Adding a New Well Slot to an Existing Offshore Platform

The addition of a new well slot to a major operator's gas platform in the UK Irish Sea was able to substantially extend the production life of the facility. As is often the case offshore, a project such as this was not without its problems.
May 3, 2012 - PRLog -- Claxton Engineering was initially subcontracted to design, fabricate and install a new conductor guide and centraliser in the platform's splash zone.  This called for flexibility on the part of all concerned and a great team effort with the main contractor Production Services Network's (PSN).  The guide was successfully lifted over the side of the platform, slung into place within the jacket structure and firmly secured within a few hours by a crew of four abseilers.

As often found, there were some changes to the original plan, with the field operator's drilling crew on site and preparing to drill the conductor socket, concerns emerged that whipping of the drillstring at the congested cellar deck level might lead to clashes with surrounding steelwork or piping.

"The general feeling was that the provision of a drill bush in the guide at the splash-zone level would not be adequate to contain the problem and that a temporary guide was required at the cellar deck," explains Bob Leggett, Claxton's project manager ( "As we were already involved in the project and have a lot of previous experience with this type of work, we were asked to come up with a solution to the problem."

This was overcome by installing a temporary guide in the opening through the cellar deck and to provide a bush that could be run on the drillstring to sit in the guide. Once landed in the guide, the bush, which had a polymer lining and formed a clearance fit around the drillstring, was locked in place to provide the necessary restraint at the critical point. With the initial drilling complete, the temporary guide was removed and the conductor was run into the hole.

In another break from the original plan, the drilling crew decided not to install the conductor centraliser within the splash-zone guide. This was due to the concerns regarding problems engaging the centraliser within the guide and the potential effect this might have on the drilling schedule. An alternative centraliser was used which allowed for a retrofit within the guide after the drilling activity was completed.

As with this example, Claxton cleverly combine experienced project engineers, a fast and efficient design-analyse-build service and an enormous inventory of rental tools ( in order to respond to the operating needs of all their clients at an unrivalled pace.
Overcoming such challenges and ensuring the success of unusual projects or bespoke offshore engineering ( projects such as adding a new well slot to an existing offshore platform is one Claxton’s strengths.
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Tags:New Well Slot, Offshore Engineering, Oil Industry, Offshore, Irish Sea, Offshore Projects, Claxton Engineering
Industry:Engineering, Industrial, Technology
Location:Great Yarmouth - Norfolk - England
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