Eni, Oil States Enter Plexus’ JIP for Safer Subsea Wellhead (UK)

Plexus Holdings PLC, the AIM quoted oil and gas engineering services business and owner of the proprietary POS-GRIP® method of wellhead engineering, announces that Eni S.p.A, the Italian oil and gas major, and Oil States Industries Inc. a subsidiary of Oil States International Inc., a leading USA manufacturer of capital equipment, have both signed up as additional consulting partners to Plexus’ Joint Industry Project (‘JIP’) to develop and commercialise a new and safer subsea wellhead, utilising Plexus’ patented POS-GRIP technology.

Initiated in October 2010, the JIP is focussed on developing a new subsea wellhead, the HGSS™, to address key technical issues and requirements highlighted by regulators following the Gulf of Mexico incident in April 2010. All members of the JIP will be contributing to the design and engineering process with the intention that they potentially become end-users and commercial partners once the wellhead has been fully built, tested and commercialised. The project is anticipated to take between 18-24 months from the initiation date at a cost of approximately £1.5m to £2m. Any intellectual property generated by the project will be owned by Plexus.

Plexus’ CEO Ben Van Bilderbeek said, “Our JIP subsea wellhead initiative is gaining considerable momentum. Not only is the project progressing well and according to plan but it continues to attract the active participation of major companies in the oil and gas sector. I am delighted to welcome ENI and Oil States to the Project and look forward to working closely with them as we continue to develop a new, fit for purpose, HGSS Subsea Wellhead that addresses key safety and performance requirements in a rapidly changing oil and gas industry.

“Recent well control incidents around the world have highlighted the need for robust, high performance, subsea wellheads in oil and gas operations, particularly in extreme and hostile environments. Specific functionality is required such as instant casing hanger lockdown, the ability to monitor sustained casing pressure (‘SCP’) and then enable remedial action and bleed off capability. We also, importantly, champion the need for wellhead equipment to be designed so that casing and tubing hangers match the standards that are required for casing and tubing couplings. Plexus, with its patented and proven POS-GRIP technology, is ideally suited to rise to the challenge and, increasingly, this is being recognised by leading industry players as evidenced by today’s news. This is a tremendously exciting time for Plexus. In addition to the JIP, we are the leading specialised wellhead services company within the HP/HT arena in the North Sea and we are looking to repeat our dominant position in the wider international arena. With all this in mind, I look forward to updating the market on our progress in due course.”

Plexus Holdings PLC, which began trading on AIM in December 2005, is an oil and gas engineering and services business, which supplies wellhead and mudline suspension equipment for exploration and production applications. Based in Aberdeen, with offices in London, Cairo, Kuala Lumpur and a presence in Houston, Texas, it has developed and patented a friction-grip method of engineering for oil and gas field wellheads and connectors, POS-GRIP®, which involves deforming one tubular member against another to effect gripping and sealing.

The Company plans to accelerate the roll out of POS-GRIP wellhead equipment as a superior alternative to current technology and for it to become the future industry standard for wellhead design.

Source: Plexus, June 19, 2012

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