Deepwater Technology: Fishing in the subsea BOP

DP has its limits. A disconnect was required that resulted in a small fish and a unique way to solve the problem. BP recently had to overcome a unique subsea fishing problem in 6,838 ft of water in the Gulf of Mexico. While drilling with a dynamically positioned (DP) semi-submersible drilling rig, the operator used available technology to recover a fish (piece of drill pipe) that, in years’ past, would have not been recoverable. While the operation was time consuming and costly, attempting to move forward without recovery could have resulted in the well being lost or significant subsea equipment damage. BACKGROUND A DP rig (Fig. 1) stays on location with computer controlled thrusters that keep it over the well. A subsea BOP is connected to the well with a hydraulically controlled clamp, Fig. 2. The BOP has six rams.

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