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Searching for New Ways To Make the Cut

Photo courtesy of Stone Energy.
Stone Energy removed these casings using abrasive cutting tools.

In the realm of platform removal, the cutting edge of technology can be taken literally.

Much of the new technology development occurring now is aimed at finding better ways to sever the thick, tough steel structures and wellheads so that they can be removed. There are abrasive cutters that can burrow into the mud, a 2-in. thick abrasive cable like the blade in a giant hacksaw, and even work on sending powerful blasts of laser light through cables that can sever the strongest wellheads.

“With cutting, the promising stuff started up with the understanding that cutting with an oxyacetylene torch by a diver is not very safe,” said Alan Stokes, global decommission manager for WorleyParsons. Manual cutting was followed by cutting using high-pressure streams of grit, abrasive diamond wire looping the pipe, and powerful hydraulic shears.

“The next stage is laser cutting because the trouble with diamond wire and shearing is…the cutting is quick but it takes time to set up,” he said.

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Searching for New Ways To Make the Cut

Stephen Rassenfoss, JPT Emerging Technology Senior Editor

01 November 2014

Volume: 66 | Issue: 11

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