Reversionary Mode Analysis (RMA) is an innovative and powerful system analysis technique that has been adapted from its aerospace origins for application in oil and gas projects. It has now been used successfully in an intelligent well system evaluation for a deepwater, subsea installation. This paper reports on the results achieved in applying RMA in this project.

In the intelligent well application, the analysis handled all aspects: surface, subsea and downhole. In addition to intelligent wells, the technique is valuable for many other complex oil & gas projects with multiple interfaces. A unique benefit of the RMA process is its ability to combine engineering analysis with economic modelling. The engineering analysis concerns failure modes and their effects on the functionality of the system, and identification of critical components. The economic modelling takes users' views to evaluate the financial impact of different aspects of system functionality, incorporating for instance financial models of the costs of intervention & costs of deferred production. The combined engineering / economic approach leads to quantitative comparison of different project/design options.

RMA was found to deliver benefits not previously available from alternative techniques for reliability analysis. The conclusions from this project, summarised here, are explained in the paper to show the benefits -

  • Structured / organized methodology makes efficient use of the contributors' time

  • Subsystem / Link organization of the analysis matches the system's modular structure

  • Process focused on functionality, expressed in terms of economic/ risk / business impact

  • Sound use of best available engineering estimates and knowledge.

  • Quantitative Output-System Reliability Estimates

  • Assessment of Functionality versus Reliability

  • Flexibility of output means the analysis suits several different purposes / audiences

  • Evaluates remediation, preventive and reversionary modes

  • Consolidated Result - not just one number

The process demonstrated the benefits of specific investments in all the different phases of the project - design, procurement, manufacturing, test, installation & operation - in the context of critical aspects of the system.


This paper reports on the high-level results of an intelligent well system evaluation for a deepwater, subsea installation. The evaluation was based on Reversionary Mode Analysis (RMA), which is an innovative and powerful system analysis technique, adapted from its aerospace origins for application in oil and gas projects. Proneta has pioneered this adaptation and developed the technique using Excel spreadsheets for simplicity and transparency. Baker Oil Tools decided to utilize and evaluate RMA for it's ability to analyze a complex subsea system application. The hope was that it could meet both the risk/reliability assessment objectives typical of the design phase of an intelligent well completion system, and provide the results in a form that enabled easy understanding by non-reliability engineers.


Baker's objectives in this project were 3-fold:

  1. To evaluate RMA as a 'standard' for assessment of risk/reliability of future, complex systems;

  2. To test RMA's utility for sensitivity analysis of alternate design options within the typical functionality spectrum of intelligent wells;

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