Aquaterra Energy’s structured collaborative approach to delivering riser analysis support for  its clients has resulted in a long-term relationship between the offshore engineering solutions specialist and Cairn Energy PLC (Cairn), with Aquaterra Energy, now ‘partner of choice’ for Cairn’s riser analysis projects.

Riser analysis work completed by Aquaterra Energy’s team during 2013 across six major offshore projects in Morocco, Senegal and West Ireland, has provided vital information to enable Cairn to embark on its 2014 drilling programme, which is now underway.

Regarded by many as the market leader in shallow water analysis for jack-up and fixed platform conductor and riser analysis, Aquaterra Energy has successfully applied its analysis expertise to the deep-water and floating rig drilling market in recent years.  The company’s successful move was facilitated by its strong technical analysis capabilities and market leading approach and systems.  This enabled Aquaterra Energy to add significant value to projects such as Cairn’s.

Eric Doyle, Regional Director – Europe at Aquaterra Energy said: “With the skills, software, experience, procedures and technology at our disposal, this progression from shallow water to deep-water was a natural one for our team and we now consider ourselves experts in deep-water riser analysis too.”

Aquaterra Energy was initially awarded riser analysis contracts for two of Cairn’s drilling projects and during this time the company was able to demonstrate not only its technical expertise but also the benefits of the team’s project managed approach in terms of delivery, quality and communication. This resulted in the team being awarded analysis work across Cairn’s entire 2014 drilling campaign, with a focus on optimising the conductor, surface, wellhead and weld designs to meet the company’s desired outcomes.

The projects presented different technical challenges with a mixture of harsh and benign conditions, from shallow to deep-water locations (100m to 2000m inclusive).  Riser analysis work conducted by Aquaterra Energy included riser tension sensitivity studies, riser and conductor system operating envelopes (including conductor strength), vortex induced vibration (VIV) analysis, fatigue analysis (wave and VIV induced), sensitivity analyses on cement shortfall, and capping stack analysis. These analyses concentrated on maximising the operability and fatigue life of the system,

Across all of the projects, Aquaterra Energy focussed on working closely with the Cairn team to achieve the desired outcome, providing continual updates and efficient feedback on potential drilling challenges and solutions as soon as they were identified.

Doyle continued: “Our approach to riser analysis is not to provide our clients with an off-the-peg package, but to work closely with them as an extension of their teams, so that we add a greater depth of intelligence, with confident solutions, to all of their projects.”

John Foy, Principal Well Engineer at Cairn said: “Aquaterra Energy’s team worked as an extension of our own throughout each project. Their riser analysis work was pivotal and added real value to these projects, ultimately saving us time, resource and money by challenging our thinking and resolving potential issues we may have encountered further down the line.  We’re looking forward to continuing our work with them in the future.”