Lloyds Register Group subsidiary Senergy has joined oil and gas engineering services firm Plexus Holdings' on-going joint industry project (JIP) to develop and commercialize a new and safer subsea wellhead, using Plexus' patented POS-GRIP technology.
The JIP is focussed on developing a new subsea wellhead, HGSS, to address key technical issues and requirements highlighted by regulators following the Gulf of Mexico incident in April 2010. The POS-GRIP HGSS subsea wellhead, where current engineering and testing stages are well advanced is designed to be safer, have fewer parts in the well bore than any other competing system, whilst also providing superior sealing and locking down capacities to casing hangers immediately after their installation. A further design and development goal is to provide the ability to monitor and manage subsea annulus pressure, as well as providing a remedial capability; this would be an industry first and include subsea wellhead capabilities that have been sought for many years.
Existing consulting partners in the project are: Total E&P Recherche Developpement SAS, Maersk Oil North Sea UK Ltd, Shell International Exploration and Production B.V., Wintershall Noordzee B.V., Tullow Oil, Eni S.p.A, Oil States Industries Inc., and the UK entity of a global offshore drilling company.
All members of the JIP have been contributing to the design and engineering process, and it is Plexus’ goal that they will become end-users once the wellhead has been fully built, tested and commercialized. All intellectual property generated by the JIP will be owned by Plexus, and will be added to the company’s extensive and unchallenged POS-GRIP patent suite.
In addition to the product specification consulting period currently under way by all members of the JIP, Senergy has committed to assisting the JIP by providing an installation time and cost comparison study of the POS-GRIP 'HGSS' Subsea Wellhead against existing conventional subsea wellhead products.
Plexus' CEO Ben Van Bilderbeek said: “We are making excellent progress with our Subsea JIP, where we are working alongside major oil and gas companies, illustrating the strong industry support for a new subsea wellhead. To date, the new HGSS Subsea Wellhead design is in the final completion stages, and manufacturing of test fixtures is underway with full system testing expected to be completed in Q3 2014. From here the JIP will move to building of the prototype and then a first time installation.
“We believe our entry into the subsea market will not only be a major milestone for the Company, but a transformational leap for the wider oil and gas wellhead industry and we look forward to reporting on developments as the JIP and Subsea Wellhead design progresses.”
Key features that Plexus and the JIP partners are working towards incorporating into the new POS-GRIP HGSS subsea wellhead design include: