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First prototype travelling block tested in the Middle East

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Oilfield Technology,

A Proof Load test of the traveling block was done through tensile test up to 907 tons. Safety Marine Services, a Safety Services Group company, demonstrated the test on its in-house hydraulic tensile test in the presence of representatives from National Oilwell, American Petroleum Institute (API) and American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) Class Surveyors.

According to Mohammed Seethi Padiyath, General Manager Operations, Safety Services Group: “The traveling block was a prototype and handling such an enormous block was a real challenge. A trial run was conducted on the test bed up to 960 t prior to the actual load test. Achieving 907 t and holding it in a static mode was also a task. With the expertise of our highly skilled engineers and technology we were able to successfully test the prototype.”

During testing, special rope was used because the safe working load (SWL) of the rope required was of a high standard. The rope ends were socketed for the end terminations.

A travelling block is a multi-sheave pulley used to raise or lower the drill string and casings into an oil well bore. Lowering, lifting, and controlling the drill string in deep well bores generally requires an extremely robust hoist arrangement. This requires that travelling blocks be rated to safely suspend loads that often exceed 1 000 000 lbs (454 000 kg). These extreme loads, in conjunction with the stress placed on it by the drilling process, necessitates the use of highly robust and reliable components in the construction of the block.

Adapted from a press release by Louise Mulhall

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