Raising the Bar for Drilling Risers
The oil and gas industry innovates to exploit hydrocarbon resources in harsh environments or locations where access is difficult. In recent years, the focus of these operational challenges has been on dealing with higher operating pressures and deeper water. A key aspect to overcoming these is having access to well-designed and reliable drilling riser system that is effectively tailored to your drilling campaign, rig interfaces and operating pressures.
As an industry leader in riser provision, Claxton is accustomed to designing and providing product and service solutions for these critical systems within very tight deadlines. Darren Bowyer, Product Leader: Risers, at Claxton, explains, “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.”
How does Claxton cope with these extreme time pressures? There are options for compressing a construction schedule, as Bowyer says, “At Claxton, we can accommodate tight schedules by refining our processes and reducing or eliminating non-essential, time-consuming elements. For example, we recently started supplying ring-type bolt tensioners which reduce flange make-up times considerably. Additionally we also supply joints pre-studded, further enhancing offshore operations.”
That Claxton holds one of the largest drilling riser stock inventories in the UK, with API NACE compliant systems up to 12,200 psi and a full inventory of supporting equipment, helps its fast response. “This is a real bonus for clients,” says Bowyer, “We have more pressure options, connection types and overall complete system options in-house than any other supplier. In addition, our ancillary items for riser handling, installation and tensioning have all been developed through years of experience and all with the aim of providing safe and efficient systems that reduce critical path rig time. So clients can be sure we are offering the best fit riser for their drilling campaign, not just a system we want to push.”
A key aspect of the Claxton approach to customer service is anticipating trends and market needs, meaning that the company is often working on solutions before clients ask for them. Claxton responds to changing client needs by offering flexible commercial options. “We can provide risers on sale or rental terms to suit client projects and experienced crews to run the system offshore if necessary,” says Bowyer. “Being fully independent means that we focus on what the client actually needs and recommend the most effective solution. As part of the Acteon group of companies, we can draw on support from specialist sister companies such as 2H Offshore and Subsea Riser Products for access to combined levels of riser knowledge and expertise that no one else can match.”