Drilling riser guide frame enhances riser installation
You look at some solutions and they are so elegant, so simple, that you wonder why nobody has thought of them before – Claxton’s drilling riser guide frame perfectly fits this category. The retractable arms on the drilling riser guide frame enable drilling or workover risers to be run and landed safely and reliably on subsea wells; they also save rig time and render the whole process reasonably independent of the weather.
Why do we need a drilling riser guide frame at all?
But any normal guide arms would do this, so what is the advantage of the arms being retractable? The problem is that to fit over the standard guide posts fitted to subsea wells, the fixed arms need to extend about 2 m from the riser, and so they cannot pass through the rotary table of even the biggest jack up drilling rigs. It is therefore normal practice to fit the arms to the riser below the rig floor: maybe on the Texas deck, if the rig has one. But this is not always easy owing to limited access or restrictions on the span of the structure to be fitted.
The drilling riser guide frame was extensively tested at Claxton’s main engineering base before being taken offshore.
Indeed, on modern jack up rigs the presence of pollution containment units below the rig floor makes the task almost impossible. Then it is sometimes necessary to feed the riser into the rig from a boat stationed below it, with its obvious economic and operational implications.