing skid 40 is adapted for static umbilical testing and is customized to the individual constituents and design parameters of the umbilical to be tested. Example 2 In one embodiment of the invention, a subsea control system testing skid is adapted for testing of one or more of dynamic umbilicals, static umbilicals, flying leads, subsea control modules, production trees, test and intervention trees, manifolds and distribution units.
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