Offshore/subsea systems

Study Investigates Deepwater BOP Technology, Reliability

Teaser: This paper is intended to provide considerations for operators in developing campaigns to frame scope of work for subsea-blowout-preventer and rig-contracting strategy.

auxiliary accumulator system
Fig. 1—An auxiliary accumulator system.

Subsea blowout preventer (SBOP) reliability is a major challenge in deepwater drilling and completion operations, accounting for a large portion of major equipment failures and nonproductive time (NPT) costs annually. The complete paper focuses on SBOP technological advancement since the Macondo incident in 2010, with emphasis on reliability, equipment-condition monitoring, and statistical root-cause analysis. The development of new technologies has targeted overall cost optimization of the well life cycle but also has been aimed at assuring SBOP functionality.


Drilling contractors are required to establish minimum standards of redundancy and reliability of their SBOP systems and are required to implement an auditable risk-management process to ensure that their SBOP systems operate above minimum standards. A 2015 study found that 38% of NPT events were related to SBOP issues.

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