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Diamond Offshore and Trelleborg win award for engineering innovation

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Oilfield Technology,

Diamond Offshore and Trelleborg have been selected as one of the winners of E&P Magazine's prestigious Special Meritorious Awards for Engineering Innovation (MEA) in the Subsea systems category for their joint development technology involving creating a Helically Grooved Buoyancy design with VIV Suppression. The MEA awards will be presented at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas. 

Antony Croston, Business Group Director with Trelleborg’s offshore operation in Houston, says: "Since everyone involved in offshore oil & gas production knows that MEA entries are judged on their game-changing significance, both technically and economically, we couldn't be prouder to have our jointly developed technology that is acknowledged for enhancing performance of drilling riser operations in high current conditions. 

“For many years, fairings have been accepted as the best technical solution for drag and VIV reduction on drilling risers. However, the use of fairings comes with an operational penalty in the form of increased running and retrieval time, as well as handling issues, especially in harsh weather. We now have an integral concept that not only provides critical uplift to marine risers but also significantly reduces drag and flow-induced motion. Recent validation test results indicate that the performance is equivalent to fairings but at a fraction of the total operational cost.”

Helically grooved buoyancy is the result of a joint development between Trelleborg Offshore and Diamond Offshore Drilling to integrate vortex-induced vibration (VIV) suppression and drag reduction with drill riser buoyancy, increasing rig efficiency without compromising on safety or structural integrity. The design dimensions are optimised to ensure uncompromised uplift while effectively eliminating riser motions and higher levels of drag in onerous offshore current environments compared to traditional riser buoyancy. The new multi-functional solution integrates the technology to suppress VIV and reduce drag into DRBM equipment during manufacturing, essentially eliminating the requirement of ancillary suppression equipment, alleviating complicated and time intensive riser running and retrieval procedures.

An independent team of experts, including engineers and engineering managers from operating and consulting companies worldwide, judged the competition. The winners come from a varied range of disciplines in oil & gas exploration and production, solving many of the issues that posed barriers to efficient operations. Technological advances of the winners open new and better avenues to the critical challenges the industry faces.

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