Technology & Product News

Well-Centric Develops Innovative Tool to Deliver Dual Milling and Clean Out Solution

Well-Centric, a leading independent specialist in well integrity and production technology solutions for the oil and gas industry, will launch a new compact milling tool at the SPE ICOTA Well Intervention Conference this month.

The Well-Centric Gate Valve Milling Tool is a milling tool designed to provide access to restricted wells by drilling through stuck gate valves or other blockages. Stuck valves can result in a well being out of action for months, if not years, with lost production potentially amounting to millions. The Gate Valve Milling Tool helps reinstate production safely, quickly and efficiently with minimal operator downtime.

Originally developed as a solution to mill through stuck gate valves, this innovative tool has several further applications. Mill bits can be changed out for magnets, brushes or scrapers, providing additional clean-out capability. Additional drill rods can also be added to reach deeper into the well, past the Xmas tree, to mill obstructions at the tubing hanger.

11Well Centric Gate Valve Milling ToolWell-Centric’s Gate Valve Milling Tool

The Gate Valve Milling Tool can be used both onshore and offshore and boasts a modular design, small footprint and extended stroke to reach deeper into the wellbore. Lubricators are not required to install drill rods, enabling more efficient rig-up and a reduced overall footprint.

With an incredibly powerful hydraulic motor and safer operation, thanks to fewer exposed rotating parts, the Gate Valve Milling Tool means demanding jobs are completed quickly and efficiently, milling out a gate valve in under three hours.

Used in conjunction with relevant valves/pump-in subs to maintain well control, the new tool is the latest in a string of technology innovations and well integrity solutions that Well-Centric has brought to the market since its inception. Others include an Annulus Lubrication Filling Valve for more efficient annulus top-up operations and a range of conductor and wellhead stabilising repair clamps.

Matt Manning, Well-Centric’s Engineering Manager, said: “The Gate Valve Milling Tool is a major success story not only for Well-Centric, but for the industry as a whole. Our team has worked tirelessly from the initial stages of research and development through to testing and bringing the tool to market.

“As the sector adjusts to operating in a lower oil price environment, innovation is vital. Solutions must be developed which enable continued or enhanced production at a cost-effective price, whilst maintaining safe and efficient operation.

“We are proud to continue innovating and investing in R&D to develop industry-leading solutions. The Gate Valve Milling Tool adds a significant string to our bow and further illustrates our competitive position. We have always recognised the need to develop new technologies and processes that address previous limitations and find a new, proactive approach. The Gate Valve Milling Tool is a prime example of this.”

Well-Centric, alongside Well-SENSE Technology and ClearWELL Oilfield Solutions, is part of FrontRow Energy Technology Group – a group of complementary upstream oil and gas technology focused businesses bringing new solutions to market to meet industry challenges.

The Journey to an Autonomous Marine Ecosystem

4GE MarineDigital technologies are dramatically impacting almost every aspect of our personal and professional lives—enabling businesses and individuals to freely communicate, share critical information and do things more efficiently and cost-effectively. The marine industry is no different, and owners, operators and shipbuilders now recognize the role that digitalization can play in transforming their businesses by reducing capex, opex and enabling new value-added revenue opportunities throughout the maritime life cycle.

Such adoption is best achieved with an evolutionary approach, enhancing monetization of existing operations and assets and enabling a re-think of new methodologies leading to autonomous operations. GE’s solutions have been designed to accelerate marine operations along this evolutionary digital journey, starting by shifting from the traditional “gauges and gut-feel” approach to “data-driven” decisions and “de-manning,” from offshore to onshore and ultimately to fully “autonomous” operations. The solutions enable a holistic digital transformation across people, processes and culture.

1. Shifting from “gauges and gut-feel” to “data-driven” decisions

The first step in the digital journey is to establish anytime-anywhere decisions and eliminate the need for equipment proximity—separating man from machines. Data will allow for informed and rapid decision-making.

This degree of separation of the operator from the equipment is achieved by connecting disparate existing control networks onboard the vessels and then providing automated insights, presented in a comprehensive dashboard that spans across all equipment performance, reliability, energy consumption and logistics readiness.

Today, only about 3 percent of data from industrial assets is used for decision-making or any meaningful purpose, which means that there is room for significant improvements.

For vessel, rig, or fleet owners, this means either building new smart ships with connected networks and assets or enhancing existing ships by making the connection to existing networks and assets to provide the path towards optimized operational performance. The path can be accelerated with a unified digital platform. Operational data from various equipment is rapidly centralized and harmonized to avoid deviations in operational methods and facilitate early correction of any anomalies detected. This rapidly maximizes productivity and minimizes performance variance across the fleet.

By creating a digital model of each asset or each vessel, we can compare real-time operational data with a digital model of the asset or the vessel to optimize the operational profile—when this comes alive, we call this the “digital twin.” Fleet owners or operators can get early warnings on equipment degradation and therefore correct problems before they cause an operational disruption to the process.

This foresight is enabling a shift from calendar-based maintenance to genuine condition-based maintenance, enhancing a vessel’s operational efficiency through reduced downtime and increased productivity. For example, offshore drilling customers have been using GE’s Asset Performance Management solution, SeaStream Insight, powered by Predix, to optimize vessel maintenance and operational efficiency on their vessels for a few years. The technology is being deployed on multiple rigs, targeting critical assets to achieve an opex reduction up to 20 percent and improve drilling efficiency.

2. De-man from offshore to onshore

As the insights from the onboard dashboards can be transmitted from onboard to onshore, it allows knowledge and expertise to be centralized onshore and shared fleetwide.

Equipment performance data can be used for many performance optimization activities. One such example is to better determine fuel efficiency and overall trip efficiency. This is achieved by combining data from external sources, such as weather forecasts, tidal patterns and status updates from ports, to automatically calculate the optimized speed (and thus fuel consumption) and what fuel to burn in real time; which a human operator will then select for action.

The shift of visibility and decisions from onboard to onshore helps centralize and share experts across the fleet instead of dedicated experts onboard and can enable more informed decisions on equipment performance, maintenance, logistics and energy optimization. Other industries, such as aviation, have achieved similar efficiencies with great success. For example, GE’s diagnostic-based digital solution has helped Emirates Airlines gain 12 additional days of utilization and a 43 percent decrease in disruptions.

3. Fully autonomous operations

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, human error accounts for up to 96 percent of all marine casualties, and carrying sailors accounts for 44 percent of a ship’s costs. Therefore, the goal of autonomy is clear and necessary. The new generation of control and automation technologies will accelerate the progression to autonomous “no-man” vessels, where intelligent digital solutions make all decisions about navigation, control, route, port and logistics.

Much of the technology for autonomous operations is already available, but just as smart cars can’t be their smartest without a smart city to support them, an entirely smart ecosystem is needed to unleash the full potential of an autonomous smart ship.

Every stakeholder in the ecosystem needs to engage in the transition; from shipyards, bunkering, logistics, ports and of course the ships themselves. We can create a world where a cargo ship will automatically alert a retailer that a delivery of new cargo is going to arrive ahead of schedule or where oil carriers are able to predict bad storms weeks ahead of schedule and avoid them, thereby reducing supply interruptions, which can truly transform the maritime life cycle.

We all face key challenges and questions around safety and liability, which are also addressed. Remote and autonomous ships must be as safe as existing vessels if they are to secure regulatory approval, that of the marine ecosystem and the wider public. Maritime law also needs to be discussed and updated to take this kind of vessel into account, and we are engaging with these key stakeholders.

Today, the marine ecosystem is just beginning its digitalization journey, and pioneering customers have fully embraced the need for change. As we provide more and more specific marine use cases proving the benefits, it’s a journey that everyone in the ecosystem can engage in order to stay competitive.

Digitalization should be approached as an evolutionary journey, rather than a single-step leapfrog to autonomy as some are advocating. Collaboration with the right ecosystem partners that take an inside-out data approach—whereby digitalization starts from connecting individual assets within a vessel and then progressively collaborating with more external data sets—and sharing knowledge and best practices along the way can lead to an accelerated return on investment.

With the right industry-wide collaboration, we are sailing in the right direction to capitalize on digital opportunities with our partners today as well as those further on the horizon. Please join us on this journey transformation and partner with us to unleash the potential of our industry.

Author: Andy McKeran, general manager, GE’s Marine Solutions

Trelleborg Designs Rubber Membrane For EU-Funded Wave Energy Project

9Trelleborg SymphonyTrelleborg’s engineered products operation has supplied a bespoke, flexible rubber membrane to WETFEET, a €3.46 million, three-year research and development project designed to foster the exploitation of ocean wave energy.

Funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program, the WETFEET project, which has brought together 12 partners spanning six EU countries, aims to address a number of the major constraints that have delayed the sector’s progress to date and develop innovative technology solutions for use in wave energy devices.

José Cândido, Head of Economy & Industry at WavEC Offshore Renewables, the company leading the project, says: “Wave energy has enormous potential to fulfill part of the global demand for a clean, safe and sustainable energy source and as a result, contribute to the creation of jobs across not only the EU but worldwide. In recent years however, wave energy research has revealed a number of challenges such as the reliability of technical components, high development costs and risks, as well as industrial scalability of proposed and tested technologies.

“WETFEET was set up to address these issues and pull together a team focussed on developing viable components, systems and processes to help fulfill wave energy’s potential.”

To date, the project has seen the development of a set of breakthrough technology solutions integrated into two wave energy converters, a floating oscillating water column and Symphony, a variable-volume submerged point-absorber.

Jacco Vonk, Marketing & Business Development Manager for Trelleborg’s engineered products operation, says: “We are delighted to be working with the WETFEET project. Using our experience and insights in supplying high performance polymer solutions to the offshore wind energy sector, we have developed a bespoke flexible rubber membrane for Symphony to drive forward innovation in the wave power category.

“Our polymer membrane technology ensures that the membrane not only acts as seal to protect internal components from external water pressure, but as a bearing to prevent the hull and compensation tank from colliding. Both of which ensure a best-in-class submerged pressure differential device in a smaller geometry, helping to reduce concerns around the cost of Symphony’s development.”

For more information about Trelleborg’s engineered products operation, or any of its products and solutions, please visit the Trelleborg Engineered Products website.

TechnipFMC and PETRONAS Research and Technology Ventures Sign Heads of Agreement for Technological Collaboration

6technipfmc and petronas tripartite hoaTechnipFMC together with PETRONAS Research Sdn Bhd (PRSB) and PETRONAS Technology Ventures Sdn Bhd (PTVSB), both subsidiaries of Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS), signed a Tripartite Heads of Agreement recently.

This collaboration will leverage all parties' best technology, expertise, personnel, assets and facilities in areas such as Gas Separation Technology, Desanding and Sand Disposal, Enhanced Oil Recovery Solutions, Unmanned Equipment and Operations.

Rune Thoresen, President Subsea Projects Asia Pacific, TechnipFMC stated in his speech at the signing ceremony “Even before today’s event which formalizes the collaboration between the two parties, we have been working closely with PETRONAS since the early 80s in Malaysia, delivering many groundbreaking solutions, and recently, the world’s first Floating LNG- PETRONAS FLNG SATU.”

He added “I’m confident that the synergies forged from our strong presence, delivery and relationship with PETRONAS would give us a head start in the first Front End Engineering Design (FEED) execution under this agreement.”

The Tripartite Heads of Agreement is a technological collaboration between TechnipFMC, PRSB and PTVSB. TechnipFMC, as a strategic partner in the collaboration, will have joint ownership of potential foreground intellectual properties arising from the collaboration.

AISUS Launches New Tool for Enhanced Offshore Inspection

Aberdeen-based AISUS has invested a six-figure sum in upgrading and developing cutting edge inspection technology as it looks to further broaden its range of services and increase its geographical reach to provide its customers with the most efficient, cost-effective technological solutions.

7 1AISUS SIRIUS X IN CAISSON minAISUS internal gravity deployed ultrasonic scanning tool, SIRIUS-X.

AISUS has launched an improved internal gravity deployed ultrasonic scanning tool, SIRIUS-X, for completing ultrasonic corrosion mapping within offshore caissons, risers and conductors.

Following successful field trials, it recently completed its first caisson inspection program for a major UK oil and gas operator. The projects were completed in 14 days and included internal inspection of the largest diameter caisson AISUS has delivered to date.

The SIRIUS-X is controlled from the topside, allowing inspection data to be captured above, within and below a variety of obstacles and diameter variations commonly encountered within caissons, without removing the tool.

It has been developed to maximize data accuracy and minimize the duration of inspections to meet the increasing demands of the offshore industry. Featuring a high torque rotary drive and a scanning speed of up to five metres per hour, its small cross-sectional footprint with minimal hydro-dynamic drag also allows it to perform during elevated sea states.

The SIRIUS-X’s simplified and lightweight design means it can be easily configured and adapted in-field where required, further limiting the duration of offshore inspections and reducing costs. It can be deployed to depths of up to 200 metres and adjusted for a range of caisson sizes, from 14” to 60”, at the touch of a button.

7 2AISUS Stuart LawsonStuart Lawson, managing director of AISUS

Stuart Lawson, managing director of AISUS, commented: “This investment demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the global oil and gas market by offering the latest, most efficient technologies to support even the most complex inspection projects worldwide.

“SIRIUS-X, and other inspection application tools which we are currently developing, will bring real benefits to operators with a range of challenging requirements. Our technology is capable of transmitting data in real-time and can be deployed and recovered easily by smaller, highly-skilled teams, offering increased efficiency over traditional inspection approaches. This allows us to provide our clients with the data they need, when they need it.”

Establishing itself as leaders in the inspection of caissons, conductors, J-Tubes and risers, the firm has made significant progress in solidifying its reputation in its initial markets and is now growing its international footprint by exporting its custom engineered technology and expertise to exploit global opportunities. The firm’s long-term commitment to research and development activities will see AISUS launch new technology offerings to the market every year in a bid to address both the current and future challenges facing the energy sector.

“We have listened to our customers and adapted our approach to ensure everything we do is in line with exactly what they need to achieve their operational goals. Innovation and continuous improvement is what sets us apart in this increasingly challenging market. The process of providing innovative inspections solutions for gathering accurate and reliable inspection data from challenging and difficult to access areas is what AISUS is becoming world renowned for,” added Mr. Lawson.

“This investment will enable us to harness and expand our expertise to broaden our product range and geographical reach as we look to fulfil our ambition of becoming a world leader in advanced inspection solutions.”

World’s First Proven Wireless Transmission of Reservoir Pressure Data

9Supporting image FINAL PRESS 1Leading international oilfield services company, Expro, has successfully accomplished the world’s first proven wireless transmission of reservoir pressure data to surface, from a recently abandoned subsea appraisal well which incorporated a rock-to-rock cement plug.

The system was installed in the North Sea and will be used to improve understanding of the reservoir and to optimize future development planning of the field, while ensuring full compliance with local well abandonment regulations.

This achievement provides operators with a more cost-effective option for well abandonment design and consideration of wider well barrier techniques, while maintaining the ability to monitor the reservoir or plug integrity.

Expro’s cableless telemetry system (CaTSTM) wireless gauges, using electromagnetic (EM) technology, were installed in the reservoir of the main bore and casings were cut below the side-track kickoff point to install the cap rock cement plug.

CaTS repeaters placed in the side-track enabled data transmission across the open-hole section and to the seabed transceiver for storage and transmission to an overhead vessel.

The system provided continuous reservoir data, which began immediately after the drill stem test (DST), allowing extended pressure build-up analysis without rig support.

Expro’s Executive Vice President, Alistair Geddes, commented:

“This latest achievement demonstrates our leading position in understanding the physics behind downhole EM telemetry. It allows us to instrument more wells with casing breaks or longer open-hole sections, partnering with customers to develop the most effective plug and abandonment strategies.

“For nearly two decades, Expro has pioneered the use of EM for long-term reservoir monitoring, delivering advancements in 3D analysis models for open-hole communication - without the need for a continuous metallic path for data transmission.

“We recognize the value that technology brings to our industry, which is why we continue to expand our capability and deliver maximum value through innovative new applications.”

CaTS gauges can deliver substantial cost savings in side-tracked wells with appropriate well barriers, as this permits long term interference testing to be completed from the main bore to side-track, without the need to drill a separate appraisal well.

Expro has the most extensive track record of instrumenting subsea abandoned wells and has successfully deployed CaTS gauges for its Advance Reservoir TestingTM (ART) application.

KENT Immersion Suits are Serious Lifesaving Equipment

13KentImmersionSuitsAbandoning a capsized or sinking vessel in open water is a scenario professional mariners never want to face. Designed for commercial fishing, shipping, and offshore oil and gas crew, Kent Safety Products' USCG and USCG/SOLAS/MED Immersion Suits deliver superior protection from the elements for dramatically increasing the odds of survival.

Whether from air or sea, Kent Immersion Suits are designed to be seen. Built from 5mm flame-retardant, safety orange neoprene with SOLAS-grade reflective patches, no other company offers as much high-visibility yellow—the face mask, inflatable head pillow, three-fingered mitts and ankle adjustments all provide the contrast needed to be noticed from a distance.

Unlike the competition, the inflatable head pillow on a Kent Immersion Suit is positioned for maximum safety and freeboard, as it allows the wearer's head to be positioned higher in the water. It's also removable, making it easy to replace if damaged, and less expensive than an entire new suit.

An attached whistle, PLB pocket and attachment points are provided. The IMO RES 207(81) version includes a stainless steel lifting harness and instantly accessible buddy line with snap hook.

Conditions are typically less than ideal when abandoning ship. That's why Kent Immersion Suits are fast and easy to put on, even in low light and rough seas. They're generously cut and sized, and the gloves are positioned so the articulated sleeves turn at the elbow. The suits come in three sizes: intermediate for 110–250 lbs./5'–2" to 5'–10"; universal for 110–305 lbs./4'–11" to 6'–3"; and oversize for 250–350 lbs./6'–3" to 6'–10".

At Pacific Marine Expo, Nov. 16–18, Seattle, one lucky attendee will have a chance to outfit a crew of six with Immersion Suits by winning the "Outfit Your Boat" sweepstakes. Showgoers should stop by Kent's booth #620 to register.

Okeanus Upgrades Nortek Signature55 System for Real-Time Data Interpretation

8 1Nortek Signature55 55kHz frontview8 2OkeanuslogoOkeanus Science & Technology, LLC (Okeanus) announces that it has recently upgraded its Nortek Signature55 ADCP System and purchased the software necessary for it to be able to be deployed from a vessel or stationary platforms while allowing the data to be read in real-time. This upgrade was in response to a need presented to Okeanus by one of its clients operating in the US sector of the Gulf of Mexico.

Okeanus worked with Nortek, who designs and manufactures the Signature55, along with Automasjon og Data (A&D) who developed the DADAS software which allows the ADCP to read the profiling data in real-time.

“We are pleased to see that our Signature55 has gained acceptance within the oil and gas industry as a reliable long-range ADCP. The instrument provides low lifetime ownership cost, and was built to meet stringent requirements set out by the US federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM),” says Atle Lohrmann, CEO of Norwegian tech firm Nortek.

“This upgrade is another example of Okeanus’ commitment to innovation, and our commitment to providing our customers with the most technologically advanced equipment available”, says Benton LeBlanc, president of Okeanus.

“Our interest is in supporting our customers’ initiatives by deploying capital into cutting edge technology that will make them more efficient and competitive in the oceanographic marketplace. Through lease or sale, we can provide our customers with turnkey solutions that will help them to get the job done”, LeBlanc adds.

This new and upgraded system will be on display at the 2017 MTS BBQ being held on October 26th, 2017 at Seanic Ocean Systems in Houston, TX.

Expro Launches Industry-Leading TCP Gun System for Extreme High Pressure Applications

9Expro Gun loaderLeading international oilfield services company, Expro, has launched a new extreme high pressure tubing conveyed perforating (TCP) gun system, delivering the largest perforation hole area available for frac and gravel pack completions.

Designed specifically for challenging deep water environments in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM), the Extreme Pressure Series 30,000 PSI TCP gun system utilises super big hole charge technology, providing best-in-class area-open-to-flow (AOF) to support frac-and gravel-pack operations. Delivering 18-22 shots per foot using steel HMX charges, standard casing sizes of 7” through 7-3/4”, in combination with the 4 3/4” OD system, will achieve 6-7” AOF. However larger casing sizes of 9-5/8 through 10-3/4”, utilising the 6 5/8” OD system, will deliver a market-leading 13-15” AOF.

Developed in collaboration with high performance gun system provider, GEODynamics, the system is complemented by Expro’s fully rated dual hydraulic firing heads and drill stem testing (DST) tools for underbalanced perforating applications. These systems offer cutting edge technology to deliver efficient completions, alongside optimal well performance.

Expro’s DST/TCP Product Line Director, Ron Fordyce said:
“Expro has built a strong reputation as a leading TCP provider in the GoM, working with a range of major clients over the past 30 years. Following a growth in activity associated with deep wells in deeper waters, we knew it was important to deliver the right technology solution for this environment.

“GEODynamics has an unsurpassed reputation for their gun systems and associated products. Alongside our reputation for safety and service quality, the new Extreme Pressure Series, provided exclusively by Expro, can now deliver similar performance for extreme high pressure as it would for lower pressure wells.”

Expro’s DST/TCP Global Business Development Manager, Kerry Daly added:
“The 30,000 PSI TCP guns and associated equipment were specifically designed for the deep water environment, where operators typically frac or gravel pack wells after perforating and require the most AOF possible. Now fully field tested, they can deliver an industry leading perforating hole size for achieving optimal completions and subsequent performance from the well.

“It allows us to bring a key piece of technology to the market place, to support a range of clients due to spud their wells in 2018 – a key driver of this partnership from the outset.”

Expro’s TCP operations are supported from its service centre in Broussard, Louisiana, alongside the Company’s broader suite of subsea, well test, well intervention and fluid product lines across North and Latin America (NLA).

The Company is launching the new TCP gun system at the LAGCOE conference being held in Lafayette, Louisiana, 24-26th October 2017. This includes a range of technical demonstrations on stand ROS22 during the week, as well as a technical showcase conference presentation by Kerry Daly in Room 1 Blues/Convention Centre 2nd Level on October 25th, 10am – 11:30am. For full details, click here.

Ampelmann Provides Increased Operational Efficiencies with E1000 Development

Ampelmann, a global leader in offshore access solutions, has enhanced its existing E1000 gangway transfer system to speed up conversion of its gangway from personnel to cargo mode from at least ten minutes to less than one minute, providing greater operational efficiencies.

The innovative and adaptable E1000 motion compensated access system can transform from a gangway into a crane boom. It is 30 meters in length and is capable of safely transferring people and up to 1,000 kilograms of cargo in rough sea states in wave heights up to 4.5 meters.

5Ampelmann E1000Four E1000 systems are currently being deployed globally

The enhanced, automated system now employs remote-controlled hydraulic pin pushers to fixate the gangway booms in less than one minute with a single button. To switch from cargo to personnel transfer mode, the crane hoisting cable is placed in a freewheel mode to allow the booms to telescope, significantly increasing the available working time. Pins were previously manually deployed and the entire conversion process took at least ten minutes to complete.

Diederick Nierstrasz, Ampelmann’s offshore wind product development manager said: “Building on the success of the existing E1000, we recognized an opportunity to enhance the current system to reduce the time and physical effort taken to change the gangway work mode from personnel to cargo. With this safe and efficient innovation it now takes less than one minute. This is a huge time saving for our clients, resulting in a more efficent use of their valuable assets and increase of the overall project performance.”

“Due to the E1000’s versatility, the system is already the preferred choice in the offshore wind sector. This improvement will provide even greater operational efficiencies for our customers not only in offshore wind but also in the oil and gas industry where compensated lifting capacity is required.”

A total of four E1000 systems are currently being deployed, of which one by Siem Offshore Contractors on its vessels for inspection, maintenance and repair works on Germany’s first commercial offshore windfarm. Earlier this year, the gangway safely performed more than 12,000 people transfers and 7,000 cargo lifts between an offshore support vessel and the wind turbines over a ten-month period, leading to an extension of the original contract.

Future development of the E1000 will focus on increasing its lifting capacity.