ABERDEEN company Lewis Limited has delivered the world’s first high-angle release emergency disconnect package (EDP) to Helix Well Ops, a leading player in the subsea well maintenance and intervention services market.
The £1million, 7
It should enhance both safety and flexibility of well intervention operations for Helix Well Ops, which has invested heavily in the new ship.
Lewis’s managing director, Drummond Lawson, says the high-angle release EDP overcomes the key problems associated with existing designs of emergency disconnect systems, addresses many of the limitations of deploying rigid risers from dynamically-positioned vessels and has achieved a number of world firsts in the process.
“If a vessel starts to drift, the riser starts to bend and, the further it bends, the greater the disconnect angle across the EDP,” said Lawson.
“All EDPs used by the offshore industry to date have been developed around pre-existing designs, and there is consequently a point beyond which it becomes impossible to separate them … this is known as the maximum disconnect angle.
“We have replaced the standard male-female interface with a face-to-face connection coupled with a new two-stage locking mechanism. When this was tested under maximum bending load, we consistently achieved a complete release in just three seconds.
“Vessel drift-off is now no longer limited by maximum disconnect angle – instead, it is governed by the maximum bending capacity of the weakest component.
“Operating circles in both deep and shallower waters can be substantially increased and the need for precautionary disconnects greatly reduced.”
Lawson expects the system’s characteristics to enable delivery of major safety and environmental benefits, as well as significant potential savings in both fuel consumption and rig time.
The Lewis device, for which a patent is pending, is the only EDP to comply fully with the stringent new ISO 13628-7 standard, which is soon to be adopted as the new API 17G standard. Lawson says a stream of further inquiries has been coming in for EDPs ranging from 4
Lewis – the name is an acronym of lightweight economical well intervention systems – was established in Aberdeen in 2005 with the specific aim of becoming a niche provider of subsea well intervention systems and technology to oilfield operators and service companies.