Better Pressure Testing Saves $193m per Rig

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Athens Group Chief Technology Officer to Present Results and Recommendations at AADE National Technical Conference
According to ODS-Petrodata, the cost of operating a highly automated rig in the Gulf of Mexico has almost tripled in the last four years. Accordingly, the Minerals Management Service (MMS) recently funded a three-year Joint Industry Project (JIP) to determine the historical failure rates (and resulting non-productive time) associated with subsea Blowout Prevention Equipment (BOPE).  Athens Group CTO and drilling technology expert, Don Shafer will be presenting the findings of that study at the AADE 2009 National Technical Conference March 31 in New Orleans, LA. 

“With an understanding of the causes of their failure, BOPE and control systems reliability can be increased,” said Shafer. “The result is safer BOPE operation and decreased downtime, saving rig owners and operators millions of dollars annually while maintaining excellent safety and environmental performance.”

According to the study, many stack configurations exceed minimum requirements and are redundant. In addition, blind-shear rams implemented at the surface are not testable. The study finds that, with increased pressure testing of their subsea BOPE, typical Gulf of Mexico high-end rigs can save up to $193m dollars in unproductive time annually.

Because of the company’s Drilling Technology Assurance expertise, Athens Group was selected to participate on the JIP.

The purpose of the JIP is to determine optimal BOPE testing frequency and improved BOPE pressure testing methods in order to increase the life of the equipment, maximize its effectiveness and ultimately, reduce operating costs and NPT.  Because frequency of pressure testing of BOPEs can be positively correlated with the reliability, safety and well integrity of the entire vessel, many drilling and operating companies in the Gulf of Mexico contributed their own historical data in an effort to produce the most accurate, relevant and useful statistics.

For those unable to attend the conference, a copy of Mr. Shafer’s presentation will be located at www.athensgroup.com immediately following the event.

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