WEARSIDE engineering specialist Haskel is helping the oil industry come clean.
The firm has developed a gas booster system which will play a key part in new equipment designed to quickly shut down subsea oil leaks.
It is the kind of equipment that is hardly ever needed, but when it is, it is crucial.Jim Millar, Haskel business development manager
Haskel’s Sunderland HQ worked with its Aberdeen office to win the £160,000 contract to develop equipment that will play an integral role in a complex unit designed and delivered by a Norwegian subsidiary of global engineering firm Oceaneering.
Haskel Aberdeen business development manager Jim Millar worked with his contacts in Scotland to win the contract for the company and the new system was then designed and is now being built by the company’s team in Sunderland.
“When there is a subsea oil spill, you have to be able to shut it off very, very quickly,” said Jim.
“Oil companies have blowout preventers (BOPs) that can shut down the well on the sea bed.
“In case the BOP fails it may be possible to shut it down, using subsea accumulators, which is where the gas booster system we have designed comes in.
“It charges up large accumulator tanks which are then attached to the BOP. It uses the energy from the high pressure nitrogen to push large volumes of fluid into the BOP in order to attempt to shut down the flow.
“This is a new design, using six pumps working in tandem to create sufficient pressure to close down the system. It is the kind of equipment that is hardly ever needed, but when it is, it is crucial.”
The Haskel-designed equipment will be shipped to Norway to be incorporated into the complete fast response unit being built by Oceaneering.
Once the first unit is completed and operational, it is hoped the system will be rolled out to major oil and gas companies globally to ensure better security worldwide.