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BSEE-sponsored report on subsea bolting technology released

In an effort to address a recurring problem with faulty connectors in critical safety equipment, the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) commissioned a National Academy of Engineering (NAE) study on the matter in September 2016. After 18 months of study, the report, “High-Performance Bolting Technology for Offshore Oil and Natural Gas Operations,” was published on 9 March.

BSEE sponsored this study to leverage the resources of the National Materials and Manufacturing Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine with BSEE’s Emerging Technologies program as it works to mitigate risk of critical offshore connector equipment failures. Since 2003, there have been a number of failures of bolts that are used to connect blowout preventers, risers and other subsea equipment.

In addition to the NAE workshop and study, the bureau has sought out other interested parties to address the issue. BSEE hosted a public forum in August 2016 on critical offshore connector equipment failures and chartered an interagency bolt action team in September 2016 to share the expertise, data, and experience to develop best practices on fastener safety.

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