The first drill riser buoyancy modules capable of withstanding nearly 5,000 psi (c. 350 bar) pressure, at 11,000 feet (c. 3,350 meters) below the surface, have been developed and manufactured by Trelleborg Offshore in response to the demands of deepwater exploration.
The new syntactic foam buoyancy modules were designed and manufactured for Transocean Inc. for use in the Indian Ocean on their latest deepwater drilling rig, the "Dhirubhai Deepwater KG1". Manufactured at the newly-expanded Trelleborg facility in Houston, Texas, the modules use buoyancy technology developed during years of research and testing to ensure it can withstand the extreme 11,000ft marine environment.
"Our investment in a state-of-the-art research and development facility and expanded testing capabilities means we can respond very rapidly to our customers' demands," explained Todd Grahn, Sales Manager for Trelleborg Offshore US.
The Trelleborg Offshore drill riser buoyancy modules are constructed from a low-density composite syntactic foam and macrospheres. The composite syntactic foam is then encased within a durable external skin which includes Trelleborg's exclusive module integrity system called "Ultra MIS".
"It's a very exciting time," continued Todd. "Exploration is continually pushing back the boundaries and demanding more from technology so we are constantly striving to develop new products. The next stage of 15,000 feet (c. 4,500 meters) is already going through testing and we will be ready to supply when the need arises."
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