Preventing Unplanned Stack Pulls by Catching Subtle Leaks in Stump Testing with Advanced Leak Detection Analysis

March 23, 2022

Effective BOP Stump Testing is a critical to eliminating unplanned stack pulls. A significant portion of the industry still uses very loose testing criteria during these tests that can result in components lacking integrity to be deployed.

This article describes how IPT’s patented advanced algorithms called, Trend Analysis were able to identify previously undetectable leaks. We present two examples that demonstrate its ability to identify subtle leaks that alternative digital pressure testing products would not be able to identify during critical BOP Stump tests.

To further enhance the leak detection capability of SureTec, IPT developed the patented Trend Analysis algorithms to eliminate the scenario where a low rate of change in the pressures can have a degrading trend indicative of a small and subtle leak. IPT’s layered and advanced algorithms are customizable and configurable to meet client’s objectives (Figure 1).

Figure 1 – Validation algorithms used to detect subtle leaks in critical components

Trend Analysis Detects Leak in Lower Pipe Ram During Stump Test

SureTec’s Trend Analysis can find small leaks during BOP Stump tests so they can be fixed on the rig to avoid an unplanned BOP stack pull from the seafloor potentially costing millions of dollars. In one example, IPT’s Field Advisors ran a Stump test using SureTec on a rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Trend Analysis failed the test because the ROC values were not improving. At first, the operator and contractor thought that Trend Analysis needlessly failed the test. After inspecting the BOP, the rig crew found the leak on the Lower Pipe Ram’s outer door face seal (Figure 6).

Figure 6 – Photos of the Lower Pipe Ram’s outer door face seal that caused the leak discovered by Trend Analysis

Trend Analysis Detects Leak in Upper Pipe Ram During Stump Test

In another example, an IPT Field Advisor and a subsea engineer (SSE) were witnessing a Stump test using Trend Analysis. When testing the Upper Pipe Ram (UPR) against 7” drillpipe, it became apparent to the Field Advisor that Trend Analysis was not improving, indicating a leak. The SSE was not convinced there was a leak; however, IPT’s Field Advisor was adamant that the UPR had a leak or a valve had been left open. Upon inspection of the BOP, the subsea crew found a leak in the UPR. Parts were flown out the next morning to repair the UPR. After the seals were replaced, the UPR was retested against 7″ and 4.5″ drillpipe and it subsequently passed Trend Analysis.

The results of the tests were gathered by the operator and presented to both parties (Figure 3). According to the major operator, tests performed using SureTec were 20% faster than the competitor’s tests. In addition to faster test validation, IPT provided a high level of integrity assurance using SureTec’s patented algorithms.

IPT Prevents Stack Pulls

Trend Analysis can prevent costly and potentially catastrophic events by detecting leaks during critical pressure tests on BOP components. IPT’s Advanced Leak Detection Algorithms are available in the Standard, Advanced, and Premier tiers of SureTec. Contact us today to learn how our advanced analysis can improve your safety and operational efficiency.

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