02 - 09 - 2020
Aberdeen-headquartered Unity, Europe’s largest provider of well integrity technology, services, and engineering solutions, has been …Unity awarded three-year, three platform, contract extension by UK oil and gas operator.
30 - 04 - 2019
Development work has commenced on an innovative control system for a new subsea in-riser landing string, designed to reduce the size, weight, complexity and cost of this critical well intervention equipment for oil and gas operators.
Interventek Subsea Engineering has secured funding from the Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) towards the development of the new control system. As part of the agreement Interventek has also secured the support of a leading international oil company as project ‘sponsor’, who’s role will be to provide end-user expertise and design criteria feedback as part of a project steering committee. Interventek aims to complete the project, valued at a six figure sum, and deliver a function tested prototype by the end of 2019.
Landing strings are in-riser safety systems which interface with the subsea wellhead on the seabed to allow completion or well intervention activities to be conducted safely from floating vessels. They contain a subsea test tree within a BOP (blow out preventer). The test tree includes large bore hydraulically controlled valves to provide enhanced well control and cutting and sealing capabilities to rapidly shut-in the well and disconnect the vessel in case of emergency, typically in an adverse weather event or drive off scenario. The control system operates the valves within the test tree, the tubing hanger running tool (THRT) and delivers all the functionality in the landing string for running completions or performing interventions.
Current control systems are very large and
difficult to transport to and around the rig, weighing as much as 50 tonnes. They typically comprise an umbilical (up to 3,000 meters long and up to
100mm in diameter), an umbilical reel, a surface control unit (SCU) to deliver
the hydraulic power and control the valves, and a riser control module (RCM) to
provide local accumulation and direct the hydraulic power to the valves and
THRT. These multi-million dollar systems are time consuming to rig up, can
be vulnerable to damage and costly to service and maintain.
Interventek are aiming to deliver capital cost savings in the region of 70%
and to reduce the cost of ownership by more than 50%. The weight of Interventek’s
new control system should be in the region of 10 tonnes, with a much smaller
footprint, leading to a 15-20% reduction in operational costs through reduced rig up times, deck space, logistics, ancillary
support equipment and POB (personnel on board) requirements, amounting to
several millions of pounds saved annually for the operator.
Interventek’s control system
will leverage the unique properties of the company’s patented Revolution
valve technology to reduce the number of hydraulic lines, replacing them with
electrical functions and will drastically reduce the size and weight of the
umbilical, reel, SCU and RCM. Importantly, the
combination of this valve technology and a next generation control system intends
to provide the industry with an advanced system that is able to shear coiled
tubing and isolate the well in the event of an emergency in less than a second.
fast-track and lead the delivery of the project, Interventek has appointed Graeme
Dorrance as their senior controls engineer. Graeme has almost thirty years of
electrical controls and automation experience, twelve of which has been gained
within the subsea industry. Prior to joining Interventek, Graeme held a number
of senior management roles, working for APD for twenty three years and most
recently for Electro-Flow Controls.
Dorrance says: “In today’s fast advancing world of the ‘Industrial
Internet of Things’, being involved in the development of a next generation
control package for subsea intervention operations is both exciting and
refreshing. Using my depth of experience from 29 years in the controls and
automation industry, along with proven technology from other industries, I’m
aiming to significantly modernise traditional landing string control systems.
Interventek’s solution will drive down deployment time and drastically reduce costs,
whilst at the same time providing an intuitive, user-friendly interface for the
customer. This is a game-changing and disruptive approach which will benefit
the global subsea industry.”
Gavin Cowie, managing director of Interventek,
explained: “The subsea industry is always looking for lower cost, faster and
safer ways to operate on expensive offshore floating vessels. Reducing the size
and weight of particularly bulky service equipment, like subsea intervention
control systems for landing strings and intervention workover control systems, is
of particular interest to operators. Reducing HSE risk and personnel on board
is always sought and our technology aims to achieve this.
the cost of operations we believe it will make them more likely to occur, helping
to keep wells producing efficiently. Looking at the end of life market, this
technology can also reduce the cost of re-entering and recovering completions
from wells prior to abandonment activities. In the North Sea alone there is a
sizeable subsea well inventory with 622 operating and 310 shut-in wells, according
to the OGA 2018 Well Insights Report, therefore the deployment and cost saving opportunities
Banks, Wells Solution Centre Manager at the Oil and Gas Technology Centre
added: “Through our industry support programmes we are actively encouraging
innovation and more importantly, the accelerated delivery of appropriate
technology, to help reduce the cost of well operations in the UKCS, both now
and into the future. Reducing well
delivery costs by 50% could unlock up to 5 billion barrels of oil and gas but
the industry needs new technology and smarter, more sustainable practices to
make this a reality. The subsea market is a high cost environment so
Interventek’s project is an excellent example of how we can work together to
develop well targeted solutions to help maximise economic recovery.”
Commencement of this landing string control system project follows on the back of Interventek’s recent announcement of their £750,000 investment in new staff and facilities.