Acteon Subsea Cos Scoop Up Innovation Award for Drilling Riser System

Acteon companies 2H Offshore, Claxton and Subsea Riser Products (SRP) have won a prestigious innovation award for their collective work on the world’s first high-pressure, high-temperature, full-bore, drilling riser system for Venture Production plc.

The award, presented by the East of England Energy Group (EEEgr), saw the Acteon companies succeeding over seven other contenders with diverse technologies.

The new riser, born from aligning the unique experience found within Acteon companies, uses shrink-fit flange technology to negate the issues inherent in working with high-pressure, high-temperature grade materials.

Using a weldable grade of steel such as 65 ksi would require a pipe wall thickness of around 75mm; welding pipe this thick is extremely difficult. Welding is not the only difficulty: the weight of a complete riser string of this thickness would be enormous. Going to a high-strength steel would reduce the wall thickness and the weight, but would make welding impossible.

The shrink-fit process allows the flanges to be attached without welding by using induction heating coils. These heat the flange body, enabling the pipe to be stabbed into it, before it is cooled.

Venture plan to use the innovative riser for a high temperature, high-pressure drilling program in 120 m of water. This means the riser will have up to 13 main sections (not including stress and tension joints), each 9 meters long, connected by bolted flanges. The question in this case was how to attach the flanges to the pipes.

The award was collected by Laura Claxton, managing director, Claxton, who praised the passion and commitment of the inter-company team that worked on the riser with Venture, and thanked EEEgr for its ongoing support of the energy industry in the eastern region.