Claxton Provides Riser System for New Development in UK North Sea

Claxton, an industry leader in riser provision, played a key role in the success of a new development in the UK North Sea in water depths of approximately 90 meters.

This development includes a floating production, storage and offloading vessel, which was specially modified to meet the field’s requirements; six wells; and a 12-km gas export pipeline connected to the BP Central Area Transmission System pipeline to enable gas export to the UK. The production facilities will have a production capacity of about 30,000 bbl/d of oil.

Chosen for its expertise in designing and providing product and service solutions under extreme time pressures, Claxton once again delivered the project contribution against the tight deadline. Darren Bowyer, Product Leader Risers at Claxton, says: “Sometimes, clients find it difficult to predict exactly when they will need a particular piece of equipment. Rig schedules can be very fluid and many factors influence the management of drilling teams. As a result, clients often give us short notice of their riser needs. For example, in April we started work on a riser system that had to be ready for client operations in November, but this is about half the time it normally takes to construct a riser of this kind.

“For the North Sea project, we supplied a flanged high-pressure riser system package for the project, including interface connectors subsea and at surface. The project took six months from start to finish and was on time and on budget. The installation phase was completed smoothly, notwithstanding some early technical challenges interfacing the tension system, also supplied by Claxton, to the rig’s existing systems.”

The Claxton approach at this field during this project was driven by its significant previous deployment experience, which enabled it to offer a range of operational enhancements. For example, Claxton suggested having double riser joints racked back in the derrick and deploying the subsea trees with the riser system delivered significant time savings and so reduced operational costs. At the project wash-up meeting, the client’s team rated Claxton’s equipment and the services that the company had provided as “excellent”.

Claxton had to work as part of a large team and carry out the work scope in association with other specialist contractors. This called for a high level of flexibility, collaboration and coordination to ensure that the drilling riser was delivered and installed on time. Planning and executing the various tasks was a complex challenge, as several key players each made key contributions.

The drilling manager for the project stressed the importance of teamwork and attributed the success of the project to excellent interaction across the team and a willingness to learn from the performance coaches.

“Throughout most of the project there would have been more than 50 people actively engaged in delivering the drilling programme, with as many as 20 service companies being represented,” he said. “Understandably, every company focused on its own specialist tasks, so managing this extended team to deliver the project on time and on budget was crucial,” Bowyer continues. “The performance coaches played a vital role by standing back from the operation and taking an impartial view of what was going on. This enabled them to capture all the lessons learned from the project execution and feed them back to the team to promote continuous improvement.”

Press Release, January 27, 2014

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