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Providing products to improve production efficiency

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Oilfield Technology,

Following Sir Ian Wood’s review of the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry – where he highlighted the rapid fall in production efficiency - Danny Monaghan, Jetstream Europe, explains how the company’s products support the sector.

Despite the equivalent of 41 billion bbls of oil having already been produced from the UK Continental Shelf, Sir Ian Wood has called for a new regulatory body to be set up to oversee the industry.

The retired oil tycoon believes the current regulator, which is situated within the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), is now "significantly under resourced and far too thinly spread" to effectively manage the increasingly complex business and operating environment.

Sir Ian sees the new regulator working closely with the oil and gas industry to develop and implement key strategies in areas such as exploration, third party access to infrastructure, decommissioning and production efficiency.

He believes his recommendations would deliver the equivalent of at least 3 - 4 billion bbls of oil more than would otherwise be recovered over the next 20 years, bringing more than £200 billion additional value to the UK economy.

Jetstream Europe, which develops and manufactures high-pressure water pump packages, is one of the many companies that is set to benefit from Sir Wood’s plans to boost the oil and gas industry.

The company was established as a result of industry demand for bespoke products that could help companies make substantial savings in both time and money.

In recent years the company has grown through innovation – developing and building bespoke equipment to meet clients’ requirements. The products are used across the UK and Europe, as well as at customers’ sites from Norway to Africa.

Improving production efficiency and minimising downtime is a key priority for companies customers. Therefore, our tools aim to offer more productivity, less maintenance and greater flexibility. As well as developing and manufacturing products available to rent or purchase, we also provide a next-day delivery spares service and a training programme to ensure customers can carry out maintenance and repairs to the equipment on site.”

Magnetic crawler

One of Jetstream Europe’s products is the Magnetic Crawler. The MC250’s design comprises a bank of ‘floating magnets’ that enables the machine to negotiate large welded seams, dents or other surface distortions without falling off.

Unlike other types of crawler equipment, no vacuum is required to keep it on the surface. The MC250 removes coatings, rust and scale and can clean almost any large steel surface. It has a removal rate of up to five times greater than any standard water jetting gun and can be used in a range of positions – horizontally, vertically, inclined and overhead. The product is easy to manoeuvre and changeable nozzle bars are available to suit different applications.

The crawler can also work on pipes down to 500 mm diameter, which is ideal for cleaning offshore oil rig platform legs and bracings.

Two of these crawler systems have been used to remove very heavy deposits of crude oil from the internal surface of million gallon capacity storage tanks at an oil terminal storage facility in northern France.

Surface preparation is a major issue from an environmental point of view and the crawler avoids the environmental damage done by the dust and grit associated with grit blasting. The cost savings can be significant.

There are hundreds of rigs in the North Sea and there is a need to clean marine growth and paint coatings from the legs of the rigs for maintenance purposes. The magnetic crawler offers cost savings because, unlike the system currently used, there is no need to erect scaffolding – a process which is time consuming and expensive.

Danish company Pieter Mouritsen A/S recently purchased two magnetic crawlers for a splash zone project in the North Sea.

The splash zones on offshore installations are some of the most critical areas to protect from corrosion. The magnetic crawler is an effective tool for preparing the surface before applying a new protective coating.

Cold cutting

Abrasive water jet cutting is a fast but safe way to make clean and precise cuts in steel, concrete and other materials of varied thickness. Cold cutting is carried out remotely, which means the operator can keep a safe distance away.

Jetstream Europe’s cold cutting system is a simple to use and requires a low level of maintenance as it has very few moving parts. It is very easy to angle the trajectory flow of the abrasive stream to create a clean angled cut, ready for welding. This method is used on various refineries and oil rigs to cut steel plates, on various size pipelines from 0.5 to 36 in. and above.

The equipment is currently being used by a company in Ireland to cut an access doorway in a large oil storage facility, which will allow mechanical diggers in to remove heavy crude oil deposits. Another company will shortly be using it to dismantle a large rubber-lined tank at a nuclear facility in the UK.

With just a few modifications, the cold cutting system can also be used with the Magnetic Crawler, making it accessible, without the need for major scaffolding.

Diesel UHP (ATEX)/Zone 2 unit

The Zone 2 unit is designed for use in hazardous areas on production platforms and drill rigs for a wide range of maintenance tasks including surface preparation, coating removal and cleaning pipes and tanks. The compact unit is either supplied on a skid with an easily detachable crash frame or housed in a DNV container.

The equipment includes a Jetstream 3000 Series pump, which delivers a flow rate of up to 89 l/min. at 550 bar and 19 l/min. at 2750 bar. The pump incorporates a patented UNx fluid end, which makes it simple to switch from 1000 bar to 1400 or 2750 bar in minutes.

It is powered by a 125 hp, air start, four-cylinder diesel engine, which has a speed of 2200 rpm and runs independently once started. Other features include pneumatic or hydraulic shut-off system and a gear reducer drive, meaning belts are not required. Electric versions are also available.

Jetstream Europe’s Zone 2 units are currently being used by Pieter Mouritsen A/S and Bilfinger Salamis UK.

Bilfinger Salamis UK has a dedicated skills centre in Aberdeen where we carry out training courses are conducted to show the team how to use the equipment safely and ensure they can maintain them on site to keep downtime to a minimum.

Preventing downtime

Jetstream Europe stages a series of training courses at its UK headquarters as well as on customer sites across Europe, in the North Sea and along the African coast.

Successful trainees are certified to the standards of the Water Jetting Association (WJA), the national organisation that represents contractors and manufacturers of high-pressure water jetting equipment.

In the past 12 months, the company’s team of water-blast experts have worked with clients from the likes of Nigeria, Gabon, Angola, Cameroon and Kenya to demonstrate our range of equipment and teaching the importance of following health and safety procedures.

The training courses are an important part of the company’s commitment to its customers and they are proving to be extremely popular. It is important to ensure that the customer is able to service and repair the systems that they have taken. It is vital that they know how to operate the systems safely and effectively and how to carry out preventative maintenance.

The company will continue to develop new product ideas as well as adapting its existing equipment to make it more productive. It is currently looking at solutions to add a vacuum unit to the magnetic crawlers in order to recover debris that is created in the cleaning process.

Adapted from a press release by David Bizley

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