Home / News / Slip joint performance highlighted, improvements urged

 In 2008, the offshore industry lost more than 230 barrels of oil to the marine environment in 22 separate incidents, leading to cumulative downtime of 48 hours and lost revenues of more than $600,000 due to problems with slip joints, the design of which has advanced little over the decades.

But, over a period of five years, Colin Craig, operations performance adviser at Transocean, reckons more than 1,500 barrels were lost over the prior five years via 105 slip joint failures – an average of more than 300 barrels and 22 incidents per annum.

Slip joint performance highlighted, improvements urged

 Slip joints have improved little in recent years, leading to lost oil, lost revenue and downtime. 

Mr Craig told the IADC Environmental Conference & Exhibition in Stavanger: “The last time I was a driller was on a semisubmersible back in 1991. We had an issue then where we had loss of power on the rig, the slip joint packer failed, an alarm went off, and what happened was that an assistant driller and an engineer went down to the moonpool to operate a valve to operate the secondary back-up system.

“I’m surprised to see that in this day and age, we’re still working with some equipment in the same conditions. I felt we could do something about it.”

Mr Craig was referring to his immersion in an initiative at Transocean to investigate the slip ring problem and, if possible, come up with solutions that would prevent such occurrences from happening in the future, at least across the world’s largest MODU fleet and hopefully prompting other companies to take similar appropriate actions.

He told delegates that tackling the challenge was a reflection of the company’s core values – integrity and honesty – that it was the right thing to do in order to keep risks as low as reasonably practicable and that this clearly implied respect for the environment.

Mr Craig said that a solution was indeed found, including a Buxton automated back-up system, plus a Romar Packer Management System.

His quest continues.

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