Subsea/Surface Systems

Expro Group has a new landing string control system designed to enhance the latest generation of landing string technology for completion and intervention operations.

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William Furlow - Houston

Electro-hydraulic landing string control system

Expro Group has a new landing string control system designed to enhance the latest generation of landing string technology for completion and intervention operations.

The Express7 system is designed for deep-water or ultra-deepwater applications. Express7 uses the simplex or direct electro hydraulic control method, but also deploys the features and benefits of multiplex for data acquisition. There is no requirement for complex subsea electronics or power supply. Other advantages include reliability and reduced downtime, lower deployment and production costs, the retention of hydraulic back-up via pilot lines, independent data acquisition, and project interchangeability.

Express7 also allows for the downhole storage of the control fluid, rather than storing them at the surface and pumping fluid downhole via an umbilical. By storing the fluid as close to the valves as possible, the Express7 can achieve system shut-in or well closure and disconnect within 15 sec. Express7 is designed to operate in water depths to 10,000 ft with a maximum external pressure of 5,000 psi, a maximum working pressure of 10,000 psi, and a maximum working temperature of 300° F.

ABS to class industry's first cell Spar

ABS is classing the industry's first cell Spar, destined for Kerr-McGee's Red Hawk field in deepwater Gulf of Mexico.

The cell Spar, a third-generation design, offers lower fabrication costs and reduces the complexity of steel fabrication by simplifying the design concept. This increases operator flexibility in selecting where the hull can be built. The first and second generation designs required specialized shipyard fabrication, and all have been constructed in European and Far East yards, requireing transport to Gulf of Mexico waters.

The cell Spar's new hull concept features six outer cylinders, or cells, surrounding an inner cell, all connected by framing decks at regular intervals, rather than a single large caisson unit. It also employs a polyester mooring system, which is more buoyant than traditional chain-wire systems, and a topside-operated compressed air ballast system.

ABS has given its "approval in principle" of the hull design and is providing advice on engineering and inspection issues. ABS, which issued its Guidance Notes on Synthetic Moorings in 1999, is providing insight into development of the mooring system design. Kerr-McGee's Red Hawk is one of the first Gulf of Mexico installations to use the technology.

The industry has traditionally used wire and rope chain for its mooring systems.

ABS will class the Red Hawk Spar as an A1 Floating Offshore Installation, and the platform will maintain a US Coast Guard Certificate of Inspection, which ABS will facilitate on behalf of the USCG. The production facilities are not included in the classification.

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Red Hawk represents the third generation of Spar hull design.
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Technip-Coflexip is designing and fabricating both the hull and topsides, with fabrication taking place at Gulf Marine Fabricators in Ingleside and Aransas Pass, Texas.

Initial gas throughput capacity is set at 120 MMcf/d, with a potential increase to 300 MMcf/d. The Red Hawk cell Spar is planned for Garden Banks block 877 in 5,300 ft water depth, representing continued deepwater advancement for Spar technology, says Don Vardeman, Kerr-McGee's director of worldwide deepwater facilities. Kerr-McGee operates Red Hawk with a 50% interest. Ocean Energy Inc., being bought by Devon, holds the remaining 50%.

Na Kika valves set record

Three surface-controlled subsurface safety valves have been successfully set below 10,000 ft water depth in Mississippi Canyon block 522 in the Gulf of Mexico. The Schlumberger TRC-DH valves were set at record depths in three wells in the Shell/BP Na Kika project, Fourier field wells F-2, F-3, and F-4. These fields have TRC-DH safety valves set at 10,057 ft, 10,047 ft, and 10,060 ft, respectively. Schlumberger also set the previous depth record, 9,882 ft water depth, at Camden Hills. The Fourier F-3 well was the first in the world to have this valve installed beyond 10,000 ft water depth.

The Na Kika development, owned by Shell and BP, is located 140 mi southeast of New Orleans. It includes 10 subsea wells from five dispersed satellite fields connected to a centrally located, permanently moored floating development and production system for recovery of more than 300 MMboe.

Technip wins

¤15-million project

Technip Offshore has been awarded a fast-track engineering, procurement, installation, and commissioning (EPIC) contract from BG for the subsea installation elements of the BG-operated Blake Flank development in the Central North Sea's Outer Moray Firth. The contract, worth ¤15 million, includes the tieback of two subsea production wells and one water injection well to the existing Blake production manifold.

Within the scope of the contract, Technip Offshore UK will undertake the project management, engineering, design, manufacture, and installation of three flexible flowlines – one for water injection (6.5-in., 4 km), one for production (8-in., 2.7 km), and the last for gas lift (4-in., 2.7 km) – and two electro-hydraulic control umbilicals (2.7 km and 1.4 km). Technip will carry out all subsea tie-ins, testing, and pre-commissioning of the completed infrastructure with a target of first oil by the end of July 2003.

Technip-Coflexip's Le Trait manufacturing facility in France will fabricate the flexible flowlines, and Technip-Coflexip subsidiary Duco in Newcastle will manufacture the umbilicals under a separate contract. Offshore support vessel Normand Pioneer will carry out all trenching and pipelay work. Diving support vessels CSO Orelia and CSO Marianos will carry out the tie-ins and testing.

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