Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  17 Jun 2009

MARINE: Hytec Helps Drill For Oil


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HYTEC Marine and Offshore Services of Cape Town has completed a project involving the redesign of the pipe handling system and the construction of the control valve modules to be used on a drill ship.

The vessel services the petrochemical industry off the west coast of Africa. The project, valued at R3.1 million, has been completed under tight deadlines.

The control system for the ship’s onboard robotic pipe handling system was redesigned, supplied and constructed by Hytec Marine and Offshore Services. The system supplies the ship’s drilling rig with the riser pipes necessary for reaching the ocean floor. Riser pipes are stored on the stern of the vessel, while the drilling rig is located amidships. The supplied solution is capable of forward and reverse movement as well as articulation on a vertical plane.

The system has been designed using Bosch Rexroth components throughout to ensure maximum precision and reliability under harsh conditions. The new pipe handling system affords two advantages over the previous system, namely improved stability at sea and the elimination of damage to riser pipes during the handling process. The new system has resulted in a safer, more efficient vessel from which to conduct marine drilling.

Hytec Marine and Offshore Services has also supplied fifty gallon Hydac hydraulic accumulators to be used on the ship’s blow out preventor (BOP) systems. BOP systems are fitted to wells as emergency shut-off mechanisms, which will seal a well in the event of an emergency. BOP systems are engaged in the event of overpressure causing fluids, such as oil or natural gas, to enter the well-bore and threaten the drilling rig.

The valve is operated remotely using actuators, which in turn are powered by hydraulic accumulators. Hydraulic accumulators are a means of storing energy which places hydraulic fluid under pressure using an external force.

In drilling applications this means that BOPs can operate without lag, immediately and independently of an external power source. Hydac accumulators have a working pressure of 3000 psi.

Control valves were imported from the USA to be used on the BOP systems. The control valves are rated for working pressures 6000 psi, and are constructed out of 316 grade stainless steel to ensure that the components do not rust on the ocean floor.

The control valves are used to control the actuators which shut the well on a BOP system.


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