Trelleborg and SubC Partner have joined forces to design, manufacture and test a distributed buoyancy module (DBM) for installation by a remotely operated vehicle (ROV).
The DBM would be installed by an ROV on to a floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) units’ 12 inch production riser in a steep wave configuration.
By having an ROV installable DBM, Trelleborg and SubC Partner were able to succeeded in replacing buoyancy modules on a live riser, without shutting oil production, Trelleborg said.
To enable fitment of buoyancy on a live riser a bespoke suite of ROV tools was developed by SubC Partner, while Trelleborg engineered a new type of buoyancy module.
Andy Smith, customer group manager at Trelleborg’s offshore operation in Skelmersdale, said: “A variety of installation features and precise datum points had to be built in to the buoyancy modules to provide a known and repeatable interface between ROV installation tooling and the DBM components. Dimensional tolerances on a buoyancy element shell are generally intrinsic to the roto-molding manufacturing process. Attaining the stringent tolerances required for this project was made a success through collaboration between design, suppliers and tooling engineering.”
Lars Wigant, director & partner at SubC Partner added: “Installation of the new ROV installed DBMs was a complete success. We were able to safely remove and install multiple modules in a very limited timeframe. We look forward to the next opportunity where we can use this field proven design on another project.”