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Title: Multi criteria risk analysis of a subsea BOP system
Author: Okonji, Stephen Chiedu
ISNI:       0000 0004 6349 8942
Awarding Body: Cranfield University
Current Institution: Cranfield University
Date of Award: 2015
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The Subsea blowout preventer (BOP) which is latched to a subsea wellhead is one of several barriers in the well to prevent kicks and blowouts and it is the most important and critical equipment, as it becomes the last line of protection against blowout. The BOP system used in Subsea drilling operations is considered a Safety – Critical System, with a high severity consequence following its failure. Following past offshore blowout incidents such as the most recent Macondo in the Gulf of Mexico, there have been investigations, research, and improvements sought for improved understanding of the BOP system and its operation. This informs the need for a systematic re-evaluation of the Subsea BOP system to understand its associated risk and reliability and identify critical areas/aspects/components. Different risk analysis techniques were surveyed and the Failure modes effect and criticality analysis (FMECA) selected to be used to drive the study in this thesis. This is due to it being a simple proven cost effective process that can add value to the understanding of the behaviours and properties of a system, component, software, function or other. The output of the FMECA can be used to inform or support other key engineering tasks such as redesigning, enhanced qualification and testing activity or maintenance for greater inherent reliability and reduced risk potential. This thesis underscores the application of the FMECA technique to critique associated risk of the Subsea BOP system. System Functional diagrams was developed with boundaries defined, a FMECA were carried out and an initial select list of critical component failure modes identified. The limitations surrounding the confidence of the FMECA failure modes ranking outcome based on Risk priority number (RPN) is presented and potential variations in risk interpretation are discussed. The main contribution in this thesis is an innovative framework utilising Multicriteria decision making (MCDA) analysis techniques with consideration of fuzzy interval data is applied to the Subsea BOP system critical failure modes from the FMECA analysis. It utilised nine criticality assessment criteria deduced from expert consultation to obtain a more reliable ranking of failure modes. The MCDA techniques applied includes the technique for order of Preference for similarity to the Ideal Solution (TOPSIS), Fuzzy TOPSIS, TOPSIS with interval data, and Preference Ranking Organization Method for Enrichment of Evaluations (PROMETHEE). The outcome of the Multi-criteria analysis of the BOP system clearly shows failures of the Wellhead connector, LMRP hydraulic connector and Control system related failure as the Top 3 most critical failure with respect to a well control. The critical failure mode and components outcome from the analysis in this thesis is validated using failure data from industry database and a sensitivity analysis carried out. The importance of maintenance, testing and redundancy to the BOP system criticality was established by the sensitivity analysis. The potential for MCDA to be used for more specific analysis of criteria for a technology was demonstrated. Improper maintenance, inspection, testing (functional and pressure) are critical to the BOP system performance and sustenance of a high reliability level. Material selection and performance of components (seals, flanges, packers, bolts, mechanical body housings) relative to use environment and operational conditions is fundamental to avoiding failure mechanisms occurrence. Also worthy of notice is the contribution of personnel and organisations (by way of procedures to robustness and verification structure to ensure standard expected practices/rules are followed) to failures as seen in the root cause discussion. OEMs, operators and drilling contractors to periodically review operation scenarios relative to BOP system product design through the use of a Failure reporting analysis and corrective action system. This can improve design of monitoring systems, informs requirement for re-qualification of technology and/or next generation designs. Operations personnel are to correctly log in failures in these systems, and responsible Authority to ensure root cause analysis is done to uncover underlying issue initiating and driving failures.
Supervisor: Kolios, Athanasios ; Brennan, Feargal Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: FMECA ; Risk analysis ; Subsea BOP ; Fuzzy-TOPSIS ; PROMETHEE