New Blow Out Preventer Works if Rig Loses Power
BOP Technologies, a Houston-based innovator for oil and gas blowout preventers (BOP) and well intervention systems, has developed a new technology that allows a BOP to work even if the drilling rig loses power or hydraulic pressure.
This is a huge step towards truly making BOPs the last line of defense in case of a blowout, says the company. The danger has been that a blowout could damage hydraulic lines that power the BOP shear rams or the rig could lose power to the BOP.
BOP Technologies’ unique concept design places a backup system in the body of the BOP shear ram mechanism itself. If power or hydraulic pressure is lost, there would still be a way to safely cut and close-off the well, protecting the crew and preventing oil from being released into the environment.
Last month, BOP Technologies publicly the announced release of CIRBOP its patented design for a completely new type of BOP that can deliver five million pounds of shear force to the rams. That is more than twice what any existing BOP can deliver and more than enough to cut any pipe, tool joint, collar or other component that may be in the drill string, says the company.
According to Khoa Pham, BOP Technologies CEO, “Industry has been working hard ever since the Deepwater Horizon incident to prevent that tragedy from occurring again. The problem is that there are limitations to the existing technology that the industry has not been able to solve. The inventor of our BOP shear rams, Jay Read, stepped outside the box and came up with a completely new and revolutionary approach.”
The new BOP Technologies design will become even more important as drilling moves to deeper water and higher pressures, says Pham. Drillers will be looking for ways to cut larger drill pipe and components, as well as to reduce the size and weight of the BOP stack and make it easier to maintain. “Our goal,” says Pham, “is to bring to market a BOP shear ram that is lighter, smaller, easier to maintain and able to shear, seal and control anything in a wellbore.”