Plexus, BEL Valves join forces on wellhead engineering

June 4, 2019

Offshore staff

ABERDEEN, UK – Plexus is forming a joint venture with Newcastle-based BEL Valves.

The latter will provide surface trees and wellhead annulus valves to complement Plexus’ surface wellhead products.

The resultant service will target cost reductions in repairs, interventions and life of field programs while maintaining well integrity standards.

Plexus claims the combined offering could save operators tens of millions of dollars in total cost of ownership over the life of a project.

Over the past two decades the company has used its patented POS-GRIP technology to design and manufacture wellhead systems for more than 400 wells.

POS-GRIP is said to offer high capacity hanging, lockdown and enhanced sealing capabilities. The system activates HG metal to metal seals which seal directly between hangers and the wellhead bore, providing a gas tight, weld-quality seal with no maintenance throughout field life, according to the company.

BEL Valves has over 50 years of experience supplying valves and actuators to the hydrocarbon and petrochemical industry.

The resultant wellhead and tree solution, managed by Plexus, will combine the POS-GRIP “HG” wellhead with BEL Valves’ gate valve technologies, targeting both the North Sea and international markets.

According to a report by the UK Oil & Gas Authority in 2017, 46% of interventions on shut-in wells were due to the need for wellhead and tree repairs.

Plexus aims to forestall unnecessary interventions by using its technology to keep wells flowing, at the same time lessening operational risk and non-productive time by dispensing with multiple complex operations during installation, intervention, and abandonment.

CEO Ben Van Bilderbeek said: “Little has changed in the wellhead and tree industry in almost 100 years. There is a lack of technological differentiation and failures accepted as inevitable, which has led equipment suppliers to focus on aftermarket business models, rather than addressing the root cause of underperforming equipment…

“This development provides the opportunity for operators to apply advanced technology that restores commercial predictability and heightens technical assurance. This is particularly important at a time where there is increasing pressure to limit emissions within the oil and a gas supply chain combined with a large number of marginally economical field developments.”