SafeDeploy removes the need for crew or crane assistance when deploying submersible pumps.
SafeDeploy removes the need for crew or crane assistance when deploying submersible pumps.
SafeDeploy removes the need for crew or crane assistance

 

Historically, rigs and operators have been forced to use a high-risk method for deploying temporary submersible pumps, using a hang-off frame which sets the machine and delivery hose in place.

Not only is it a high-risk process, where personnel are operating under a suspended load, it is a hugely time and labour intensive method that takes an entire team of operators up to 12 hours to carry out.

Archaic approach

It was this archaic approach that experts at well test support services company, ScanTech Offshore, set out to tackle with new technology driving a solution. The result is SafeDeploy, an innovative piece of self-deploying engineering which removes the need for crew or crane assistance when deploying submersible pumps from the deck of a rig, vessel or platform to the sea.

SafeDeploy will typically deploy or retrieve a pump at the rate of 1 m per minute, saving time and reducing risk for personnel who would otherwise be involved in manual handling. A totally independent system, SafeDeploy does not require rig electrical power and occupies a space the size of a standard 10 x 8 ft container, making it easy to manage.

Weather conditions can be extreme offshore and operations such as retrieving a pump are often restricted or not possible.

Safe working limits

Rough seas and high winds can cause enforced rig crane shut downs as operators are forced to stay within safe working limits. But this mechanised system can stay fully operational in bad weather, helping achieve greater efficiency.

ScanTech Offshore project manager Barry Craig said: “Safety and efficiency go hand in hand. Without one, it is very hard to achieve the other.

“We wanted to challenge existing methodology. Technological advancement has enabled us to create a new solution to a much recognised industry issue offering a step change in safety and lower overall cost for rig and operating companies.”

The system has been rigorously tested over the last 18 months during a series of trails in Holland. It is now scheduled to go out for long-term projects in Spring 2015. It is still early days for the planned global roll-out of the system but already there have been expressions of interest from major players in the offshore industry attracted by the promise of greater safety and efficiency when utilising submersible pumps.