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US3717002A - Method and apparatus for constructing and connecting underwater risers - Google Patents

Method and apparatus for constructing and connecting underwater risers Download PDF

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US3717002A
US3717002A US3717002DA US3717002A US 3717002 A US3717002 A US 3717002A US 3717002D A US3717002D A US 3717002DA US 3717002 A US3717002 A US 3717002A
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riser
end
support
underwater
connecting
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Brien H O
Brien B O
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BRIEN BO
BRIEN HO
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BRIEN BO
BRIEN HO
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    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F16ENGINEERING ELEMENTS AND UNITS; GENERAL MEASURES FOR PRODUCING AND MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF MACHINES OR INSTALLATIONS; THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16LPIPES; JOINTS OR FITTINGS FOR PIPES; SUPPORTS FOR PIPES, CABLES OR PROTECTIVE TUBING; MEANS FOR THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16L23/00Flanged joints
    • F16L23/02Flanged joints the flanges being connected by members tensioned axially
    • F16L23/024Flanged joints the flanges being connected by members tensioned axially characterised by how the flanges are joined to, or form an extension of, the pipes
    • F16L23/028Flanged joints the flanges being connected by members tensioned axially characterised by how the flanges are joined to, or form an extension of, the pipes the flanges being held against a shoulder
    • F16L23/0283Flanged joints the flanges being connected by members tensioned axially characterised by how the flanges are joined to, or form an extension of, the pipes the flanges being held against a shoulder the collar being integral with the pipe
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E21EARTH DRILLING; MINING
    • E21BEARTH DRILLING, e.g. DEEP DRILLING; OBTAINING OIL, GAS, WATER, SOLUBLE OR MELTABLE MATERIALS OR A SLURRY OF MINERALS FROM WELLS
    • E21B17/00Drilling rods or pipes; Flexible drill strings; Kellies; Drill collars; Sucker rods ; Cables; Casings; Tubings
    • E21B17/02Couplings; joints
    • E21B17/08Casing joints
    • E21B17/085Riser connections
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E21EARTH DRILLING; MINING
    • E21BEARTH DRILLING, e.g. DEEP DRILLING; OBTAINING OIL, GAS, WATER, SOLUBLE OR MELTABLE MATERIALS OR A SLURRY OF MINERALS FROM WELLS
    • E21B43/00Methods or apparatus for obtaining oil, gas, water, soluble or meltable materials or a slurry of minerals from wells
    • E21B43/01Methods or apparatus for obtaining oil, gas, water, soluble or meltable materials or a slurry of minerals from wells specially adapted for obtaining from underwater installations
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E21EARTH DRILLING; MINING
    • E21BEARTH DRILLING, e.g. DEEP DRILLING; OBTAINING OIL, GAS, WATER, SOLUBLE OR MELTABLE MATERIALS OR A SLURRY OF MINERALS FROM WELLS
    • E21B43/00Methods or apparatus for obtaining oil, gas, water, soluble or meltable materials or a slurry of minerals from wells
    • E21B43/01Methods or apparatus for obtaining oil, gas, water, soluble or meltable materials or a slurry of minerals from wells specially adapted for obtaining from underwater installations
    • E21B43/0107Connecting of flow lines to offshore structures
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F16ENGINEERING ELEMENTS AND UNITS; GENERAL MEASURES FOR PRODUCING AND MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF MACHINES OR INSTALLATIONS; THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16LPIPES; JOINTS OR FITTINGS FOR PIPES; SUPPORTS FOR PIPES, CABLES OR PROTECTIVE TUBING; MEANS FOR THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16L1/00Laying or reclaiming pipes; Repairing or joining pipes on or under water
    • F16L1/12Laying or reclaiming pipes on or under water
    • F16L1/14Laying or reclaiming pipes on or under water between the surface and the bottom
    • F16L1/15Laying or reclaiming pipes on or under water between the surface and the bottom vertically

Abstract

An improved method and apparatus for constructing an underwater riser from a support member, the constructed riser being formed from a plurality of interconnected riser-sections, and for moving the lowermost end of the constructed riser into an interconnecting relationship with one end of an underwater pipeline, wherein one end of each riser-section is rigidly supported by a riser support assembly, in one position of each riser-section and in a support position of the riser support assembly, and another riser-section is positioned in a connecting relationship with respect to the riser-section being supported in the riser support assembly by a positioning assembly. In this position, the two riser-sections are secured in an interconnecting relationship. The connecting end portions of each riser-section are constructed such that two riser-sections can be quickly and guidingly positioned in an interconnecting relationship, and to facilitate a more sealingly secure interconnection therebetween. The riser-sections thus interconnected are lowered generally through the riser support assembly to a position wherein the uppermost end portion of the last connected riser-section is supported in the riser support assembly in a position to be interconnected to another risersection. A predetermined number of riser-sections are thus interconnected to form the constructed riser, and the constructed riser is then lowered to a position wherein the lowermost end thereof is aligned with one end of the underwater pipeline. The lowermost end of the constructed riser is guided into an interconnecting relationship with the end of the underwater pipeline generally aligned therewith by a guide coupling assembly which is removably secured in the underwater pipeline.

Description

United States Patent 1191 OBrien et al.

[ Feb. 20, 1973 [54] METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR CONSTRUCTING AND CONNECTING UNDERWATER RISERS [76] Inventors: Billy L. OBrien, 1400 Pine Street; v

Heber P. OBrien, 730 East 14th Street, both of Ada, Okla. 74820 [22] Filed: March 8, 1971 [21] Appl. No.: 121,788

[52] US. Cl. ..6l/72.3, 166/.5, 166/.6, 269/47, 285/18, 285/24 [51] Int. Cl. ..F16l 35/00, E02b 17/00, B23q H08 [58] Field of Search ....6l/72.3, 72.1, 63, 43; 285/24, 285/18; 166/.5, .6

Primary Examiner-Jacob Shapiro Attorney-Dunlap, Laney, Hessin & Dougherty [5 7] ABSTRACT An improved method and apparatus for constructing an underwater riser from a support member, the constructed riserbeing formed from a plurality of interconnected riser-sections, and for moving the lowermost end of the constructed riser into an interconnecting relationship with one end of an underwater pipeline, wherein one end of each riser-section is rigidly supported by a riser support assembly, in one position of each riser-section and in a support position of the riser support assembly, and another riser-section is positioned in a connecting relationship with respect to the riser-section being supported in the riser support assembly by a positioning assembly. In this position, the two riser-sections are secured in an interconnecting relationship. The connecting end portions of each riser-section are constructed such that two riser-sections can be quickly and guidingly positioned in an interconnecting relationship, and to facilitate a more sealingly secure interconnection therebetween. The risersections thus interconnected are lowered generally through the riser support assembly to a position wherein the uppermost end portion of the last connected riser-section is supported in the riser support assembly in a position to be interconnected to another riser-section. A predetermined number of riser-sections are thus interconnected to form the constructed riser, and the constructed riser is then lowered to a position wherein the lowermost end thereof is aligned with one end of the underwater pipeline. The lowermost end of the constructed riser is guided into an interconnecting relationship with the end of the underwater pipeline generally aligned therewith by a guide coupling assembly which is removably secured in the underwater pipeline.

3,8 Qlgims, 16 Drawing Figures 32 METHOD AND APPARATUS FORCONSTRUCTING AND CONNECTING UNDERWATER RISERS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates generally to improvements in methods and apparatus for constructing and installing underwater pipelines and, more particularly, but not by way of limitation, to a method and apparatus for constructing an underwater riser and an underwater pipeline to facilitate the underwater interconnection therebetween.

2. Description of the Prior Art Offshore marine structures, commonly referred to in the art simply as platforms are installed'in a marine environment, and are generally utilized to support structures and equipment during various offshore operations. In the past, one of the most common usages of such platforms has been with respect to the offshore drilling and production of an oil and gas well.

In connection with such platforms, various underwater pipelines are commonly utilized to transport a fluid to or from various remote locations with respect to the platform. These pipelines generally include an underwater pipeline, which is disposed on the waterbody floor, and a pipeline, which is commonly referred to in the art as a riser, vertically disposed, generally adjacent or near the offshore platform. The lowermost end of the riser is generally connected to one end of the underwater pipeline, in an assembled position of the riser and underwater pipeline.

Various methods and apparatus have been proposed in the past for constructing and installing the 'underwater pipelines and the risers, and for making the underwater connection between the riser and the underwater pipeline. One such method utilized in the past, basically comprised the bending of a portion of the underwater pipeline in a generally upward direction, the portion of the underwater pipeline extending upwardly from the bend thereby forming the pipeline riser. This particular method, although adequate for extremely small sizes of pipe, is not of a nature that it could be successfully utilized to construct underwater pipelines and risers which are of a relatively large size, as commonly associated with the offshore production of oil and gas.

In the past, the underwater pipeline has been constructed of various pipeline sections which were interconnected aboard a support member or, more particularly, a barge, and the interconnected pipeline sections were then laid on the water-body floor from the barge.

The pipeline riser was basically constructed of the plurality of riser-sections which were also interconnected aboard the barge and stovepiped or, in other words, lowered into an interconnecting relationship with one end of the underwater pipeline. The riser-sections were supported by cables generally on one side of the barge in a somewhat interconnecting relationship, and the riser-sections were then welded together at the interconnection therebetween while being thus supported.

Not only was this procedure, generally described above, for constructing and connecting an underwater riser hazardous with respect to the various operating personnel involved, but it has also been found that when utilizing such a method it was virtually impossible to assure a good, substantially 100 percent X-ray weld,

with respect to the welded interconnections between the various riser-sections. Although the inability to achieve an adequate welded connection between the various riser-sections was generally due to the relative movement of the two riser-sections being connected during the welding or connecting procedure, it has also been found that the construction of the riser-sections per se made a sealingly secure, welded interconnection substantially difficult to achieve. In practice, it was the general operating procedure to secure a sufficient amount of weld material generally about the interconnection between the riser-sections to merely assure a connection therebetween. The weld material was then ground-down, and the interconnection re-welded, in an effort to achieve a maximum security weld. It should also be noted that even in those instances where the riser-sections were bolted together and a gasket interposed therebetween to provide the sealing security, it has been found that in many instances the gasket was completely or partially destroyed during the interconnection of the two riser-sections, utilizing the connecting procedure, as generally described above.

Since a portion of one of the riser-sections being interconnected was generally partially disposed in the water-body during the connecting procedure, it has been found that, in many instances, full crews of men and machinery were idled during a high-tide or a generally rough water condition. Thus, not only were the procedures for constructing and installing underwater risers hazardous and the interconnections between the various riser sections relatively unsecure, but also these procedures were extremely inefficient and costly.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION An object of the invention is to provide a method and apparatus for constructing an underwater riser wherein the sealing integrity between the interconnected risersections is substantially increased.

Another object of the invention is to provide a method and apparatus for constructing an underwater riser in a manner assuring the safety of the various operating personnel and which is economical in construction and operation.

One other object of the invention is to provide-a method and apparatus for constructing an underwater riser and connecting one end of the constructed riser to one end of an underwater pipeline, wherein the alignment of the riser with the end of the underwater pipeline is accomplished in a faster, more efficient and more positive manner.

A further object of the invention is to provide a method and apparatus for constructing an underwater riser wherein the required construction time is substantially reduced.

A still further object of the invention is to provide a method and apparatus for constructing an underwater riser and for connecting one end of the constructed riser to one end of an underwater pipeline which is economical in construction and operation.

Another object of the invention is to provide a guide coupling for aligning the ends of two pipelines to be interconnected in a more efficient and positive manner.

One further object of the invention is to provide a guide coupling for guidingly aligning the ends of two pipelines to be interconnected, which'is economical in construction and operation.

One other object of thei'nvention is to provide a guide coupling apparatus to guide one end of a pipeline into an interconnecting relationship with one end of another pipeline particularly useful in effecting underwater connections.

Another object of the invention is to provide a risersection constructed to be economically and efficiently connected to another riser-section.

A still further object of the invention is to provide a method and apparatus for positioning an underwater pipeline in an interconnecting alignment with a riser in a faster, more efficient and more economical manner.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will be evident from the following detailed description when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings which illustrate the various embodiments of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a sideelevational view of a marine support member, more particularly, a platform having a riser construction apparatus supported thereon for constructing a riser and for connecting the constructed riser to one end of an underwater pipeline.

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the riser construction apparatus of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged, side elevational view showing a preferred embodiment of a portion of a riser support assembly constructed to be utilized in cooperation with the riser construction apparatus of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of a modified riser construction apparatus, similar to the riser construction apparatus of FIG. 1, but having an insertable, removable support structure.

FIG. 5 is a partial, enlarged sectional view showing a pair of interconnected riser-sections constructed to be utilized in cooperation with the riser construction apparatus of FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 is a sectional view of the riser-sections of FIG. 5, taken substantially along lines 6-6 of FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a sectional view, similar to FIG. 5, but showing a modified pair of interconnected riser-sections.

FIG. 8 is an enlarged, sectional view showing a preferred embodiment of the guide-coupling apparatus of FIG. 1.

FIG. 9 is an enlarged, sectional view showing a portion of the riser and a portion of the underwater pipeline of FIG. 8 in an interconnected position.

FIG. 10 is a sectional view, similar to FIG. 8, but showing a-modified guide-coupling apparatus.

FIG. 11 is an enlarged sectional view, similar to FIG. 9, but showing a modified riser and underwater pipeline interconnection.

FIG. 12 is an enlarged, elevational view showing a flange alignment apparatus utilized to align the bolt holes in the riser and the underwater pipeline for bolting interconnection therebetween.

FIG. 13 is a top elevational view of the end of the underwater pipeline of FIG. 12 having the guide coupling apparatus removed therefrom, and a portion of a pin guide assembly positioned therein.

FIG. 14 is a partial, side elevational view of the flange alignment apparatus of FIG; 12.

FIG. 15 is a diagrammatical, side elevational view showing a riser construction and connection apparatus for constructing a riser and connecting the riser to an underwater pipeline from a barge type support member.

FIG. 16 is a partial diagrammatical, side elevational view showing a portion of an underwater pipeline and apparatus for moving the underwater pipeline into an interconnecting'position with respect to an underwater riser being constructed from a platform.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring to the drawings in general, and to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 in particular, shown therein and designated by the general reference 10 is a riser construction apparatus for constructing a riser 12 by securedly interconnecting a predetermined number of riser-sections 14 from a support member 16, and connecting one end of the constructed riser 12 to an underwater pipeline 18. The riser construction apparatus 10 is supported in an assembled position upon the support member 16 which is, more particularly, an offshore platform or, in other words, a platform which is supported on a floor 20 of a body of water 22, a portion of the platform 16 being disposed in a body of water 22 generally below a surface 24 thereof. The platform 16 may be of the type commonly utilized with respect to various offshore operations relating to the drilling and production of oil and gas, .for example, and basically comprises: a plurality of support legs 26, which are anchored in the floor 20 of the body of water 22; and a plurality of brace members 28, which are securedly interconnected to the support legs 26 (only two of the brace members 28 and only two of the support legs 26 are shown in FIG. 1, for the purpose of clarity of description).

As shown more clearly in FIG. 1, the platform 16 includes a first operating deck 30 supported thereon generally above the surface 24 of the body of water 22. A portion of the first operating deck 30 is secured to a portion of each of the support legs 26, and is generally supported on the platform 16 thereby. A second operating deck 32 is-supported by the support legs 26 on the platform 16, a distance generally above the first operating deck 30. The first and the second operating decks 30 and 32 may be of the type generally adapted to support various well-drilling and servicing equipment and, in some installations, the second operating deck 32' may be removable for temporary utilization during certain portions of the overall construction operation. The construction and utilization of various offshore support members, such as the platform 16, generally described above, is well known in the art and a detailed description thereof is not required herein.

As shown more clearly in FIGS. 1 and 2, the riser construction apparatus 10 generally includes: a riser support assembly 34 and a riser lowering assembly 36, each being supported on a portion of the first operating deck 30; and a positioning assembly 38 supported on a lower side portion of the second operating deck 32, generally between the first operating deck 30 and the second operating deck 32. Although the riser construction apparatus 10 can be securedly connected directly to various portions of the support member 16 and supported thereby, in a preferred form, and as shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, the support assembly 34 and the riser lowering assembly 36 are, more particularly, securedly supported on a base plate 40 which is connected to a support frame 42, in a manner to be described in more detail below.

The support frame 42 is securedly connected to and supported upon a portion of the first operating deck 30, and basically comprises a plurality of structural members 44 (one of the structural members 44 being shown in FIG. 1), such as, for example, I-beams, which are interconnected to form a generally rectangularly shaped support structure. The base plate 40 has opposite ends 46 and 48 and opposite sides 50 and 52. Inactual practice, additional structural members may be interconnected and secured generally between the opposite ends 46 and 48 and the opposite sides 50 and 52 to provide additional supporting strength for the support frame 42. In view of the detailed description of the riser construction apparatus below, the precise construction of a support frame and the precise interconnection of the various structural members will be apparent to those skilled in the art and a detailed description thereof is not required herein.

As shown more clearly in FIG. 2, the base plate 40 includes a plurality of support apertures 54 formed therethrough. It should be particularly noted that the first operating deck 30 also has apertures formed therethrough (not shown) aligned with the support apertures 54 in the base plate 40 or, at least, the first operating deck 30 has an opening therethrough positioned such that riser-sections 14 can be positioned through the support apertures 54. Each support aperture 54, more particularly, is sized to receive one of the riser-sections 14 such that a portion of the base plate 40 supportingly engages a portion of the riser-section 14 to storingly support the riser-section 14 disposed therein in a stored position for subsequent utilization in the construction of the riser 12, for reasons and in a manner to be described in greater detail below.

As generally shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, each risersection 14 has a connecting upper end 56 and a connecting lower end 58 formed thereon. The connecting upper end 56 of each riser-section 14 is shaped to interconnectingly mate with the connecting lower end 58 of another riser-section 14, in such a manner that the riser-sections 14 can be securedly joined to form the riser 12. In a preferred form, the connecting lower end of one of the riser-sections 14 is, more particularly, an underwater connecting end and is positioned or interconnected to the other riser-sections 14 to form an underwater connecting end of the constructed riser 12 in a manner to be described in greater detail below.

A support ring 60 is formed about the outer periphery of each riser-section 14, generally near the connecting upper end 56 thereof, as shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3. Each support ring 60 extends a distance generally radially from one of the riser-sections 14. More particularly, each support ring 60 is shaped and sized to extend a sufficient distance from one of the riser-sections 14, such that when one of the riser-sections 14 is lowered into a stored position through one of the support apertures 54, a portion of the support ring 60 engages a portion of the base plate 40, generally adjacent the support aperture 54, the riser-section 14 being thus supported in a stored position therein. It

should also be noted that the support ring 60 of each riser-section 14 is also shaped and disposed to engagingly contact a portion of the riser support assembly 34, in one position of the riser support assembly 34, during the construction of the riser 12, in a manner and for reasons which will be described in greater detail below.

In a preferred form and as shown more clearly in FIG. 2, a pair of position apertures 62 are formed through a portion of each support ring 60. The position apertures 62 are spaced approximately 180 apart and are sized and positioned on each support ring 60 to cooperate with the riser support assembly 34 such that one of the riser-sections 14 is securedly positioned and supported therein in one position of the riser support assembly 34, as will be described in greater detail below.

A pair of support apertures 64 are also formed through a portion of each support ring 60, as shown in FIG. 2. The support apertures 64 are spaced approximately 180 apart, and each support aperture 64 is spaced approximately 90 from each position aperture 62. The support apertures 64 are sized and positioned on each support ring 60 to cooperate with the lowering assembly 36 such that the interconnected riser-sections 14 can be lowered through the riser support assembly 34, in one position of the riser support assembly 34 and in one position of the lowering assembly 36, in a manner to be described in greater detail below.

As shown more clearly in FIGS. 2 and 3, the riser opening 66 is formed through a central portion of the base plate 40, and the riser opening 66 is also centrally disposed with respect to the riser support assembly 34. The riser opening 66 is sized such that the interconnected riser-sections 14 can be passed therethrough, more particularly, the riser opening 66 has a diameter larger than the largest radial diameter of any portion of any of the riser-sections 14, for reasons which will be made apparent below. It should be particularly noted that the first operating deck 30 also has apertures (not shown) formed therethrough or, at least, an opening therethrough positioned such that interconnected risersections 14 can be passed through the riser opening 66 during one portion of the operation of the riser construction apparatus 10, for reasons and in a manner to be described in more detail below.

As shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, the riser support assembly 34 is secured to and supported upon a portion of the base plate 40, generally about or near the riser opening 66. The riser support assembly 34 has a support position, and is constructed to securedly position and to supportingly engage one of the riser-sections 14 or, more particularly, a portion of the support ring 60 of one of the riser-sections 14, in a support position of the riser support assembly 34. The riser support assembly 34 also has a release position, and is constructed to non-engagingly pass the interconnected riser-sections l4 therethrough, in a release position thereof, in a manner to be described in greater detail below.

The riser support assembly 34 includes a pair of support arm assemblies 70 secured to a portion of the base plate 40, generally adjacent the riser opening 66, and a pair of actuator assemblies 72 which are secured to a portion of the base plate 40. Each actuator assembly 72 is connected to one of the support arm assemblies 70 to move the support arm assemblies 70 to a support position and a release position, in a manner to be described in detail below.

Each support arm assembly 70 includes a support arm 74, as shown more clearly in FIGS. 2 and 3. Each support arm 74 has a pivot end 76 and a support end 78. The pivot end 76 of each support arm 74 is pivotally secured to the support member 16 and, more particularly, each pivot end 76 is pivotally secured to a flange 80 via a pin 82, as shown more clearly in FIG. 3. Each flange 80 is secured to the base plate 40, and positioned thereon such that, in the assembled position of the riser support assembly 34, the support arms 74 are spaced approximately 180 apart, for reasons which will be made apparent below.

In a preferred-form, each support arm 74 has a base 84 formed on the support end 78 thereof, and each base 84 has an upper supporting surface 86 formed thereon. Each upper surface 86 is arcuately shaped and each risersection 14 in a support position of the riser support assembly 34, and in one position of each risersection 14. It should be noted that each support arm assembly 70 could, in one form, include additional locating pins 88', however, in a preferred form, each support arm assembly 70 does include at least one locating pin 88, and each support arm assembly 70 is disposed generally on opposite sides of the riser-section 14 being supported thereby such that the locating pins 88 on the support arm'assemblies 70 are spaced approximately 180 apart, in a support position of the riser support assembly 34, as shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3.

As shown more clearly in FIG. 3, the support ring 60 of each riser-section 14 has an upper surface 90 and a lower surface 92. The lower surface 92 of each support ring 60 is shaped to engage a portion of the upper surface 86 of each support arm 74, in a support position of one of the riser-sections 14 with respect to the riser support assembly 34, as shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3.

Each actuator assembly 72, more particularly, includes a cylinder actuator 93, having a piston arm 94 reciprocatingly disposed therein. The end of each cylinder actuator 93, opposite the piston arm 94 end thereof, is pivotally secured to a flange 95, which is secured to a portion of the base plate 40 via a pivot pin 96 (the pivotal interconnection between one of the cylinder actuators 93 and one of the flanges 95 being shown in greater detail in FIG. 3). The end of each piston arm 94 opposite the end thereof reciprocatingly disposed in one of the cylinder actuators 93 is pivotally secured to a flange 97, formed on a portion of each support arm 74 and extending generally perpendicularly therefrom.

The support arms 74 and the cooperating cylinder actuators 93 are thus each pivotally connected to the support member 16 or, more particularly, to a portion of the base plate 40, and interconnected such that as each piston arm 94 is reciprocated into the respective cylinder actuator 93,-each support arm 74 is pivotally moved in a general direction 98 to a release position, and such that as each piston arm 94 is reciprocated generally toward the support arm 74 connected thereto, each support arm 74 is pivotally moved in a general direction 99 to a support position. Each cylinder actuator 93 is thus actuatable to move the support arm 74 connected thereto to a support position and a release position, in a manner as generally described above. Such cylinder actuators are well known in the art, and a further detailed description of the construction and operation thereof is not required herein.

In the support position of the riser support assembly 34 and one of the riser-sections 14, the locating pin 88 of each support arm 74 is disposed through one of the position apertures 62. In this position, the locating pins 88 of each support arm 74 thus cooperate with the support ring 60 of the supported riser-section 14 to securedly position the supported riser-section 14 in the riser support assembly 34. Thus, the base 84 securedly supports the riser-section 14 in the riser support assembly 34 in a stationary vertical position, and the locating pins 88 cooperate with the position apertures 64 to securedly support the riser-sections 14 in the riser support assembly 34 in a stationary axial position, in the support position of the riser support assembly 34.

It should be particularly noted that the term vertical as used herein to denote a direction or a plane represents a direction or a plane which extends generally parallel to a direction of plane extending perpendicularly from the base plate 40,, and the term horizontal as used herein to denote a direction or a plane represents a direction or plane which extends generally parallel to the base plate 40. In this regard, the terms axially and radially are used herein to denote a direction or a plane extending generally axially or radially with respect to the constructed riser 12 which is vertically disposed in the body of water 22.

The riser lowering assembly 36 is constructed and positioned to guidingly lower the constructed riser 12 in a direction generally toward the underwater pipeline 18 to a position wherein the riser 12 connectingly engages the underwater pipeline 18.- As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the riser lowering assembly 36 includes a pair of winch assemblies 100, each winch assembly 100 being supported on the support member 16 and spaced approximately l apar't. More particularly, one of the winch assemblies is supported on the base plate 40 generally near the end 46 thereof, and one of the winch assemblies 100 is supported on the base plate 40 generally near the end 48 thereof. A winch cable 102 is connected to each winch assembly 100.

As shown in FIG. 2, a pair of winch apertures 104 are formed through the base plate 40. More particularly, each winch aperture 104 is formed through the base plate 40 generally between one of the winch assemblies 100, and the riser aperture 66, for reasons which will be made-more apparent below.

One end of each wench cable 102 is secured to one of the winch assemblies 100 and the opposite end of each winch cable 102 is removably connected to a portype support member for temporary storage, for reasons to be made more apparent below.

The underwater pipeline 18 is constructed of a plurality of interconnected pipe-sections and, in a preferred form and as shown in FIG. 1, an underwater connecting end 140 is connected to one end of the underwater pipeline 18. The underwater connecting end 140, referred to sometimes below as the pipeline underwater connecting end 140, is constructed to interconnectingly engage one end of the constructed riser 12, in one position of the constructed riser 12and the underwater pipeline 18, as will be described in greater detail below. I

A guide coupling assembly 142 is removably disposed in a portion of the underwater pipeline 18 generally near the end of the underwater pipeline 18 having the underwater connecting end 140 connected thereto, as shown in FIG. 1. A portion of the guide coupling assembly 142 is shaped and disposed to guidingly engage a portion of the-constructed riser 12, generally near an underwater connecting end 144 thereof, to guide the constructed riser 12 to a position wherein the underwater connecting end 144 of the constructed riser 12 connectingly engages a portion of the underwater connecting end 140 of the underwater pipeline 18, in a manner to be described in greater detail below.

As mentioned before, each of the riser-sections 14 has a connecting upper end 56 and a connecting lower end 58; however, in a preferred form and as shown in FIG. 1, one of the riser-sections 14 has an upper end 56 and the underwater connecting end 144 is connected to the end thereof opposite the upper end 56 thereof. The riser-sections 14 are interconnected to form the constructed riser 12 such that the underwater connecting end 144 connected to the one riser-section 14 forms the lowermost end or the underwater connecting end 144 of the constructed riser 12. It is apparent from the foregoing that the constructed riser 12 is formed from a predetermined number of riser-sections 14 wherein one of the riser-sections 14 has an upper end 56 and an underwater connecting end 144, and each other risersection 14 has an upper end 56 and a lower end 58. The riser-sections 14 are interconnected such that the connecting upper end 56 of some of the riser-sections 14 is interconnected to the connecting lower end 58 of one other riser-section 14 to form the constructed riser 12, as will be made more apparent below.

As shown in FIG. 1, the riser construction apparatus also includes a flange alignment assembly 146 which is supported generally between the underwater connecting end 144 of the one riser-section l4 and the underwater connecting end 140 connected to the underwater pipeline 18. The flange alignment assembly 146 is constructed to align the bolt holes (not shown in FIG. 1) of the underwater connecting end 140 connected to the underwater pipeline 18 with the bolt holes through a portion of the underwater connecting end 144 of the one riser-section 14 for bolting interconnection therebetween, in a manner and for reasons which will be described in greater detail below.

OPERATION OF FIGURES 1, 2 AND 3 The riser construction apparatus 10 described above, is constructed and positioned to facilitate the construction of the riser 12 from the support member 16, and to position the lowermost end of the constructed riser 12, that is the underwater connecting end 144 thereof, in an interconnectingly engaging position with the underwater connecting end of the underwater pipeline 18, so that the constructed riser 12 can be safely and securedly joined to the underwater pipeline 18.

After the platform 16 has been constructed, the support frame 42, having the base plate 40 secured thereto is initially positioned upon and secured to a portion of the first operating deck 30 of the platform 16. In one form, the various assemblies and components of the riser construction apparatus 10 are then secured in an assembled position to the base plate 40 and to a portion of the second operating deck 32. In another form, the various assemblies and components of the riser construction apparatus 10 could be secured to the first operating deck 30, the first operating deck 30, in this form, providing the support structure for the riser construction apparatus 10.

A plurality of riser-sections 14 are then storingly disposed in the support apertures 54 for subsequent utilization in the construction of the riser 12. It should be noted that, in one form, the riser construction apparatus 10 could be assembled on the base plate 40 prior to inserting the support frame 42 onto the support member 16. In this form, if the riser-sections 14 are storingly disposed in the support apertures 54 prior to inserting the unit onto the platform 16, the first operating deck 30 will be constructed or modified to provide an access opening or a clearance for the stored risersections 14 to pass through, as the unit is being initially positioned onto the first operating deck 30.

In those applications where the riser-sections 14 are not initially positioned in the various support apertures 54 prior to installing the riser construction apparatus 10 on the platform 16, the riser-sections 14 to be storingly supported through the riser-section apertures 54 are initially unloaded from a barge, temporarily positioned in the riser section receiving assembly 130, and then positioned in the support apertures 54 by the positioning assembly 38. In this instance, the positioning assembly 38 is positioned generally over the risersection 14 temporarily stored in the riser section receiving assembly 130, and actuated to a lowering position, thereby lowering the crane cable 122. The crane cable 122 is lowered to a position wherein the riser section connector 124 can be securedly connected to the riser-section l4 stored in the riser section receiving assembly 130. The positioning assembly 38 is then actuated to a raising position, thereby raising the crane cable 122 and the riser-section 14 connected thereto via the riser-section connector 124. The positioning assembly 38 will raise the riser-section 14 to a position wherein the connecting lower end 58 of the riser-section 14 is disposed in a horizontal plane generally above the base plate v40. The positioning assembly 38 is then moved transversely and laterally over the base plate 40 to a position wherein the riser-section 14 connected thereto is spaced generally over one of the support apertures 54. The positioning assembly 38 is then again actuated to a lowering position, thereby lowering the riser-section 14 connected thereto through the support aperture 54 and to a position tion of the interconnected riser-sections 14, more particularly, a connecting end 106 of each winch cable 102 is removably connected to the support ring 60 of I 106. Each guide pulley 108 is secured to a portion of the platform 16, and is disposed thereon to guide one of the winch cables 102 into a guidingly, engagingposition with the constructed riser 12, for reasons which will be described in detail below.

1 connected thereto, thereby raising the constructed riser 12 connected thereto, and such that in the actuated lowering position, each winch 100 releases a predetermined length of the winch cable 102, thereby lowering the constructed riser 12 connected thereto. Winch assemblies constructed to retrieve and release a winch cable connected thereto, such as generally described above with respect to the winch assemblies 100, are well known in the art and a detailed description of the construction and operation of the various components thereof is not required herein.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the positioning assembly 38 includes an overhead crane assembly 110 which is rollingly connected to a transverse track assembly 1 12. The transverse track assembly 112 is rollingly connected to a lateral track assembly 113. The track assemblies 112 and 113 are each supported in a horizontal plane generally above the riser support assembly 34 and the stored riser-sections 14, which are storingly disposed in the support apertures 54. More particularly, the lateral track assembly 113 includes a pair of lateral track members 114 which extend generally laterally over the riser support assembly 34 and the stored riser-sections 14, and the transverse track assembly 112 includes a pair of transverse track members 115 which extend generally transversely with respect to the lateral track assembly 113.

The overhead crane assembly 110 includes a crane support frame 116 which is rollingly connected to the I transverse track assembly 112 via a plurality of interconnecting roller assemblies 118, as shown more clearly in FIG. 2. The crane support frame 116 is thus transversely positionable on the transverse track assembly 1 12 or, more particularly, rollable on the transverse track assembly 112 to predetermined positions over the stored riser-sections 14 and over the riser support assembly 34.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the overhead crane assembly 110 also includes a crane winch 120 which is 112 is thus laterally positionable on the lateral track assembly 113.

It is apparent from the foregoing, that the crane assembly 110 is positionable on the track assemblies 112 and 113 to predetermined positions over the stored riser-sections 14 and over the riser support assembly 34, during the operation of the positioning assembly 38. In one form, a position control apparatus (not shown) is connected to the overhead crane assembly 110 and a control portion thereof is disposed near the base plate 40 so that an operator can transversely and laterally position the overhead crane assembly 110, for

reasons and in a manner to be made more apparent below.

The riser section connector 124 is constructed to be removably secured to a portion of a riser-section 14. In a preferred form, the riser section connector 124 is, more particularly, constructed to be securedly and removably connected to the support ring 60 of one of the riser-sections 14 via the support apertures 64 therethrough, in an operating position of the riser section connector 124, so that the riser-section 14 connected thereto can be positioningly raised and lowered by the .positioning assembly 38, in a manner and for reasons to be described in detail below.

The crane winch is driven by a winch drive 126 which, as shown in FIG. 1, is also supported on a portion of the crane support frame 116. The winch drive 126 has an actuated raising position and an actuated lowering position, and is connected to the crane winch 120 such that, in an actuated raising position of the winch drive 126, the crane winch 120 retrieves a portion of the crane cable 122 thereby raising the risersection 14 connected thereto via the riser section connector 124 in a generally vertical direction toward the track assemblies 112 and 113, and such that, in an actuated lowering position of the winch drive 126, the crane winch 120 releases a portion of the crane cable 122 thereby lowering the riser-section 14 connected thereto via the riser section connector 124 in a generally downwardly direction toward the stored riser-sections 14 and the riser support assembly 34. In a preferred form, the control apparatus (not shown) for the winch drive 126 is connected to the winch drive 126 and movably disposed near the base plate 40 so that an operator can control the actuated position of the winch drive 126 to raise or lower a riser-section 14, in a manner and for reasons to be made more apparent below.

In one form, and as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the riser construction apparatus 10 also includes a riser section receiving assembly 130 which is supported on the support member 16. The riser section receiving assembly 130, as shown more clearly in FIG. 2, basically includes a pair of support beams 132, one end of each support beam 132 being secured to the end 46 of the support frame 42. The support beams 132 are spaced a distance apart, and each support beam 132 extends a distance generally perpendicularly from the support frame 42. More particularly, the support members 132 are spaced a sufficient distance apart and disposed with respect to the platform 16 to receivingly and supportingly engage a portion of the lower surface 92 of the support ring 60 of one of the riser-sections 14, which is supportingly positioned therein from a barge winch drive 126 of the positioning assembly 38 is then actuated to a raising position, and the overhead crane assembly 110 is then moved laterally and transversely on the track assemblies 112 and 113 to a position wherein the overhead crane assembly 110 is disposed generally above another or a subsequent riser-section 14. The winch drive 126 is then actuated to a lowering position, thereby lowering the riser section connector 124 to a position for interconnection thereof to the subsequent riser-section 14.

After the riser section connector 124 is secured to the support ring 60 of the riser-section 14, the winch drive 126 is then actuated to a raising position, thereby raising the riser-section 14 connected thereto. The riser-section 14 is raised in a generally upwardly direction and removed from the support aperture 54. The overhead crane assembly 110 is then laterally and transversely positioned over the base plate 40 to a position wherein the riser-section 14 connected thereto is disposed generally over the riser support assembly 34, in a manner as described above.

After the subsequent riser-section 14 has been positioned over the riser support assembly 34, as described above, the overhead crane assembly 110 is actuated to a lowering position, thereby lowering the riser-section 14 connected thereto generally toward the riser support assembly 34 or, more particularly, generally toward the supported riser-section 14 which is securedly supported in the riser support assembly 34. The riser-section 14 supported by the positioning assembly 38 is lowered to a position wherein the connecting lower end 58 thereof is positioned in a mating, interconnecting relationship with respect to the connecting upper end 56 of the riser-section 14, which is supported in the riser support assembly 34.

After the connecting lower end 58 of the riser-section 14 supported by the positioning assembly 38 is then moved into a mating, interconnecting relationship with respect to the connecting upper end 56 of the riser-section 14 supported in the riser support assembly 34, the two riser-sections 14 are then secured together such as, for example, by welding or bolting. two risersections 14 together. It should be noted that, in the preferred form, the two riser-sections 14 are welded or, at least, partially welded in an interconnecting relationship to form a portion of the constructed r iser 12. In this form of the invention, that is where the two risersections 14 are welded or partially welded in an interconnecting relationship, the connecting upper end 56 and the connecting lower end 58 of each riser-section 14 is formed and constructed to facilitate not only the interconnecting, mating relationship, described above, but also to facilitate the welding interconnection of the two riser-sections 14. It should also be noted that preferred embodiments of the connecting upper end 56 and the connecting lower end 58 of the riser-sections 14 will be described in greater detail below.

The riser support assembly 34 maintains the risersection 14, supported therein, in a firm and secure position, such that the movement of the supported risersection 14 is substantially reduced or virtually eliminated, as described before. The positioning assembly 38 cooperates to maintain the position of the riser-section 14 connected thereto in a manner relatively free of movement, and connecting upper end 56 and connecting lower end 58 of each riser-section 14 is also shaped in a preferred form, to cooperate with the riser support assembly 34 and the positioning assembly 38 to maintain the interconnecting disposition of the riser-sections 14 during the welding or other interconnecting operation to assure a sealingly secure interconnection between the two riser-sections.

After the two riser sections 14 have been secured in an interconnected relationship, as described above, the winch drive 126 of the positioning assembly 38 is actuated to a raising position, thereby raising the two interconnected riser-sections 14 in a generally upwardly, vertical direction. The two interconnected riser-sections 14 are raised upwardly by the positioning assembly 33 to a position wherein the riser support assembly 34 is disengaged from the supported riser-section 14 supported thereby or, more particularly, to a position wherein the locating pins 88 of the riser support assembly 34 are removed from the position apertures 62 of the supported riser-section 14.

After the two interconnected riser-sections 14 have been raised by the positioning assembly 38, as described above, each connecting end portion 106 of the riser iowering assembly 36 is removably, securedly connected through one of the support apertures 64 of the support ring 60 of the riser-section l4 first supported in the riser support assembly 34. The riser lowering assembly 36 is thus connected in an assembled position to a portion of the partially constructed riser 12, in a manner as described above.

The riser lowering assembly 36 is constructed and the guide pulleys 108 are disposed and positioned on the support member 16 to maintain each winch cable 102 taut at all times during the construction of the riser 12, after the riser lowering assembly 36 has been connected to the first supported riser-section l4 and, more particularly, is constructed to lower the interconnected riser-sections 14 of the constructed riser 12 to a position wherein the underwater connecting end 144 of the constructed riser 12 is interconnectingly disposed with respect to the underwater connecting end 140 of the underwater pipeline 18, as will be described in greater detail below.

After the interconnected riser-sections 14 have been disengaged from the riser support assembly 34, as described above, the riser support assembly 34 is actuated to a release position, that is a position wherein each support arm 74 is pivoted in a release direction 98 away from the riser opening 66. The support arm assemblies 70 and the actuator assemblies 72 are each constructed such that, in the release position of the riser support assembly 34, each support arm 74 is pivoted in a release direction 98 to a position wherein the interconnected riser-sections 14 can be lowered through the riser support assembly 34 and through the riser opening 66 without engaging either support arm assembly 70.

After the riser support assembly 34 has been positioned in the release position, the overhead crane assembly 110 is actuated to a lowering position, thereby lowering the two interconnected riser-sections 14 through the riser support assembly 34 through the riser opening 66, to a position wherein the connecting upper end 56 of the last connected riser-section 14 is disposed in a horizontal plane generally above the riser support wherein the riser-section 14 is storingly supported therein, in a manner as described before.

The positioning assembly 38 is utilized, in a manner as described above, to remove a predetermined number of riser-sections 14 from the riser section receiving assembly 130 and to position those riser-sections 14 in a stored position through the support apertures 54. It should also be noted that, in those applications where the riser-sections 14 are storingly disposed in the support apertures 54 prior to inserting the riser construction apparatus onto the platform 16, the riser section receiving assembly- 130 and the positioning assembly 38 can be utilized to obtain additional riser-sections 14 which may be required during the construction of the riser 12, in some of the applications, in a manner similar to that described above.

Whether the riser section receiving assembly 130 and the positioning assembly 38 are utilized to initially position the riser-sections 14 in the support apertures 54, or to position additional riser-sections 14 in the support apertures 54, in either event, the riser-sections 14 can be initially positioned in the riser section receiving assembly 130 and subsequently positioned in the support apertures 54 by the positioning assembly 130 during a slack tide. In this manner, the stored riser-sections 14 can be subsequently utilized to construct the riser 12 regardless of the water condition, and thus various operating personnel and equipment are not idled due to a rough water condition, thereby reducing the amount of non-productive time and substantially increasing the efficiency and reducing the cost of the riser construction operation.

After the riser construction apparatus 10 has been securedly positioned on the platform 16 and the risersections 14 have been storingly disposed through the support apertures 54, the riser support assembly 34 is then actuated to a support position, that is a position wherein the riser support assembly 34 is positioned to securedly and supportingly receive and engage a risersection 14. More particularly, each actuator assembly 72, shown more clearly in FIG. 3, is actuated to pivotally move each support arm assembly 70 in a support direction 99.

The positioning assembly 38 and, more particularly, the overhead crane assembly 110 supported thereon, is then transversely and laterally positioned on the transverse track assembly 112 and the lateral track assembly 113, respectively, such that the overhead crane assembly 110 is positioned generally over or above one of the riser-sections 14 which is storingly disposed in one of the support apertures 54 or in the riser section receiving assembly 130. In this position of the positioning assembly 38, the winch drive 126 is then actuated to a lowering position, thereby lowering the crane cable 122 in a downwardly direction generally toward the base plate 40. The crane cable 122 is lowered, in a manner as described above, to a position wherein the riser section connector 124 is disposed generally near the connecting upper end 56 of one of the riser-sections 14. The operator will then secure the riser section connector 124 to the riser-section 14 or, more particularly, to the support ring 60 of the riser-section 14.

After the riser section connector 124 is secured to one of the riser-sections 14, the winch drive 126 is then actuated to a raising position wherein the crane cable 122 is retrieved on the crane winch 120 or, in other words, wherein the crane cable 122 is moved in an upwardly direction generally toward the positioning assembly 38, thereby raising the riser-section 14 connected thereto via the riser section connector 124. The overhead crane assembly 1 10 will continue to move the riser-section 14 connected thereto in an' upwardly direction to a position wherein the connecting lower end 58 of the riser-section 14 is disposed a distance vertically above the base plate 40 and thus removed from the support apertures 54.

The operator will then move the overhead crane assembly 110 transversely across the transverse track assembly 112 and move the transverse track assembly 112 laterally across the lateral track assembly 113 to a position wherein the riser-section 14 connected thereto is disposed generally above the riser support assembly 34 or, more particularly, generally above the riser opening 66 through the base plate 40. The overhead crane assembly 110, or more particularly, the winch drive 126 thereof is then actuated to a lowering position, thereby lowering the riser-section 14 connected thereto in a generally downwardly direction toward the base plate 40.

The riser-section 14 is lowered by the overhead crane assembly 110, as described above, through the space between the support arm assemblies 70 and through the riser opening 66 to a position wherein the lower surface 92 of the support ring 60 is supportingly engaged by the upper surface 86 of each support arm assembly 70. In a preferred form, the riser-section 14 being lowered through the riser opening 66 is also positioned such that each locating pin 88, disposed on the support arms 74, is partially disposed through one of the position apertures 62 in the support ring 60, as shown more clearly in FIG. 3.

The supported riser-section 14, that is the particular riser-section 14 supported in the riser support assembly 34, is thus secured in a predetermined horizontal plane via the engagement between a portion of the lower surface 92 of the support ring 60 and the supporting surface 86 of each support arm 74. The supported risersection 14 is also securedly supported in a predetermined axial position via the locating pins 88, each of which is disposed through one of the position apertures 62 in the support ring 60. The locating pins 88, more particularly, engage a portion of the support ring 60 and cooperate to limit or virtually prevent any rotational movement of the supported riser-section 14, about an axial axis, for reasons which will be made more apparent below.

It should be noted that, in a preferred form, the first riser-section 14 supported in the riser support assembly 34 is, more particularly, that one riser-section l4 having the underwater connecting end 144 connected thereto. It will be apparent from the foregoing that, in this manner, the lowermost end of the constructed riser 12, as shown in FIG. 1, will be the underwater connecting end 144.

After one of the riser-sections 14 has been securedly supported in the riser support assembly 34, the operator will then release and remove the risersectionconnector 124 from the support ring 60 of the supported riser-section 14, thereby disconnecting the supported riser-section 14 from the positioning assembly 38. The

assembly 34. The riser support assembly 34 is then actuated to a support position, as described before, and the interconnected riser-sections 14 are further lowered to a position wherein the connecting upper end portion 56 of the last connected riser-section 14 is securedly and supportingly engaged by the riser support assembly 34, in a manner similar to that described in detail before with respect to the riser-section 14 first supportingly positioned in the riser support assembly 34.

The riser-section connector 124 is then disconnected from the riser-section 14, and the two interconnected riser-sections 14 are then securedly supported and positioned in a predetermined horizontal plane by the riser support assembly 34, in a manner similar to that described before. The positioning assembly 38 is then utilized to remove another riser-section 14 storingly disposed in one of the support apertures 54, and to move that riser-section 14 to a position wherein the connecting lower end 58 of that riser-section 14 is matingly and interconnectingly disposed with respect to the connecting upper end 56 of the riser-section 14 supported in the riser support assembly 34, in a manner similar to that described above. The connecting lower end 58 of the riser-section 14 supported by the positioning assembly 38 is then secured to the connecting upper end 56 of the riser-section 14 supported in the riser support assembly 34, in a manner similar to that described above. The positioning assembly 38 is actuated to disengage the supported riser-sections 14 from the riser support assembly 34, and to lower the interconnected riser-sections 14 through the riser support assembly 34 and through the riser opening 66 to a position wherein the connecting upper end 56 of the last connected riser-section 14 is securedly and supportingly engaged by the riser support assembly 34.

A predetermined number of riser-sections 14 are interconnected in a manner as described above to form the constructed riser 12. The precise number of risersections 14 utilized to form the constructed riser 12 will, of course, depend upon the desired overall length of the riser l2 and the length of each riser-section 14.

After the riser-sections 14 have been securedly interconnected to form the constructed riser 12, the riser lowering assembly 36 is actuated to a raising position, thereby raising the constructed riser 12 to a position wherein the last connected riser-section 14 is disengaged from the riser support assembly 34. The riser support assembly 34 is then actuated to a release position.

In a release position of the riser support assembly 34, the riser lowering assembly 36 is actuated to a lowering position thereby lowering the constructed riser 12 in a generally downwardly direction toward the underwater connecting end 140 connected to the underwater pipeline 18. The riser lowering assembly 36 is, more particularly, utilized to lower the constructed riser 12 to a position wherein the underwater connecting end 144 thereof is positioned in mating and interconnecting engagement with the underwater connecting end 140 of the underwater pipeline 18, as will be described in greater detail below.

In one form, the riser lowering assembly 36 can be utilized solely to lower the constructed riser l2, and the positioning assembly 38 can be utilized to provide a stationary, augmenting support for the interconnected riser-sections 14 during the lowering thereof. ln another form, the riser lowering assembly 36 and, more particularly, the winch cables 102 thereof can be utilized solely to lower the constructed riser 12.

In a preferred form, and as will be described in greater detail below, the guide coupling assembly 142 and the flange alignment assembly 146 are each disposed in a portion of the underwater pipeline 18 generally near the underwater connecting end thereof. The guide coupling assembly 142 and the flange alignment assembly 146 each cooperate to position the underwater connecting end 144 of the constructed riser 12 in an interconnecting relationship with respect to the underwater connecting end 140 of the underwater pipeline 18. More particularly, the guide coupling assembly 142 guidingly engages the underwater connecting end 144 of the constructed riser 12 to guide the underwater connecting end 144 in an interconnecting relationship with respect to the underwater connecting end 140 of the underwater pipeline 18, as the constructed riser 12 is lowered in a generally downwardly direction toward the underwater connecting end 140 of the underwater pipeline 18. The flange alignment assembly 146, more particularly, cooperates to align the bolt holes of the underwater connecting end 144 with the bolt holes of the underwater connecting end 140 for bolting interconnection therebetween in a manner which will be described in more detail below.

The riser lowering assembly 36 will be actuated to initially lower the constructed riser 12 to a position wherein the underwater connecting end 144 thereof is disposed in a horizontal plane generally above the underwater connecting end 140 of the underwater pipeline 18. The riser lowering assembly 36 is then utilized to maintain the constructed riser 12 in a predetermined horizontal plane until such time as the underwater interconnection between the constructed riser l2 and the underwater pipeline 18 can be effected by a diver. The diver will position himself generally near the underwater connecting ends 140 and 144 of the pipeline l8 and the constructed riser l2, respectively, and then, in a preferred form, the riser lowering assembly 36 will be actuated to further lower the constructed riser 12 to a position wherein the underwater connecting end 144 of the riser l2 interconnectingly and matingly joins the underwater connecting end 140 of the underwater pipeline 18. The diver will then secure the constructed riser 12 to the underwater pipeline 18 such as, for example, by bolting or by bolting and welding the underwater connecting end 144 of the riser 12 to the underwater connecting end 140 of the underwater pipeline 18.

It will be apparent from the foregoing, that the riser construction apparatus 10, shown in fIGS. 1, 2 and 3 and described above, thus provides an apparatus and a method for constructing an underwater riser in a safe and efficient manner, and a manner assuring a sealingly secure interconnection between the various riser-sections 14 and between the underwater interconnecting ends of the riser and the underwater pipeline. The two riser-sections 14 which are being interconnected during any one portion of the operation of the riser construction apparatus 10 are securedly positioned in an interconnecting relationship by the riser support assembly 34 and the riser positioning assembly 38, thereby substantially reducing or virtually eliminating relative movement between the two riser-sections 14 being thus interconnected. In those instances where the interconnection between the two riser-sections must be effected while relative movement between the two riser-sections is occurring, as in the past, the interconnecting weld material or the seal element disposed between the end of the two riser-sections being interconnected will be continually fractured, cracked or damaged, thus making it virtually impossible to assure a sealingly secure interconnection.

' The riser construction apparatus is particularly adapted to be supported by a marine support structure 16, such as the platform 16, shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, thereby permitting the various technical personnel responsible for the construction of the riser 12 to perform their various responsibilities and functions from a stable supporting structure, and further since the relative movement between the two riser-sections 14 being interconnected is virtually eliminated, their various functions and responsibilities can be effected under safer, overall working conditions. It should also be noted that since the two riser-sections 14 are securedly positioned and supported in a mating and interconnected relationship during the interconnecting operation, in a manner as described above, the various risersections 14 can be interconnected to form the constructed riser 12 independent of the particular condition of the body of water 22 into which the constructed riser 12 will ultimately be disposed. More particularly, the interconnection between the various riser-sections 14 can be effected utilizing the riser construction apparatus 10 even during those times when a high tide or a rough water condition exists with respect to the body of water 22 generally about or near the marine support structure 16, thereby effecting the construction of the riser 12 in'a more efficient manner.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 and as described in detail before, a plurality of riser-sections 14 are storingly disposed through a portion of the riser construction apparatus 10 to be subsequently utilized during the construction of the underwater riser 12. The riser-section receiving assembly 130 allows a plurality of additional riser-sections 14 to be unloaded from a barge and storingly disposed in the riser construction apparatus 10 during slack tide water conditions, thereby permitting an overall more efficient riser construction operation. More particularly, utilizing the riser construction apparatus 10, the various technical and operating personnel associated with the construction of the riser 12 are not idled during rough water conditions.

' EMBODIMENT oF FIGURE 4 The riser construction apparatus 10a, shown in FIG. 4, is constructed similar to the 'riser' construction apparatus 10, shown in-FIGS.- 1, 2 and 3, thesalient difference being that the support frame 42 is-rigidly and adjustably connected to the transverse track assembly 1 12 and the-lateraltrack assembly ll3 by. aplurality of telescoping connectors'l50. The riser construction apparatus 10a is'thus constructedsuch that the support frame 42 provides apor'table supporting structure. for

the riser support assembly 34, the riser lowering assembly 36, the positioning assembly 38 and the riser section receiving assembly 130, such that the riser construction apparatus can be constructed as a complete, single, unitary unit, and subsequently transported to the various offshore locations, and inserted as a unit onto the support structure, such as the platform 16 shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.

Each telescoping connector has opposite ends, and one end of each telescoping connector 150 is connected to a portion of the base plate 40. The positioning assembly 38 is supportingly connected to the end of each telescoping connector 150, opposite the ends thereof secured to the base plate 40. Each telescoping connector 150 is positionable in predetermined horizontal planes to position the positioning assembly 38 in a transport position and an assembled position.

More particularly, each telescoping connector 150 (two of the telescoping connectors 150 are shown in FIG. 4), basically includes a first structural support member 152, which is secured on one end thereof to a portion of the lateral track assembly 113, and a second structural member 154, which is secured on one end thereof to the support frame 42. Each second structural member 154 is hollow, and the hollow portion thereof is sized to telescopingly receive a portion of one of the first structural members 152. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art from the foregoing, thatthe vertical distance generally between the base plate 40 and the transverse track assembly 112 and the lateral track assembly 113 is thus adjustable in a vertically, downwardly direction 158 and in a vertically, upwardly direction by moving the positioning assembly 38 in a vertically downwardly direction 158 or in a vertically upwardly direction 160, respectively, thereby telescoping each first structural member 152 a greater distance into the hollow portion of one of the second structural members 154 or telescoping each first structural member 152 in a direction generally out of the hollow portion of one of the second structural members 154. It should be noted that although only two of the telescoping connectors 150 are shown in FIG. 2, that in a preferred form, a plurality of telescoping connectors 150 are connected to the base plate 40 and positioned thereon generally about the support frame 42 such as, for example, positioning one telescoping connector 150 at each corner of the support frame 42, in such a manner that the transverse track assembly 112 and the lateral track assembly 113 is securedly positioned in a horizontal plane generally above the base plate 40 via the telescoping connectors 150.

In one form, after the first structural member 152 of each telescoping connector 150 has been telescopingly disposed to a predetermined position in the hollow portion of one of the second structural members 154, the first structural member 152 and the second structural member 154 of each telescoping connector 150 can be secured in this predetermined position by welding interconnection therebetween. In a preferred form, and as indicated in FIG. 4, a plurality of apertures 156 are formed. through a portion of each of the second structural members 154 and a plurality of holes, similar to the holes 156, arealso formed through a portion of each of the first structural members 152. In this latter form, after the positioning-assembly38 has been moved to a predetermined horizontal position above the base plate 40, a securing pin (not shown) can then be disposed through one of the apertures 156 and through an aligned aperture in the first structural member 152 of each telescoping connector 150, the pin thereby removably securing the first structural member 152 in a predetermined position with respect to the second structural member 154 of each telescoping connector 150.

OPERATION OF FIG. 4

As mentioned before, the riser construction apparatus a, shown in FIG. 4, is particularly constructed to provide portable support for the various components and assemblies of the riser construction apparatus 10a, so that the riser construction apparatus 10a can be conveniently transported to a remote location and disposed in an assembled position on a particular marine support structure, such as the first operating deck 30 of the platform 16, shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. The riser construction apparatus 10a is positionable in a transport position, that is a position wherein the first structural member 152 has been telescoped in a vertically, downwardly direction 158 to the full extent, or more particularly, to the position wherein the end of each first structural member 152 either abuts the end of one of the second structural members 154 connected to the support frame 42 or to a position wherein a portion of the positioning assembly 38 engages a portion of the end of each second structural member 154 opposite the ends thereof secured to the support frame 42.

After positioning the riser construction apparatus 100 in a transport position, as described above, the riser construction apparatus 10a is then transported to a predetermined remote location for installation on a particular marine support structure. The riser construction apparatus 10a is then disposed in an operating position on the marine support structure and the support frame 42 is secured and positioned thereto such as by bolting or welding.

After the support frame 42 has been securedly positioned on the particular marine support structure, the positioning assembly 38 is then raised in a vertically, upwardly direction 160 to an assembled position wherein the positioning assembly 38 is disposed in a predetermined horizontal plane above the base plate 40 of the support frame 42. In an assembled position of the positioning assembly 38, the first structural member 152 and the second structural member 154 of each telescoping connector 150 are then interconnected such as, for example, by welding or by utilizing a pin disposed through one of the apertures 156, in a manner as described above.

It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that after the riser construction apparatus 10a has been inserted and secured in an operating position on the particular marine support structure, that the riser construction apparatus 10a will then be utilized to construct the riser l2 and to guidingly position the underwater connecting end 144 thereof in an interconnecting relationship with respect to the underwater connecting end 140 of the underwater pipeline 18, in a manner as described before with respect to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3. The riser construction apparatus 10a thus retains all of the advantages of the riser construction apparatus 10, and in addition provides a portable structure which can be transported to various locations in an assembled posi' tion.

EMBODIMENT OF FIGS. 5 AND 6 One preferred embodiment of each riser-section 14 having the connecting upper end 56 and the connecting lower end 58 is shown in detail in FIGS. 5 and 6. More particularly, the connecting upper end 56 of a riser-section 14 is shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 in an interconnected relationship with respect to the connected lower end 58 of another riser-section 14. The two riser-sections 14, shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, have been sealingly secured in an interconnecting relationship by welding a portion of the connecting upper end 56 of one of the riser-sections 14 to a portion of the connected lower end 58 of the other riser-section 14.

Although, the following description will relate particularly to the two riser-sections 14, as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, it is contemplated in this embodiment of the invention that each of the riser-sections l4 utilized to construct the riser 12, in a manner as described before with respect to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, includes a connecting upper end 56 and a connecting lower end 58 constructed in a manner as particularly described below with respect to the riser-sections 14, shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. As mentioned before, one of the riser-sections 14 includes the underwater connecting end 144, and with respect to that one riser-section 14, only the description of the connecting upper end 56 below is applicable, in a preferred form.

Referring more particularly to the connecting upper end 56, as shown more clearly in FIG. 5, an uppermost end 200 thereof is beveled, thereby forming a beveled surface 202 extending about the outer periphery of the riser-section 14, generally adjacent the uppermost end 200 thereof. A groove 204 is formed in the inner periphery of the connecting upper end 56, extending a distance axially along the inner periphery thereof, and intersecting a portion of the uppermost end 200 thereof. The groove 204 terminates with a beveled end 206. The beveled end 206, more particularly, forms an annular beveled surface 206 which extends about the inner periphery of the connecting upper end 56, and is positioned therein to matingly abut a portion of the connecting lower end 58 of an adjoining riser-section 14, in a manner which will be made more apparent below.

As shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, the support ring 60 is formed on a portion of the outer periphery of the connecting upper end 56, and-extends a distance generally radially therefrom. The support ring extends about the entire outer periphery of the connecting upper end 56, generally near the uppermost end 200 thereof.

As shown more clearly in FIG. 5, a groove 208 is formed in a portion of the outer periphery of the connecting lower end 58, the groove 208 intersecting a portion of a lowermost end 210 of the connecting lower end 58. More particularly, the lowermost end 210 of the connecting lower end 58 is beveled, thereby forming an annular beveled surface 212 which extends about the outer periphery of the connecting lower end 58, generally adjacent the lowermost end 210 thereof. The beveled surface 212 matingly and positioningly engages the beveled surface 206 formed in the connecting upper end 56 of an adjoining riser-section 14, in an interconnecting position of the two riser-sections 14, as shown in FIG. 5.

The groove 208, as shown in FIG. 4, also extends a distance axially along the outer periphery terminating with an annular end surface 213 which intersects a portion of the outer periphery of the connecting lower end 58. The annular end surface 213 is beveled, thereby forming a beveled surface 213 extending about the outer periphery of the connecting lower end 58. In an assembled or interconnecting position of two riser-sections 14, the uppermost end 200 of the connecting upper end 56 engages a portion of the end surface 213 and, in this position, the beveled surface 202 formed on the connecting upper end 56 cooperates with the beveled surface 213 formed on the connecting lower end 58 of the adjoining riser-section 14 to form a V- shaped groove 214 which extends about the outer periphery of the interconnected riser-sections 14, as shown more clearly in FIG. 5. The V-shaped groove 214 provides a space wherein weld material is disposed so that the two riser sections 14 can be weldingly joined in an interconnected relationship, during the construction of the riser 12, as described before.

In a preferred form, and as shown in FIG. 5, the connecting upper end 56 and the connecting lower end 58 of the riser-sections 14 is constructed as a separate component, and subsequently secured to a pipe-section 216 to form each riser-section 14. The connecting upper end 56 and the connecting lower end 58 will therefore be sometimes used below to refer to the separate, individual components which are secured to the pipe-section 216 to form the riser-sections 14.

In this embodiment of the invention, that is where the connecting upper end 56 and the connecting lower end 58 are constructed as separate, individual components, each connecting lower end 58 includes an upper end 218 which is secured, or more particularly, welded to a lower end 220 of one of the pipe-sections 216. As shown in FIG. and, in a preferred form, the upper end 218 of the connecting lower end 58 is beveled, and the lower end 220 of the pipe-section 216 is also beveled. The beveled surfaces 218 and 220 of the connecting lower end 58 and the pipe-section 216, respectively, form a V-shaped groove 221 in an interconnected position of the connecting lower end 58 and one of the pipe-sections 216 to facilitate the welding interconnection therebetween, as shown in FIG. 5. Each connecting upper end 56, in this embodiment of the invention, includes a lower end 222 which is secured or, more particularly, welded to an upper end 224 of one of the pipe-sections 216. The lower end 222 and the upper end 224 of the connecting upper end 56 and the pipe-section 216, respectively, are beveled, and form a V-shaped groove 226 in an interconnected position of the connecting upper end 56 and one of the pipe-sections 216 to facilitate the welding interconnection therebetween, as shown in FIG. 5. 1

It should be noted that the salient reason for forming the connecting lower end 58 and the connecting upper end 56 as separate, individual components, and subsequently securing each connecting end 56 and 58 to the pipe-sections 216 is to facilitate the manufacture of the riser-sections 14. Since each connecting end 56 and 58, in a preferred form, requires a certain amount of machining to form the various beveled and tapered surfaces thereon, the forming of the connecting ends 56 and 58 as a separate, individual component reduces the cost of manufacture of the constructed riser-sections 14, and with respect to a riser-section 14 having an extremely large diameter, it should be noted that, in some instances, it may be extremely difficult to accurately machine the connecting ends 56 and 58 on the pipesections 216.

OPERATION OF FIGS. 5 AND 6 The connecting upper end 56 and the connecting lower end 58, described in detail above, not only facilitate the effecting of the interconnection between two riser-sections 14, but also are constructed to facilitate the guiding of the connecting lower end 58 of one of the riser-sections 14 into an adjoining and mating relationship with respect to the connecting upper end 56 of another riser section 14, during the construction of the riser 12, as described in detail above with respect to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3. More particularly, utilizing the riser-sections 14, constructed as-shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, one of the riser-sections 14 is securedly and supportingly positioned in the riser support assembly 34 such that the connecting upper end 56 of the riser-section 14 thus supported is disposed generally above the support arm assemblies of the riser support. assembly 34.

The positioning assembly 38 is then utilized to move another riser-section 14 to a position wherein the connecting lower end 58 of the riser-section 14 supported thereby is disposed in a horizontal plane generally above the supported riser-section 14. The operator will then actuate the positioning assembly 38 to a lowering position, thereby lowering the riser-section 14 connected thereto in the direction generally toward the connecting upper end 56 of the supported riser-section 14.

As the riser-section 14 is lowered by the positioning assembly 38, the beveled surface 212 of the connecting lower end 58 will initially engage a portion of the upper-most end 200 of the connecting upper end 56 of the supported riser-section 14 to guide the connecting lower end 58 into an interconnecting and mating relationship with respect to the connecting upper end 56 of the supported riser-section 14. More particularly, the connecting lower end 58 is guided into an interconnecting and mating position wherein the surface formed by the groove 204 of the connecting upper end 56 engagingly and slidingly receives the surface formed in the connecting lower end 58 by the groove 208 therein. The riser-section 14 supported by the positioning assembly 38 is further lowered to a position wherein the beveled surface 212 formed on the connecting lower end 58 positioningly engages the beveled surface 206 formed about the inner periphery of the connecting upper end 56.

The connecting lower end 58 and the connecting upper end 56 cooperate to maintain the riser-section 14 supported in the riser support assembly 34 in an interconnecting and adjoining relationship with respect to the riser-section 14 supported by the positioning assembly 38 while the interconnecting weld is effected by the various operating personnel, the interconnecting and adjoining weld between the two riser-sections 14 being made generally in the area between the two risersections 14 formed by the V-shaped groove 214.

EMBODIMENT OF FIG. 7

Shown in FIG. 7, is a modified embodiment of the connecting lower end 58a which may be preferred in some applications. The connecting lower end 58a is constructed similar to the connecting lower end 58, shown in FIGS. and 6, the salient difference being that a beveled surface 230 is formed about the inner periphery of the connecting lower end 58a, generally adjacent the lowermost end 210a thereof.

The beveled surface 230 extends about the inner periphery of the connecting lower end 580 and is shaped and positioned to cooperate with the beveled surface 206 formed about the inner periphery of the connecting upper end 56, such that when two riser-sections 14 are placed in an interconnecting and adjoining relationship, as described before, the beveled surfaces 206 and 230 form a V-shaped groove 232, as shown in FIG. 7. The V-shaped groove 232 extends about the inner periphery of the two adjoining riser-sections 14, and is positioned therebetween to facilitate an additional welding interconnection between the two adjoining riser-sections 14 about the inner periphery thereof, generally adjacent the interconnection therebetween.

OPERATION OF FIG. 7

The connecting upper end 56 and the connecting lower end 58a, as shown in FIG. 7, will operate similar to the connecting upper end 56 and the connecting lower end 58, as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. The salient difference resulting from utilization of the connecting lower end 58a being that an additional interconnecting weld may be effected between the two adjoining risersections 14.

This particular embodiment of the invention, as shown in FIG. 7, may be particularly useful when constructing a riser 12, wherein the riser-sections 14 have a relatively large inner diameter. In this embodiment of the invention, the various riser-sections 14 are preferably interconnectingly joined in a manner similar to that described before. The underwater connecting end 144 of the constructed riser 12 is then secured to the underwater connecting end 140 of the underwater pipeline 18. The accumulated water in the constructed riser 12 is then removed, in a manner to be described below, and a welder on a supporting platform is lowered downwardly through the constructed riser 12, in such a manner that the welder can effect each additional welding interconnection in the area formed by the V-shaped grooves 232.

It will be apparent to those skilled in the art from the foregoing, that the embodiment of the riser construction apparatus retains all of the advantages described before with respect to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, and in addition, provides risersections 14 which can be more securedly bonded or welded in an interconnecting relationship to form the completed, constructed riser 12.

EMBODIMENT or FIGS. 8 AND 9 In one form, the underwater connecting end 144 of the riser 12, could be constructed substantially the same as the connecting lower end 58, described in detail above. In that form of the invention, the underwater connecting end 140 of the underwater pipeline 18 should be constructed substantially the same as the connecting upper end 56, described in detail above, with the exception of the support ring which would not be necessary, as will be apparent to those skilled in the art. However, in a preferred form, the underwater connecting end of the underwater pipeline 18 and the underwater connecting end 144 of the lowermost riser-section 14 of the constructed riser 12 are constructed in a different manner to facilitate the underwater interconnection therebetween. A

preferred embodiment of the underwater connecting end 140 connected to the underwater pipeline l8 and the underwater connecting end 144 connected to the constructed riser l2, and a preferred embodiment of the guide coupling assembly 142 are shown in FIGS. 8 and 9.

As shown more clearly in FIG. 9, the underwater connecting end 140 of the underwater pipeline 18 and the underwater connecting end 144 of the constructed riser 12 are each, in a preferred form, constructed as a separate, individual component, the underwater connecting end 140 being secured to one end of one of the pipe-sections forming the underwater pipeline 18 and the underwater connecting end 144 being secured to the lowermost end of the first connected or the lowermost riser-section 14. The underwater connectingend 140 is thus sometimes referred to below as the pipeline underwater connecting end 140, and the underwater connecting end 144 is sometimes referred to below as the riser underwater connecting end 144.

Referring more particularly to the underwater connecting end 140, as shown more clearly in FIG. 9, the underwater connecting end 140 has an uppermost end 300 and a lower end 302. The lower end 302 of the underwater connecting end 140 is secured to an upper end 304 of the underwater pipeline 18 and, in a preferred form, the lower end 302 of the underwater connecting end 140 and the end 304 of the underwater pipeline 18 are each beveled such that when the underwater connecting end 140 is placed in an interconnecting relationship with respect to the underwater pipeline 18, the beveled ends 302 and 304 form a V- shaped groove 306 which extends about the periphery of the interconnection therebetween. The V-shaped groove 306 is provided to facilitate the welding interconnection between the underwater connecting end 140 and the underwater pipeline 18, as shown in FIGS. 8 and 9.

The underwater connecting end 144 has a beveled upper end 308 and a beveled lowermost end 310. As shown more clearly in FIG. 9, the upper end 308 of the underwater connecting end 144 is secured to a beveled lowermost end 312 of the lowermost riser-section 14 of the constructed riser 12. In an assembled position of the underwater connecting end 144, the upper end 308 thereof and the lowermost end 312 if the constructed riser 12 cooperate to provide or form a V-shaped groove 314 to facilitate the welding interconnection between the one riser-section 14 and the underwater connecting end 144.

Claims (38)

1. Apparatus for constructing a riser from a marine support member and connecting one end of the constructed riser to an underwater pipeline, the apparatus comprising: a predetermined number of riser-sections, interconnected to form the constructed riser, an underwater connecting end formed on one end of one riser-section connectingly engaging a portion of the underwater pipeline in one position of the constructed riser, support means formed on at least one riser-section; an underwater connecting end connected to one end of the underwater pipeline connectingly engaging the underwater connecting end of the constructed riser in one position of the constructed riser; positioning means supported on the marine support member, a portion of the positioning means being removably connected to the support means formed on the riser-section, to support the constructed riser in one position of the positioning means, the positioning means lowering the constructed riser connected thereto in a direction generally toward the underwater pipeline in one position of the positioning means; and guide coupling means removably disposed in a portion of the underwater pipeline generally near the end of the underwater pipeline having the underwater connecting end connected thereto, a portion of the guide coupling means guidingly engaging a portion of the constructed riser generally near the underwater connecting end thereof to guide the constructed riser to a position wherein the underwater connecting end thereof connectingly engages a portion of the underwater connecting end of the underwater pipeline.
1. Apparatus for constructing a riser from a marine support member and connecting one end of the constructed riser to an underwater pipeline, the apparatus comprising: a predetermined number of riser-sections, interconnected to form the constructed riser, an underwater connecting end formed on one end of one riser-section connectingly engaging a portion of the underwater pipeline in one position of the constructed riser, support means formed on at least one riser-section; an underwater connecting end connected to one end of the underwater pipeline connectingly engaging the underwater connecting end of the constructed riser in one position of the constructed riser; positioning means supported on the marine support member, a portion of the positioning means being removably connected to the support means formed on the riser-section, to support the constructed riser in one position of the positioning means, the positioning means lowering the constructed riser connected thereto in a direction generally toward the underwater pipeline in one position of the positioning means; and guide coupling means removably disposed in a portion of the underwater pipeline generally near the end of the underwater pipeline having the underwater connecting end connected thereto, a portion of the guide coupling means guidingly engaging a portion of the constructed riser generally near the underwater connecting end thereof to guide the constructed riser to a position wherein the underwater connecting end thereof connectingly engages a portion of the underwater connecting end of the underwater pipeline.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 further defined to include: means supported on the support member connected to a portion of the underwater pipeline to support a predetermined length of the underwater pipeline and the underwater connecting end connected thereto in a horizontal plane generally above the floor of the body of water, thereby maintaining the movement of the underwater connecting end of the underwater pipeline and the movement of the constructed riser relative to the movement of the support member.
3. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the guide coupling means is defined further to include, a portion sealingly engaging a portion of the underwater pipeline generally near the end thereof having the underwater connecting end connected thereto, said portion sealingly preventing the entry of fluid into the underwater pipeline via the end thereof having the underwater connecting end connected thereto.
4. Apparatus for constructing a riser from a marine support member to be connected to an underwater pipeline, comprising: a predetermined number of riser-sections, each riser-section having a connecting upper end and a connecting lower end, each connecting upper end of some of the riser-sections interconnected to the connecting lower end of one other riser-section, the interconnected riser-sections forming the constructed riser, support means formed on a portion of each riser-section; riser support means supported on the marine support member to securedly position and support one of the riser-sections in one position thereof, the riser support means, including: support arm means supported on the marine support member, having a support position and a release position, a portion of the support arm means supportingly engaging a portion of support means of one of the riser-sections in a support position of the support arm means and in one position of one of the riser-sections, the support arm means passing the interconnected riser-sections therethrough in a release position of the support arm means; and actuator means connected to the support arm means to position the support arm means in a support position and in a release position; and positioning means supported on the marine support member, a portion of the positioning means removably connected to a portion of the support means of one of the riser-sections in one position of the positioning means, the positioning means movable to a position wherein the connecting lower end of the riser-section removably connected thereto interconnectingly engages the connecting upper end of a riser-section supported in the riser support means in one position of the positioning means.
5. Apparatus for constructing a riser from a marine support member and connecting one end of the constructed riser to an underwater pipeline, the apparatus comprising: a predetermined number of riser-sections, one riser-section having a connecting upper end and an underwater connecting end, each other riser-section having a connecting upper end a connecting lower end, each connecting upper end of some of the riser-sections interconnected to the connecting lower end of one other riser-section, the interconnected riser-sections forming the constructed riser, the underwater connecting end of the one riser-section being the underwater connecting end of the constructed riser, support means formed about a portion of each riser-section generally near the connecting upper end thereof; riser support means supported on the marine support member to support one riser-section therein in one position thereof, the riser support means including: support arm means supported on the marine support member having a support position and a release position, a portion of the support arm means supportingly engaging a portion of the support means of one of the riser-sections in a support position of the support arm means and in one position of one of the riser-sections, the support arm means passing the interconnected riser-sections therethrough in a release position of the support arm means; and actuator means connected to the support arm means to position the support arm means in a support position and in a release position; and positioning means supported on the marine support member, a portion of the positioning means being removably connected to the support means of one of the riser-sections in one position of the positioning means, the positioning means movable to a position wherein the connecting lower end of the riser-section removably connected to the positioning means interconnectingly Engages the connecting upper end of the riser-section supported in the riser support means in one position of the positioning means; an underwater connecting end connected to one end of the underwater pipeline, a portion of the underwater connecting end of the underwater pipeline interconnectingly engaging the underwater connecting end of the constructed riser in one position of the constructed riser and the underwater pipeline; and guide coupling means removably disposed in a portion of the underwater pipeline generally near the end of the underwater pipeline having the underwater connecting end connected thereto, a portion of the guide coupling means guidingly engaging a portion of the constructed riser generally near the underwater connecting end thereof to guide the constructed riser to a position wherein the underwater connecting end of the constructed riser connectingly engages a portion of the underwater connecting end of the underwater pipeline.
6. The apparatus of claim 5 defined further to include: riser lowering means supported on the marine support member, a portion of the riser lowering means removably connected to a portion of the support means of one of the riser-sections in one position of the riser lowering means, the riser lowering means guidingly lowering the constructed riser in a direction generally toward the underwater connecting end of the underwater pipeline, to a position wherein the underwater connecting end of the constructed riser connectingly engages the underwater connecting end of the underwater pipeline.
7. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein the support means formed on the riser-sections is defined further as being a support ring formed on the outer periphery of each riser-section, generally near the connecting upper end thereof and extending generally radially therefrom, thereby forming an annular upper surface and an annular lower surface extending circumferentially about the outer periphery of each riser-section.
8. The apparatus of claim 7 wherein the support ring is defined further to include a predetermined number of position apertures formed therethrough.
9. The apparatus of claim 7 wherein the support ring is defined further to include a predetermined number of support apertures formed therethrough.
10. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein the support arm means is defined further to include: at least two support arms, each support arm having a pivot end and a support end, the pivot end of each support arm pivotally secured to a portion of the marine support member, the support arm of each support arm supportingly engaging a portion of the lower surface of the support ring of each riser-section in a support position of the support arm means and in one position of each riser-section; and wherein the actuator means is defined further to include: at least two cylinder actuator means, each cylinder actuator means pivotally connected to the marine support member and having a piston arm reciprocatingly disposed therein, one end of each piston arm pivotally connected to a portion of one of the support arms, each cylinder actuator means actuable to move the support arm means connected thereto to a support position and a release position.
11. The apparatus of claim 10 wherein the support end of each support arm is defined further to include: a base having an upper surface formed thereon, the upper surface being arcuately shaped and supportingly engaging a portion of the lower surface of the support ring of each riser-section in one position of each riser-section; and a predetermined number of locating pins, each locating pin secured to a portion of the upper surface of the base and extending a distance generally perpendicularly therefrom, each locating pin extending through a portion of one of the position apertures of each riser-section in one position of each riser-section, to position each riser-section in a support position of the riser-support means and in one posiTion of each riser-section.
12. The apparatus of claim 11 defined further to include at least one locating pin secured to the base of each support arm, and wherein the support arms are further defined as being generally disposed on opposite sides of the riser-section supported in the riser support means, the locating pins being spaced approximately 180* apart, in a support position of the riser support means.
13. The apparatus of claim 5 defined further to include: means to support a plurality of riser-sections in a stored position on the marine support member, for subsequent utilization in the construction of the riser; and wherein the positioning means is defined further to include: a track means supported in a horizontal plane generally above the riser support means and the stored riser-sections; and a crane support frame rollingly connected to the track means, the crane support frame rollable on the track means to predetermined positions over the stored riser-sections and over the riser support means; a crane winch means supported on a portion of the crane support frame, having an actuated raising and an actuated lowering position; a crane cable means, having opposite ends, one end of the crane cable means being connected to the crane winch means; and a riser section connector secured to the end of the crane cable means opposite the end thereof secured to the crane winch means; and the riser section connector securedly engaging one of the supported riser-sections in one position thereof, the riser-section connected to the riser section connector being raised in a generally vertical direction toward the track means in the actuated raising position of the crane winch means, the riser-section connected to the riser section connector being lowered in a generally downwardly direction toward the riser support means in an actuated lowering position of the crane winch means.
14. The apparatus of claim 13 wherein the track means is defined further to include: a lateral track means disposed in a horizontal plane generally above the riser support means and the supported riser-sections, the lateral track means extending generally laterally over the riser support means and the supported riser-sections; and a transverse track means extending generally transversely with respect to the lateral track means, the transverse track means rollingly connected to the lateral track means, the transverse track means being laterally positionable on the lateral track; and wherein the crane support frame is more particularly connected to the transverse track means, the crane support frame being positionable transversely on the transverse track means.
15. The apparatus of claim 6 wherein the riser lowering means is defined further to include: at least two winch means, each winch means supported on a portion of the marine support member and spaced approximately 180* apart, each winch means having an actuated raising and an actuated lowering position; and a winch cable connected to each winch means, each winch cable having opposite ends, one end of each winch cable secured to one of the winch means and the end of each winch cable opposite the end thereof secured to one of the winch means removably connected to a portion of the interconnected riser-sections, the interconnected riser-sections being lowered via the winch cables in an actuated lowering position of each winch means, and the interconnected riser-sections being raised by each winch cable in an actuated raising position of each winch means.
16. The apparatus of claim 5 defined further to include: a riser section receiving means supported on the marine support member, a portion of the riser section receiving means receivingly and supportingly engaging a portion of one riser-section for temporarily storing one riser-section therein
17. The apparatus of claim 5 defined further to include: a portable suppOrt frame removably connected to a portion of the marine support member in as assembled position thereabove; a base plate means secured to the support frame, a riser opening formed through a portion of the base plate having a diameter larger than the largest radial diameter of any portion of any of the riser-sections, the riser support means connected to the base plate generally near the riser opening therethrough; and a plurality of telescoping connectors, each telescoping connector having opposite ends, one end of each telescoping connector being connected to a portion of the base plate, the ends of the telescoping connectors opposite the ends thereof secured to the base plate being positionable in predetermined horizontal planes above the base plate to a transport position and to an assembled position; and wherein the riser positioning means is further defined as being supportably connected to the end of each telescoping connector opposite the end thereof secured to the base plate, the horizontal disposition of the positioning means with respect to the base plate thereby adjustable to a transport position and an assembled position following the positioning of the telescoping connectors.
18. The apparatus of claim 17 wherein the base plate is defined further to include a plurality of support apertures formed therethrough, a portion of the base plate generally adjacent each support aperture supportingly engaging a portion of the support means of one riser-section to storingly support the riser-section in a stored position.
19. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein the connecting upper end of each riser-section is defined further to include an uppermost end and a groove formed in the inner periphery of each riser-section intersecting a portion of the uppermost end thereof and extending a distance axially along the inner periphery thereof terminating with a beveled end, the beveled end of the groove forming an annular beveled surface in the connecting upper end of each riser-section; and wherein the connecting lower end of each riser-section is defined further to include a lowermost end and a groove formed in the outer periphery of each riser-section intersecting a portion of the lowermost end thereof extending a distance axially along the outer periphery thereof terminating with an annular end surface formed about the outer periphery of the connecting lower end of each riser-section, the annular end surface formed about the connecting lower end of each riser-section engaging a portion of the uppermost end of the connecting lower end of one other riser-section in an interconnecting position of two riser-sections, the lowermost end of the connecting lower end of each riser-section engaging a portion of the annular beveled surface formed in the connecting lower end of one other riser-section in an interconnecting position of two riser-sections.
20. The apparatus of claim 19 wherein the support means formed about each riser-section is defined further as being a support ring formed on the outer periphery of the connecting upper end portion of each riser-section generally near the uppermost end thereof, extending a distance radially therefrom.
21. The apparatus of claim 19 wherein the lowermost end of the connecting lower end of each riser-section is formed on a bevel, thereby providing an annular beveled surface extending about a portion of the outer periphery of the lowermost end of each connecting lower end, the annular beveled surface of each connecting lower end matingly and connectingly engaging the annular beveled surface formed about the inner periphery of the connecting upper end of one other riser-section in an interconnecting position of two riser-sections.
22. The apparatus of claim 19 wherein the lowermost end of the connecting lower end of each riser-section is formed on a bevel, thereby providing an annular beveled surface extending about a portion of the outer periphery of the lowermost end of each connecting lower end, the annulAr beveled surface of each connecting lower end and the annular beveled surface of each connecting upper end forming an annular V-shaped groove in an interconnecting position of two riser-sections to facilitate the welding interconnection therebetween.
23. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein the underwater connecting end of the one riser-section is defined further to include, a lowermost end and a radially outwardly tapering groove formed in the outer periphery of the underwater connecting end of the one riser-section intersecting a portion of the lowermost end thereof thereby forming an annular tapered surface extending about the outer periphery of the underwater connecting end of the one riser-section; and wherein the underwater connecting end connected to the underwater pipeline is defined further to include, an uppermost end and a radially inwardly tapering groove formed in the inner periphery thereof, intersecting a portion of the uppermost end thereof, forming an annular tapered surface extending about a portion of the inner periphery of the underwater connecting end connected to the underwater pipeline, the annular tapered surface of the underwater connecting end connected to the underwater pipeline guidingly and matingly engaging the annular tapered surface of the underwater connecting end of the one riser-section in an interconnected position of the constructed riser and the underwater pipeline.
24. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein the underwater connecting end of the one riser-section is defined further to include, a lowermost end and a groove formed in the outer periphery thereof extending a distance axially along the outer periphery thereof, a portion of the groove tapered radially outwardly thereby forming an annular tapered surface extending about the outer periphery of the underwater connecting end of the one riser-section, a portion of the tapered surface intersecting a portion of the outer periphery of the underwater connecting end of the one riser-section; and wherein the underwater connecting end connected to the underwater pipeline is defined further to include, an uppermost end and a groove formed in the inner periphery thereof extending a distance axially along the inner periphery thereof, a portion of the groove tapered radially outwardly thereby forming an annular tapered surface extending about the inner periphery of the underwater connecting end connected to the underwater pipeline, a portion of the tapered surface intersecting a portion of the uppermost end of the underwater connecting of the underwater pipeline, the surface formed by the groove and the annular tapered surface of the underwater connecting end connected to the underwater pipeline guidingly and matingly engaging the surface formed by the groove and the annular tapered surface, respectively, of the underwater connecting end of the one riser-section in an interconnected position of the constructed riser and the underwater pipeline.
25. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein the underwater connecting end connected to the underwater pipeline is defined further to include; an annular flange formed on the outer periphery thereof, extending generally radially therefrom and an annular raised face formed on a portion of the flange extending generally axially from the annular flange terminating with an uppermost end, the uppermost end of the annular raised face forming the uppermost end of the underwater connecting end connected to the underwater pipeline; and wherein the underwater connecting end of the one riser-section is defined further to include, an annular flange formed on the outer periphery thereof, extending generally radially therefrom, thereby forming an annular downwardly facing surface and an annular upwardly facing surface, each extending about the outer periphery of the underwater connecting end of the one riser-section, the annular downwardly facing surface engaging the uppermost end of the underwater connecting end connected to the underwater pipeline in an interConnected position of the constructed riser and the underwater pipeline.
26. The apparatus of claim 25 wherein the underwater connecting end of the one riser-section is defined further to include: an annular slip ring disposed about the underwater connecting end of the one riser-section, a portion of the annular slip ring slidingly engaging the upwardly facing surface formed by the flange about the outer periphery of the underwater connecting end of the one riser-section, the slip ring being supported in one direction thereby, a plurality of bolt holes being formed through a portion of the slip ring and spaced circumferentially thereabout; and wherein the flange formed about the underwater connecting end connected to the underwater pipeline, is defined further to include a plurality of bolt holes formed therethrough, the bolt holes spaced circumferentially about the flange and positioned to align with the bolt holes formed in the slip ring, in one position of the slip ring, for bolting interconnection between the constructed riser and the underwater pipeline.
27. The apparatus of claim 26 defined further to include; flange alignment means supported generally between the underwater connecting end of the one riser-section and the underwater connecting end connected to the underwater pipeline to align the bolt holes of the flange of the underwater connecting end connected to the underwater pipeline with the bolt holes through the slip ring supported on the one riser-section.
28. The apparatus of claim 27 wherein the flange alignment means is defined further to include: a pin having an upper and lower end, the pin disposed through one of the bolt holes in the slip ring and one of the bolt holes of the flange of the underwater connecting end connected to the underwater pipeline, in one position; a clamp means connected to the pin generally adjacent the upper end thereof, the clamp means engaging a portion of the slip ring in one position of the clamp means to secure the pin in an assembled position, a portion of the pin extending through one of the bolt holes in the slip ring and a portion of the pin generally adjacent the lower end thereof extending a distance downwardly from the slip ring in an assembled position of the pin; and a pair of guide members, each guide member removably supported on a portion of the flange formed on the underwater connecting end connected to the underwater pipeline and extending a distance generally upwardly therefrom, each guide member having a guide side, the guide sides of the two guide members defining a guide path in an assembled position of the guide members, each guide side alternately and guidingly engaging a portion of the pin generally adjacent the lower end of the pin in one position of the pin, to guide a portion of the pin through one of the bolt holes of the flange formed on the underwater connecting end connected to the underwater pipeline.
29. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein the guide coupling means is defined further to include: a support base having an upper and lower end, a portion of the base removably disposed in a portion of the underwater pipeline generally near the underwater connecting end connected thereto, in an assembled position of the guide coupling means; means supported on a portion of the support base to securedly position the guide coupling means in an assembled position in a portion of the underwater pipeline; and a cone-shaped guide having an upper end and a circular-shaped lower end, the lower end of the cone-shaped guide connected to the upper end of the support base, the cone-shaped guide extending axially above the uppermost end of the underwater connecting end connected to the underwater pipeline, in an assembled position of the guide coupling means, the outer surface of the cone-shaped guide providing a guiding surface guidingly engaging a portion of the underwater connecting end of the one riser-section to guide the underwater coNnecting end of the one riser-section into an interconnecting engagement with the underwater connecting end connected to the underwater pipeline.
30. The apparatus of claim 29 wherein the means to securedly position the guide coupling means in the underwater pipeline is defined further to include: a jaw member pivotally secured to a portion of the support base, a portion of the jaw member extending radially from the support base and engaging a portion of the underwater connecting end connected to underwater pipeline to securedly position the guide coupling means in one direction in the underwater pipeline, in one position of the jaw member; a bias spring, having opposite ends, one end of the bias spring connected to a portion of the jaw member and the end of the bias spring opposite the end thereof connected to the jaw member connected to a portion of the support base, the bias spring biasing the jaw member in a biasing direction; and a plate means secured to a portion of the support base, a portion of the jaw member engaging the plate means to limit the pivotal movement of the jaw member in a biasing direction to a position wherein a portion of the jaw member engages a portion of the underwater connecting end connected to the underwater pipeline to position the guide coupling means in an assembled position in the underwater pipeline.
31. The apparatus of claim 29 further defined to include: an annular seal member, having an annular seal end and an annular tapered surface formed thereon, a portion of the seal member opposite the seal end thereof sealingly connected to a portion of the support base, the annular seal end of the seal member slidingly engaging an adjacent portion of the inner periphery of the underwater pipeline, the annular tapered surface of the seal end engaged by fluid entering the underwater pipeline via the underwater connecting end thereof, the fluid biasing the seal end of the seal member into sealing engagement with the adjacent portion of the inner periphery of the underwater pipeline thereby forming a fluid seal between the guide coupling means and the underwater pipeline, in one position of the seal member.
32. The apparatus of claim 31 defined further to include: a seal bias means supported in a portion of the support base, the seal bias means having a portion thereof biasingly engaging a portion of the annular tapered surface of the seal member thereby biasing the seal end of the seal member into sealing engagement with an adjacent portion of the inner periphery of the underwater pipeline, in one position of the seal bias means.
33. The apparatus of claim 32 wherein the seal bias means is defined further to include: an elongated rod, having opposite ends, reciprocatingly supported in a portion of the support base; a predetermined number of flanges, each flange being connected on one end thereof to a portion of the rod generally near one end of the rod, each flange extending a distance radially from the rod terminating with an outer end portion; an annular bias ring having a portion thereof connected to the outer end portion of each flange, the bias ring biasingly engaging the annular tapered surface of the seal member, thereby biasing the seal end of the seal member into sealing engagement with the adjacent portion of the inner periphery of the underwater pipeline, in one position of the bias ring; and a bias spring disposed about a portion of the rod, one end of the bias spring engaging a portion of the support base, the end of the bias spring opposite the end thereof in engagement with the support base engaging a portion of the flanges thereby biasing the rod in a bias direction wherein the seal ring biasingly engages the annular tapered surface of the seal member, the bias spring thereby augmenting the sealing integrity of the seal member with respect to the inner periphery of the underwater pipeline.
34. The apparatus of claim 33 defined further to include: means to move the rod in a direction generally opposite the biasing direction and to support the rod in a position wherein the bias ring is disengaged from the seal member; and means to move the rod in a biasing direction to augment the biasing force of the bias spring, thereby augmenting the sealing integrity between the seal member and the adjacent portion of the inner periphery of the underwater pipeline in one position.
35. The apparatus of claim 31 defined further to include: a submergable pump means supported in a portion of the guide coupling means to remove fluid accumulated in a portion of the underwater pipeline generally near the underwater connecting end connected thereto and to remove fluid accumulated in the riser subsequent to the constructed riser being interconnected to the underwater pipeline.
36. The apparatus of claim 5 defined further to include: a slip coupling means interposed in a portion of the underwater pipeline generally near the end of the underwater pipeline having the underwater connecting end connected thereto, a portion of the underwater pipeline between the end thereof having the underwater connecting end connected thereto and the slip coupling rotatable generally about the slip coupling to facilitate the positioning of the underwater pipeline to be interconnected to the constructed riser.
37. A method for connecting an underwater connecting end of a riser to an underwater connecting end of an underwater pipeline, the connection between the riser and the underwater pipeline being generally below the surface of and near the floor of the body of the water, the method comprising: supporting the riser from the marine support member; supporting a portion of the underwater pipeline and the underwater connecting end thereof from the marine support member generally above the floor of the body of water; and lowering the riser to a position wherein the underwater connecting end thereof interconnectingly engages a portion of the underwater connecting end of the underwater pipeline.
US3717002A 1971-03-08 1971-03-08 Method and apparatus for constructing and connecting underwater risers Expired - Lifetime US3717002A (en)

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US3834169A (en) * 1973-07-11 1974-09-10 Brown & Root Method and apparatus for laying large diameter pipeline segments offshore
US3981369A (en) * 1974-01-18 1976-09-21 Dolphin International, Inc. Riser pipe stacking system
DE2655579A1 (en) * 1975-12-18 1977-06-30 Regan Offshore Int Coupling for line sections of marine riser
US4183562A (en) * 1977-04-01 1980-01-15 Regan Offshore International, Inc. Marine riser conduit section coupling means
US4290715A (en) * 1979-06-05 1981-09-22 Standard Oil Company (Indiana) Pipeline riser for floating platforms
US4545437A (en) * 1984-04-09 1985-10-08 Shell Offshore Inc. Drilling riser locking apparatus and method
US4557332A (en) * 1984-04-09 1985-12-10 Shell Offshore Inc. Drilling riser locking apparatus and method
US4616707A (en) * 1985-04-08 1986-10-14 Shell Oil Company Riser braking clamp apparatus
US4617998A (en) * 1985-04-08 1986-10-21 Shell Oil Company Drilling riser braking apparatus and method
US4636114A (en) * 1983-09-23 1987-01-13 Fathom Oceanology Limited Buoyancy-supported struts for ocean platforms
US4662784A (en) * 1984-12-07 1987-05-05 James Hipp Method of installing pipe strings through offshore drilling platforms already in place
US4711601A (en) * 1985-06-03 1987-12-08 Isaac Grosman Method of installing offshore constructions
WO1989005379A1 (en) * 1985-06-03 1989-06-15 Krikun, Eliseo Method of installing offshore constructions
US4878694A (en) * 1986-06-26 1989-11-07 Institut Francais Du Petrole Method and device for the remote positioning of an elbow coupling
US5190411A (en) * 1990-12-10 1993-03-02 Shell Oil Company Tension leg well jacket
US5195848A (en) * 1990-12-10 1993-03-23 Shell Oil Company Method and system for developing offshore hydrocarbon reserves
US5207534A (en) * 1990-12-10 1993-05-04 Shell Oil Company Method for conducting offshore well operations
US5423632A (en) * 1993-03-01 1995-06-13 Shell Oil Company Compliant platform with slide connection docking to auxiliary vessel
US5439324A (en) * 1993-03-01 1995-08-08 Shell Oil Company Bumper docking between offshore drilling vessels and compliant platforms
US5486070A (en) * 1990-12-10 1996-01-23 Shell Oil Company Method for conducting offshore well operations
US5651640A (en) * 1993-03-01 1997-07-29 Shell Oil Company Complaint platform with parasite mooring through auxiliary vessel
WO2001011183A1 (en) * 1999-08-09 2001-02-15 Bouygues Offshore Floating support comprising a central cavity including a plurality of sections
US20050191134A1 (en) * 2004-02-26 2005-09-01 Richard Coppola Telescoping underwater guide
US20080264644A1 (en) * 2007-04-27 2008-10-30 Ralph Sawtell Method and apparatus for connecting drilling riser strings and compositions thereof
US20090223673A1 (en) * 2008-03-04 2009-09-10 Bartlett William F Offshore Riser Retrofitting Method and Apparatus
WO2010105953A2 (en) * 2009-03-16 2010-09-23 Subsea 7 Limited Method of connecting a flexible riser to an upper riser assembly
US20140166297A1 (en) * 2012-12-13 2014-06-19 Vetco Gray Inc. Tensioner latch with sliding segmented base

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Cited By (35)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3834169A (en) * 1973-07-11 1974-09-10 Brown & Root Method and apparatus for laying large diameter pipeline segments offshore
US3981369A (en) * 1974-01-18 1976-09-21 Dolphin International, Inc. Riser pipe stacking system
DE2655579A1 (en) * 1975-12-18 1977-06-30 Regan Offshore Int Coupling for line sections of marine riser
US4183562A (en) * 1977-04-01 1980-01-15 Regan Offshore International, Inc. Marine riser conduit section coupling means
US4290715A (en) * 1979-06-05 1981-09-22 Standard Oil Company (Indiana) Pipeline riser for floating platforms
US4636114A (en) * 1983-09-23 1987-01-13 Fathom Oceanology Limited Buoyancy-supported struts for ocean platforms
US4557332A (en) * 1984-04-09 1985-12-10 Shell Offshore Inc. Drilling riser locking apparatus and method
US4545437A (en) * 1984-04-09 1985-10-08 Shell Offshore Inc. Drilling riser locking apparatus and method
US4662784A (en) * 1984-12-07 1987-05-05 James Hipp Method of installing pipe strings through offshore drilling platforms already in place
US4616707A (en) * 1985-04-08 1986-10-14 Shell Oil Company Riser braking clamp apparatus
US4617998A (en) * 1985-04-08 1986-10-21 Shell Oil Company Drilling riser braking apparatus and method
US4711601A (en) * 1985-06-03 1987-12-08 Isaac Grosman Method of installing offshore constructions
WO1989005379A1 (en) * 1985-06-03 1989-06-15 Krikun, Eliseo Method of installing offshore constructions
US4878694A (en) * 1986-06-26 1989-11-07 Institut Francais Du Petrole Method and device for the remote positioning of an elbow coupling
US5190411A (en) * 1990-12-10 1993-03-02 Shell Oil Company Tension leg well jacket
US5195848A (en) * 1990-12-10 1993-03-23 Shell Oil Company Method and system for developing offshore hydrocarbon reserves
US5207534A (en) * 1990-12-10 1993-05-04 Shell Oil Company Method for conducting offshore well operations
US5486070A (en) * 1990-12-10 1996-01-23 Shell Oil Company Method for conducting offshore well operations
US5342148A (en) * 1990-12-10 1994-08-30 Shell Oil Company Method and system for developing offshore hydrocarbon reserves
US5423632A (en) * 1993-03-01 1995-06-13 Shell Oil Company Compliant platform with slide connection docking to auxiliary vessel
US5651640A (en) * 1993-03-01 1997-07-29 Shell Oil Company Complaint platform with parasite mooring through auxiliary vessel
US5439324A (en) * 1993-03-01 1995-08-08 Shell Oil Company Bumper docking between offshore drilling vessels and compliant platforms
WO2001011183A1 (en) * 1999-08-09 2001-02-15 Bouygues Offshore Floating support comprising a central cavity including a plurality of sections
FR2797465A1 (en) * 1999-08-09 2001-02-16 Bouygues Offshore floating support comprising a cavitated core comprising a plurality of compartments
US6601531B1 (en) 1999-08-09 2003-08-05 Bouygues Offshore Floating support including a central cavity comprising a plurality of compartments
US20050191134A1 (en) * 2004-02-26 2005-09-01 Richard Coppola Telescoping underwater guide
US7438502B2 (en) * 2004-02-26 2008-10-21 Richard Coppola Telescoping underwater guide
US8869900B2 (en) * 2007-04-27 2014-10-28 Alcoa Inc. Method and apparatus for connecting drilling riser strings and compositions thereof
US20080264644A1 (en) * 2007-04-27 2008-10-30 Ralph Sawtell Method and apparatus for connecting drilling riser strings and compositions thereof
US20090223673A1 (en) * 2008-03-04 2009-09-10 Bartlett William F Offshore Riser Retrofitting Method and Apparatus
WO2010105953A2 (en) * 2009-03-16 2010-09-23 Subsea 7 Limited Method of connecting a flexible riser to an upper riser assembly
WO2010105953A3 (en) * 2009-03-16 2010-11-25 Subsea 7 Limited Method of connecting a flexible riser to an upper riser assembly
US8813851B2 (en) 2009-03-16 2014-08-26 Subsea 7 Limited Method of connecting a flexible riser to an upper riser assembly
US20140166297A1 (en) * 2012-12-13 2014-06-19 Vetco Gray Inc. Tensioner latch with sliding segmented base
US9010436B2 (en) * 2012-12-13 2015-04-21 Vetco Gray Inc. Tensioner latch with sliding segmented base

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
DE2210946A1 (en) 1972-09-14 application
GB1366191A (en) 1974-09-11 application
JPS5247168B1 (en) 1977-11-30 grant

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