Acteon Group Ltd
Even with a history of commercial extraction stretching back over 150 years, North Sea oil exploration and production continues to be a growing industry to this day.
Working in seas and oceans all over the world, Acteon has a long-standing presence in the North Sea, providing specialist subsea services, equipment and personnel to the subsea sector. Acteon, through the collective strength of its operating companies, links subsea services across a range of interconnected disciplines to provide unique skills and technologies across the life of a field.
The collaborative business model of the Acteon group of companies combines a high degree of flexibility, service quality and experience to deliver comprehensive solutions to the North Seaʼs vessel and rig owners and subsea construction companies. Here we will look at some of the recent North Sea projects Acteon companies have completed, giving you a glimpse of how Acteonʼs goal to define, shape and lead subsea services across the world is working in the North Sea.
Pioneering riser technology extends the operating envelope of jack-up drilling
When a UK oil and gas operator asked Acteon to provide an ultra-high-pressure riser for their North Sea drilling campaign, it was the first step towards an industry-revolutioning innovation.
The challenge was to make large-bore subsea drilling possible with pressures in excess of 12,000psi. A pipe made of weldable steel would be too heavy to be practical, whereas high-strength steel, which makes the pipe wall thinner and lighter, is nearly impossible to weld successfully.
Acteon companies, 2H Offshore, Claxton, Pulse and Subsea Riser Products worked closely together on the project, proposing a solution of shrink-fitting flanges to the pipes, sidestepping the need for welding. Shrink-fitting allows the flanges to be attached by using induction heating coils which heat the flange body, allowing the pipe to be stabbed into it, before it cools.
Once Acteon’s engineers had identified shrink-fitting as a viable solution, the concept was put through a rigorous development and testing process to guarantee the performance demanded by such a critical riser application. The first of its type in the world, this riser is capable of withstanding pressures of up to 12,200psi. It marks a leap forward in drilling practices, opening up the feasibility of high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) drilling using a jack-up rig with a surface blowout preventer – a strategy previously thought impossible, that provides significant cost benefits and operational efficiencies.
It is a truly mould-breaking innovation and one that has won the group the East of England Energy Group Award for Innovation. Best of all, its success is the combined result of Acteon companies, 2H Offshore, Claxton, Pulse and SRP, proving just what Acteon companies can achieve by working together.
Inter-M Pulse proves it can weather North Sea extremes
As offshore production ventures into increasingly extreme environments, it becomes more important than ever to have a clear picture of the integrity and reliability of a rig or an FPSOʼs moorings. Inter-M Pulse is a long-term mooring connector with the capability to monitor and track the in situ tension of a mooring line and transmit tension data acoustically to the topside control room.
Developed by Acteon companies, InterMoor and Pulse, the Inter-M Pulse completed six months of field trials in the North Sea, coping admirably with typical sea states of around 39 feet (12 metres). The field trial mooring system consisted of a combination chain and fibre make-up with the unit installation located at the fibre and shackle connection.
After the unit was successfully installed over the stern roller of an anchor handling vessel, it was immediately operational and feeding line tensions and inclination readings to the surface. At all times the Inter-M Pulse was able to send accurate line tensions and inclination readings to the topside control room.
Alan Duncan, Managing Director of InterMoor, said of the trial findings, “This technology allows full calibration on mooring chains without losing valuable rig time. During a storm the Inter-M Pulse is capable of feeding live data from the mooring chains up to the control room, and in the aftermath, uploading and analysing the findings to determine the storm’s impact and verify the mooring system’s dynamics.”
Are you prepared for when production comes to an end?
to offshore oil producers, and is estimated to cost the industry £30–35 billion over the next 30 years. Each decommissioning project brings its own distinct set of challenges, yet the common thread among all of them is their dependence on impeccable project management and coordination to succeed. Thatʼs why, when Acteon company OIS was approached to help with a survey and four-well abandonment programme in the North Sea Scott field, one of the client’s main concerns was to establish a skilled and focused group of service providers capable of working together as an effective team. Acteon’s structure and collaborative approach makes the group perfectly positioned for such projects. OIS was tasked with planning the programme and directing t he work, which included assembling all the necessary players,defining their roles and responsibilities, and performing a thorough risk assessment of the entire operation.
The first step of the project was a well survey, for which OIS used the survey equipment and marine support services of sister Acteon company InterMoor, with wellhead cap removal taken care of by Claxton. For the actual abandonment operation, OIS used a suspended well abandonment tool (SWAT®) supplied by Claxton, and abrasive cutting equipment to abandon the four wells. InterMoor supplied the necessary survey equipment and marine support services, with transponders and subsea positioning equipment supplied by another Acteon company, Seatronics. InterAct delivered the well classification, the preliminary procedures and the health, safety and environment submittals.
When the wells had been cut, the wellheads were recovered to the back deck of the vessel ready for component recycling and environmentally friendly disposal, returning the seabed to its original condition.
The success of the well-abandonment campaign at Scott field required skills and technology drawn from across the Acteon group of companies. Using Acteon’s pioneering SWAT system removed the need for drilling rigs and diver intervention – a potential saving of up to £400,000 per day when compared to conventional rig-based methods.
Whatever the project, Acteon’s effective coordination and collaboration ensures we’re ready to meet the scale of the many North Sea decommissioning projects on the horizon.