Case Study

Wild Well: Rising to the challenge 3,000 metres down

There’s no doubt how important subsea blow-out preventers (BOPs) are when it comes to offshore drilling. Their failure, and the resultant loss of life and environmental damage, have been well documented. But as oil and gas exploration goes to ever-deeper waters, in more unforgiving environments, and in increasingly remote locations, the safe and reliable performance of BOP systems continues to be a key priority.

It’s in this context HSP was commissioned by a global company specialising in on and offshore well control to upgrade the valves on the ROV panels of a BOP capping stack system. So in the event the well is compromised in any way, the valves can be operated manually or remotely to shut off the flow of fluids, not only protecting the lives of those on the rig on the sea surface but also preventing environmental harm.

Key Facts

  • Blowout preventer capping stack
  • Subsea environment: 3,000m depth
  • 5k and 15k flow lines
  • Hot stab receptacles and hot stabs
  • ROV-operable valves
  • Design, procurement, build, and test of ROV panels
  • Possible future scope for installation and commissioning

The Challenge

With operational working depths of up to 3,000 metres, HSP was given the task to design, procure, build, and test the panels to ensure complete operational stability in a subsea environment where the external pressure can be up to 300 atmospheres (4,500 psi).

Designing the panels to operate at these extreme depths requires additional considerations compared to onshore or topside design, including external pressures exerted on the equipment. Submersible remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) are used to operate the system subsea, so this also required consideration during the design stage to ensure easy operation.

The Solution

Working closely with the client to capture their specific requirements, our team handled the detailed design of the panels from our main facility in Aberdeen. Following successful test, inspection, and delivery to the client, the ROV panels were installed and connected to the BOP stack assembly.

The project required our team to respond to some fairly challenging project timelines, too. However, our ability to work effectively and efficiently together, and individually, ensured our client’s internal project schedule and requirements were met.

“Upgrading the ROV panels on a blow-out preventer capping stack isn’t a project we’d give to anyone. That’s why we chose HSP.”

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