Engineering company Trendsetter Vulcan Offshore (TVO) has signed an agreement with SubseaDesign providing rights to market and commercialize TVO’s patented tethered BOP design for use in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea.
TVO said on Thursday that the system was a robust, cost-effective solution for two emerging technical challenges facing the drilling industry – wellhead fatigue and wellhead strength.
TVO CEO, Jim Maher, said: “The Tethered BOP addresses serious safety issues, enabling reliable operations on new exploration wells as well as re-entry and P&A on much older wells. We see many opportunities for this wellhead fatigue mitigation system in the relatively shallow water of the North Sea, and we are pleased to be working closely with SubseaDesign in this important market.”
The company added that new well designs must ensure a high-value well was engineered to tolerate excessive fatigue caused by newer and larger BOPs.
The TVO solution addresses this issue as well as challenges presented by legacy wells, many of which were drilled with smaller BOPs and with a wellhead and conductor design that was less robust. According to TVO, the Tethered BOP resolves the issues that often arise when attempting to interface with newer generation BOPs.
The Tethered BOP system arrests the motion of the BOP stack above the wellhead, substantially reducing wellhead cyclic stresses and enhancing fatigue life. Depending on the specific riser and wellhead configuration, fatigue life has been improved by as much as 1,000 times the original unmitigated wellhead fatigue.
An added benefit is the increased limits to the rig watch circle, particularly in shallow water, where watch circles can be very restrictive.
SubseaDesign president, Eivind Rasten, added: “The introduction of this technology, which complies with the demanding NORSOK standards, into the Norwegian sector provides operators and drillers with the cost-effective means to solve a growing issue within the industry.”