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High-Pressure/High-Temperature BOP Equipment Becoming a Reality

Courtesy of GE Oil and Gas.
A prototype of the new deepwater 20,000-psi single-cavity blowout preventer (BOP) ram is undergoing pressure testing at GE Oil and Gas’ laboratory in Houston. The completed BOP stack is expected to weigh from 1 million to 1.2 million lb.

The offshore industry has taken another step toward opening up new deepwater frontiers to exploration with Maersk Drilling ordering the first 20,000-psi blowout preventer (BOP) made by GE Oil and Gas. The BOP is expected to be delivered in the first half of 2018 and is part of a multiyear collaboration between Maersk and BP to design a new generation of offshore drilling rigs for deepwater basins dubbed “20K Rigs.”

The ultimate goal is to enable the development of high-pressure/high-temperature reservoirs with pressures up to 20,000 psi and temperatures as high as 350°F. The technical limit of the highest-rated BOPs in operation today is 15,000 psi and 250°F. BP believes that with the 20,000-psi BOPs, and other technologies in development, it will be able to develop fields that may add an additional 10 billion to 20 billion BOE across its portfolio.

“GE’s new deepwater BOP system is a key part of Maersk and BP’s strategy to safely expand offshore field development into previously unexplored areas,” said Claus Hemmingsen, chief executive officer (CEO) of Maersk Drilling. “With its redesigned components, GE’s new BOP technology addresses the needs of drilling companies for BOPs that efficiently operate at extremely high pressures.”

GE is designing, testing, and building the 20,000-psi BOP and risers at its Houston Technology Center in Texas. However, the company said it is drawing on expertise from its global base of experts. The BOP will be rated for depths down to 12,500 ft and features upgraded rams designed for the higher pressures and extreme temperatures. It will also come installed with GE’s latest BOP control system and newly unveiled BOP monitoring and advisement software.

“The 20,000-psi drilling system being developed will include a number of new real-time monitoring and condition-based maintenance technologies aimed at improving uptime by reducing unplanned maintenance,” said Andrew Way, president and CEO of the drilling and surface business at GE Oil and Gas. “From higher-performance mechanicals to real-time monitoring and condition-based maintenance systems, this next-generation system can make accessible new offshore drilling frontiers.”

High-Pressure/High-Temperature BOP Equipment Becoming a Reality

Trent Jacobs, JPT Senior Technology Writer

01 August 2014

Volume: 66 | Issue: 8

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