Aquaterra has successfully installed a ‘world first’ 10,000psi rated, 20” I.D. full bore drilling riser for Apache North Sea Ltd. The unique High Pressure Riser System was designed specifically for Apache North Sea to drill three subsea wells on the Bacchus field from the Rowan Gorilla VII. The installation marks the first Riser System of this kind to be run worldwide. Aquaterra Energy built on the success of their 5,000 psi Riser System, using Merlin connectors developed by Oil States Industries (UK) Ltd to produce a higher capacity, 10,000 psi system in conjunction with Oil States. The 10k System is a ‘world first’ as never before have Merlin connectors been used at this size or pressure, for this application. To cope with the increased pressure and anticipated loads, the joints were fully forged with a wall thickness of 2 ½” and the overall dimensions of the Merlin connector were increased greatly. The Merlin connector significantly increases running speed and improves the efficiency of operations when compared to standard flanged alternatives. With a unique service agreement in place with Oil States Industries, Aquaterra Energy is the only service company providing this exclusive rental system to the market.
High Pressure Drilling Riser specialists, Aquaterra Energy, offered a full scope of supply to Apache North Sea ranging from Riser Analysis to offshore installation. Aquaterra’s dedicated in-house team of Drilling Riser Engineers provided design engineering, project management, operational expertise and managed the delivery of the riser system as well as offshore installation.
Aquaterra Senior Project Engineer, Stuart Dockree managed the project and commented, “The overall project was extremely interesting with many engineering and operational planning challenges throughout, which required continued focus from the project team. Speaking on behalf of that team, we have all been delighted to be involved with this significant ‘world first, full bore 10k Merlin riser system’ project which has further strengthened our riser team and product lines as clear market leaders for High Pressure Riser Systems.”
Aquaterra Project Engineer, James Head, who supervised the Riser installation on the Rowan Gorilla VII said, “A positive working relationship and excellent communications between Aquaterra Energy and Apache North Sea throughout the offshore operation ensured that the Riser System was installed to plan. The operation went smoothly as all parties pulled together to ensure a successful outcome.”