Noble Corporation Wins Prestigious Woelfel Award

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers' International Petroleum Technology Institute (ASME-IPTI) has named Noble Technology Services Division winner of the 23rd annual prestigious "Woelfel Best Mechanical Engineering Achievement Award" competition for innovative mechanical engineering design excellence. Noble was selected from a field of Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) exhibitors. The award is named for Albert Woelfel, a past-chair of the ASME Petroleum Division and former member of the OTC Board of Directors.

The Woelfel Award recognizes a product, device or system displayed at the OTC which best reflects innovation in and/or practical use of mechanical engineering in energy industry related problem solving, design improvement or performance maximization. ASME-IPTI judges made their final selections Monday and presented the Woelfel Award to Noble Technology Services Division tonight during an industry leadership reception in downtown Houston.

Noble's cutting edge Aluminum Alloy Riser allows for offshore drilling rigs to work in significantly deeper water without modification. Because a riser, typically made of steel, is stored on the vessel when not deployed, it consumes precious deck space and weight capacity of the vessel. In addition, when a riser is deployed, special equipment on the drilling vessel is needed to maintain the riser in tension to prevent buckling from its own weight or from wave/current forces. By implementing the application of aluminum alloys to construct the riser and the auxiliary lines (hydraulic, choke/kill) that are attached outside the riser, Noble has created a riser that can withstand the rigors of the offshore environment while reducing weight. The new aluminum alloy riser joint weighs approximately 17,000 lb, 30% less than a steel riser (24,000 lb).

Winner of the 2006 Woelfel Distinguished Innovation Award

Kalsi Thrust Bearing, Kalsi Engineering, Inc.

Other finalists' innovative submissions included:

  • Integrated High Pressure Constant Pressure Crude Oil Mixing Container, Welker Engineering Company
  • Self-Centering Compact Roughneck, Access Oil Tools, LP, Forum Oilfield Technologies
  • Sub-Sea Hot Tap System, Cudd Well Control

ASME-IPTI judges for the 2006 Woelfel Award were: Joe Fowler, Pd.D., P.E., president and co-founder of Stress Engineering Services; Carl Langner, Ph.D., of Carl Langner & Associates; John Vozniak, president of Vozniak and Associates; Philip Carpentier, a veteran engineer with Shell Oil Co. and Glenn MacDonald of Stress Subsea, Inc.

Previous winners of the "Woelfel Best Mechanical Engineering Achievement Award" include Viking Technologies, Halliburton Energy Services, Shell International Exploration, Inc. and Maersk Contractors.