ABSTRACT:

Historically, tripping of tubular goods has been the single most critical task conducted around the rotary table and has accounted for numerous incidents and injuries. For example, operation of conventional power tongs often requires assistance from several rig-crew members to manipulate the tongs between well center and parked position and to open and close tong doors and backup doors at well center. Personnel are caught between, or struck, pinched or otherwise harmed by, the power tong operation or by the manual rig tongs used as backup to counteract torque. Another example is the job involving the stabber exposed in an elevated position in the derrick. Many severe, even fatal, incidents have occurred when elevators or traveling blocks have hit the stabbing board (elevated work platform).Changing to a safer rig floor environment by means of fully automated and remotely controlled systems is commonly perceived as too costly for many operations, requiring major capital investment. This paper reviews various alternative solutions, implemented in North Sea operations, which have used tools from automated systems to make manual operations safer and more efficient. These practical changes include true one-man operation of power tongs, without the need for assistance from other rig-crew members and without necessarily converting to fully remote operation. Changes also include operations without a stabber in the derrick. While the reviewed semi-mechanized solutions are small steps from conventional manual operations, they represent great strides in safety and efficiency. Furthermore, the strength and safety enhancement capability of these systems has, on several occasions, enabled continued casing and tubing operations during severe weather conditions, especially onboard semi-submersible rigs, when conventional operations would have normally been suspende

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.