Belgian firm VRcontext International was recently contracted by Total E&P Angola to deliver a 3D immersive training simulator (ITS) for the Pazflor FPSO, to be anchored on one of Total’s largest offshore producing assets.
The company’s Walkinside simulator allowed Total’s training room instructors to create customized collaborative scenarios that were later used to develop improved communication skills of the trainees and to test their execution performance.
Walkinside ITS’ scenario editor helped them simulate real-life workflow situations using different training mode options, with diverse immersive scenarios specifically designed for the planning, the scheduling and the execution of standard operating procedures, said VRcontext. The implementation of these scenarios can be timed and stored for subsequent operators’ assessment, improvement tracking and playback for refresher courses or novice training. ‘The objective for the field operators was to associate the Tags of equipment, instruments such as pressure gauges, valves, safety valves on one hand and piping layout and the main machines such as pumps on the other hand, with their location on site for various scenarios including HSE procedures, black start procedures and routine operations,’ said Lionel Ramat from Total’s Pazflor field operations group.
‘Even though it is still early to quantify the return on investment, the ease of the takeover by the trainees and their feedback were very positive,’ he added. ‘Also the value of the ITS, as a contextual training environment, was confirmed by experienced operational personnel.’
M-pipe rises to the challenge
Magma Global recently launched a high-performance carbon and polymer pipe to meet the challenges of deepwater, sour service, high pressure/high temperature and highly dynamic subsea applications. The company’s new m-pipe is said to offer improved reliability, increased performance, and longer life than conventional un-bonded flexible pipes or steel solutions in the following ways:
With internal diameters between 2in and 24in, m-pipe can be produced in continuous lengths, says Magma. Pipe diameters up to 15in can be spooled for storage, transport and deployment.
‘We believe with the development of m-pipe we can deliver risers and flowlines that offer significant performance improvements over incumbent technologies in key areas such as weight, fatigue and long term reliability,’ commented the company’s CEO Martin Jones. ‘With the offshore industry now operating in deeper water and more aggressive environments, m-pipe offers significantly increased pipeline safety factors and decreased risk.’
The new pipe’s light weight, fatigue performance and strength will enable engineers to take a fresh approach to riser architectures, believes 2H Offshore principal director Steve Hatton. ‘m-pipe offers the potential for a significant improvement in the way we design, manufacture, install and operate critical riser systems,’ he said. ‘Its weight and high resistance to fatigue and corrosion solve many of the problems that riser designers are currently struggling to accommodate with current steel and flexible solutions. I believe the new technology . . . will reduce risk and installed cost of riser systems – the time has finally come for the use of this type of material in the offshore industry.’
Pig signalling simplified
Using scrapers and spheres is an established maintenance procedure for ensuring that the inside surfaces of oil and gas pipelines remain free of blockages and the buildup of matter. Installing an Hi-T Pigalert signaller from SPX GD Engineering on the pipeline at predetermined locations enables the passage of the scraper or sphere to be tracked.
Simple to install and operate, the Hi-T Pigalert is said to be a cost-efficient device that provides on-site penetration and gives operators a simple visual indication with a single re-set. The pivot less tumbler mechanism and laminated trigger blade provide the necessary depth of penetration into the pipeline to give a reliable and visual signal with negligible effect on the product flow.
The Hi-T Pigalert is manufactured in different pressure classifications; up to ANSI Class 600 and for ANSI Class 900 and 1500. A further range is also available up to ANSI Class 2500. Standard models are designed for use at temperatures ranging from –20°C to +200°C, depending on the products in the pipeline and the pressure. Should operating temperatures go outside this range, then special elastomer seals can be provided. All models are bi-directional and available with a choice of mechanically operated signal flags, electrical auto-resetting switches and mechanical and electrical signals in combination. Although designed for horizontal installation, units can be installed on vertical pipes where specified.
SPX supplies the standard models ready for mounting on a base which is welded to the pipeline or vessels, plus flange-mounted models up to ANSI 1500 are available. A 38mm diameter access through both the mountings and the line pipe is necessary for the standard units. Special adaptors and smaller trigger diameters are available for other makes of retrofit applications. All standard models of the Hi-T Pigalert can be specified with isolation valves for applications where there is a requirement to remove units under line pressure.
Next generation shaker
The Mongoose Pro next generation shaker recently released by M-I Swaco operates in two modes – capacity and efficiency – and is designed specifically to meet current and future drilling demands.
The efficiency mode is a progressive elliptical motion that produces 6.5G. The capacity mode is a balanced elliptical motion that produces 7.5G. The patent-pending progressive elliptical motion has been field proven on the MD-3 shale shaker, allowing the flexibility to handle changing drilling conditions. According to M-I Swaco, the progressive elliptical motion rapidly separates solids and quickly moves them out of the pool area while increasing the residence time on the drying area, resulting in dryer cuttings.
The Mongoose Pro is a redesign of the long-established PT shaker and in a head-to-head comparison test between the two the Mongoose Pro is reported to have achieved the same level of cuttings dryness while processing at a maximum rate of 410g/m, 70% of the overall circulating rate. M-I said the Mongoose PT unit processed at 293g/m, 50% of the overall circulating rate. The maximum cuttings discard rate measured for the Pro shaker was 3484lbs/ hr compared to the control shaker’s maximum cuttings discard rate of 2400lbs/hr.
Coating technologies specialist NanoSteel has launched its Guardian CF hardband for application on drill pipe tool joints. The company said it was responding to changing industry needs by designing its Guardian CF to provide the characteristics of being a crack-free material, which can be welded over other hardbands. It can be openÂ]arc welded and, says NanoSteel, also Âeimproves upon the outstanding casing wear and tool joint protection of its predecessor Guardian HB'. Dave Paratore, the companyÂfs president and CEO, said: ÂeGuardian CF will appeal to all stakeholders involved in hardbanding. For example, oil companies will benefit from the outstanding casing protection, while drill pipe owners will value the outstanding tool joint protection. Moreover, applicators will enjoy the crack free, weld-over and open-arc capabilities of the product'.Â
Issue: August 2011
Field testing offshore Vancouver, British Columbia was scheduled to begin this summer for the Seafloor Drill, a mobile platform capable of conducting geotechnical surveys and core sampling in up to 3000m water depths.
John Gregg, president of Gregg Drilling, came up with the concept and it was developed in collaboration with Marl Technologies and Schilling Robotics. Marl provided the drilling platform itself, while Schilling engineered the controls, power systems and subsea packaging.
According to Tyler Schilling, president and CEO of Schilling Robotics, the system will initially be capable of drilling to 150m beneath the seabed but its reach could exceed 200m with additional tooling. ‘This is the first of four systems that Gregg will build, and it is changing the landscape of drilling and core sampling technology,’ he said.
Schilling Robotics and Gregg Drilling’s marine division completed a successful factory acceptance test on the Seafloor Drill in June. Its developers believe the system has the design flexibility to enable its use in applications beyond geotechnical surveying and core sampling, including cone penetration testing. Other tools being developed for the Seafloor Drill include a downhole vane shear test and geophysical tools to give 3D modeling capabilities.
Dealing with data
Marine geophysical contractor Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) is among the energy sector companies who have chosen to oursource their seismic data center facilities in recent years. PGS went to CyrusOne, which sells space in one of 18 locations – built up from 10,000ft2 modular data halls – around the world to companies, like PGS, with huge processing power requirements. ‘What we have evolving is a digital hub,’ said Caroline Brelsford, CyrusOne national accounts director.
The facilities are powered with parallel power support structures that will give the data center power 100% of the time because ‘the power needs in the oil industry can be 1000W/ft,’ added CyrusOne CFO Gary Wojtaszek. The company also uses generators, fuel tanks and batteries for back-up should there be a power outage.
To keep data secure, CyrusOne monitors its data centers 24 hours a day, seven days a week and security guards monitor the perimeter and the interior of the facility. To gain entry into the data center itself, a key card and a biometric scan is required.