Trelleborg Unveils New Oil and Gas Sealing Resource

Trelleborg Sealing Solutions is launching a new online resource for engineers at an international conference next month as part of its “commitment” to the oil and gas industry.

The website – ‘oilandgas-seals.com’ provides a comprehensive overview of seal profiles proven in the oil and gas industry, enabling engineers to identify optimum sealing solutions for specific applications within the field.

Oil and Gas Sealing Resource

It provides information on material compatibility covering issues such as sour gas and rapid gas decompression, spanning different applications, including drilling and exploration, completion and production systems.

SPE Offshore Europe
The resource will be officially launched at SPE Offshore Europe, which takes place at Aberdeen’s AECC, from September 8 to 11, with members of the Trelleborg Sealing Solutions team giving demonstrations at stand 1H81.

The website is fully compatible across all platforms including tablets and smartphones – a response to the latest trends, with engineers increasingly turning to mobile devices to find technical support and solutions.

Optimum sealing solutions
David Brown, Global Lead Group Director Oil and Gas for Trelleborg Sealing Solutions, said: “We have developed the website to provide a comprehensive overview of industry-specific seal profiles, enabling engineers to identify optimum sealing solutions for specific applications within the field.

“We are a world leader in engineered polymer solutions that seal, damp and protect critical applications in demanding environments. This positions us perfectly to share both useful and essential information with engineers working in the oil and gas industry.

Knowledge sharing
“We have built up a significant amount of knowledge and information in relation to materials and sealing expertise and the new website is a way of sharing it and is part of our commitment to the industry.”

The new website complements the company’s online Knowledge Center, which was launched in January to bridge the gap between design engineers’ needs and standard technology documentation, bringing useful information together as part of one digital portal.

To visit the Knowledge Center, click here .

Scaling Extreme Conditions to Bring ‘Next Generation’ Oil Harvesting

Innovation and specialist technology is creating the “next generation” of oil harvesting and buying the world more time until the discovery of energy’s ‘holy grail’, according to a leading engineer.Oil Harvesting

Andrew Longdon, UK technical manager of Trelleborg Sealing Solutions, says oil operators are increasingly turning to unconventional wells, previously believed to be too deep and extreme for existing capabilities, in response to the planet’s shrinking supply of natural resources.

Energy’s holy grail
The Institution of Mechanical Engineers says there are an estimated 1.3 trillion barrels of proven oil reserves left in the world’s major fields, which at present rates of consumption will last for 40 years.

However, Mr Longdon said: “The race to develop a biofuel which is a genuinely credible alternative to oil, both sustainable and commercially available, is, as yet, failing. So until energy’s holy grail is found, oilfield operators are left with the challenge of buying the world more time.

Unconventional wells
“We are therefore having to consider uncharted deepwater territories like unconventional wells, but to do this operators need to rely on subsea processing technology to meet new high pressure / high temperature conditions (HP / HT).

“Conventional subsea operating temperatures of up to +120 °C/+248 °F increase to over +200 °C/+392 °F in deepwater locations, whereas typical pressures occasionally treble from a previously accepted high point of 69 MPa/10,000 psi to 207 MPa/30,000 psi.”

Critical sealing elements
Energy giant Total has estimated deep offshore could hold seven per cent of the world’s oil and gas resources, unlocking the potential of 330 billion barrels of oil reserves representing seven years’ worth of global consumption. This equates to almost a quarter of the planet’s undiscovered resources.

Seals are critical within subsea systems, especially in valves and downhole tools. They ensure optimum operation of equipment and are the primary barrier to system fluid loss or system fluid contamination from external sources. Subsea seals are the main source of prevention of hydrocarbon leakage from oilfield completion or production equipment and as such, perform a vital role in meeting environmental and workforce safety concerns, in addition to enhancing performance of the tools themselves.

Deep offshore
Mr Longdon added: “We have developed application-specific seal designs to provide high-integrity sealing able to stand up to the extreme operating temperatures and pressures of deepwater locations.

“Deep offshore is the future of oil harvesting and also the emerging present. It is the next generation of oil exploration and Trelleborg Sealing Solutions will continue to invest in developing sealing innovations to support this trend.”

Multi-Contact Turcon® Variseal®
The company’s Multi-Contact Turcon® Variseal® has been developed to replace multiple chevron seals or V-stack type products in subsea valve stems requiring high-integrity sealing capability. It comprises of a series of single-acting spring-energised seals housed within a U-shaped Turcon® polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) based-material seal profile.

The unique single-piece design significantly improves sealing integrity and leak tightness in high-pressure applications by providing higher contact force across multiple seal hardware interfaces.

Trelleborg and Schoolhill in Pioneering Shah Deniz Project

Trelleborg Sealing Solutions has “pushed the barriers of science” to produce a “highly innovative” seal for a ground-breaking valve designed by Schoolhill Hydraulic Engineering for BP’s Shah Deniz field.

Schoolhill Hydraulic Engineering

The pioneering high flow, high integrity, safety critical subsea QEV (quick exhaust valve), believed to be the first of its kind, has been created for a subsea HIPPS (high integrity pressure protection system) at the South Caspian Sea site.

Quick exhaust valve
Trelleborg created a bespoke version of its Captive Glyd Ring® in its low friction Zurcon® Z43 high modulus thermoplastic to feature in the QEV, which was selected as the seal was required to slide across mating surfaces that had dimensional changes. The seal is retained in a split groove, which prevents the sealing surface from getting damaged by a counter part with variable diameter or when passing holes.

The QEV has a 30-year design life with a valve qualification water depth range of 3,000 meters and a safety integrity level (SIL) rating of SIL3 with 23,000 accumulated cycles.

Schoolhill Hydraulic Engineering
With a volume flow rate of 22 liters in five seconds (260 liters per minute), the device has been designed to ensure quick and safe emergency shutdowns on the ocean bed.

It is the culmination of a five-year project by Aberdeen-based Schoolhill Hydraulic Engineering. Trelleborg Sealing Solutions was commissioned to develop the seal.

Unique and innovative solution
David Brown, Global Lead Group Director Oil and Gas for Trelleborg Sealing Solutions, said: “Oil and gas exploration in hostile deepwater environments is demanding industry partners to continuously push the barriers of science in the pursuit of reliable and robust equipment.

“At Trelleborg, we pride ourselves on innovation and relished this opportunity to help create a high-pressure gas production valve for a HIPPS providing an extremely efficient shutdown. With huge volumes of fluid needing to rapidly exit via the system, we designed a unique sealing solution to maximize the performance of an already highly innovative product. We don’t believe another QEV of this type and performance is available anywhere else – it’s truly pioneering.”

Great future
Schoolhill Hydraulic Engineering Director Ronald Whyte said: “It seems a long time ago since we started this project. At the onset we knew we were taking on a lot, with the specifications we had to satisfy, notwithstanding the documentation and reporting required when working with a major oil and gas operator. It’s been a huge learning curve for Schoolhill, a small company with very limited financial resources.

“However, we are forward looking and believe that the step change provided by HIPPS for the oil and gas industry, will see many more operators going along this road. We believe this valve has a great future, which would not have been possible without the technical support provided by Trelleborg.”

Trelleborg Slashes Downtime with Innovative SealWelding Technology

Trelleborg, a leading manufacturer and supplier of sealing solutions, has launched a new SealWelding technology which allows seals to be welded on an FPSO platform, eliminating the need for it to disconnect and return to shore.

SealWelding Technology

Manufactured from Trelleborg’s well-established seal material, this technology will massively reduce the downtime and associated costs that come from maintaining an FPSO swivel stack. Currently, swivel stack maintenance requires a vessel to travel back to shore so that components can be completely disassembled and seals replaced.

Meeting the challenge
Henk-Willem Sanders, Technical Manager responsible for SealWelding at Trelleborg Sealing Solutions, says: “With seals playing a vital role when it comes to ensuring the continued efficient and safe operation of an FPSO swivel stack, the industry has been looking for a way to solve the issue of onshore maintenance by developing a practice which would allow operators to remove and replace the seal on the FPSO offshore. I am pleased to announce that with our new technology, we have more than met the challenge.”

By optimizing billet welding, Trelleborg’s new SealWelding technology is able to weld the original seal material in-situ. In a controlled manufacturing area, Trelleborg starts the process by producing a seal which has been cut in one place using a specially designed tool. The product is then packed so that it is well protected and avoids any damage in transit.

Safer, easier and improving the bottom line
Onboard the FPSO, the seal is unpacked and installed onto the swivel by highly trained personnel from Trelleborg’s service team; the engineer installs it in the weld head enclosure (part of the welding machine) which, certified to ATEX zone 1, is then pressurized so that the welding can take place. Fully enclosed, production on other swivel stacks can continue without risk.

A control cabinet, which is purged and also certified to ATEX zone 1, ensures the smooth running of the process, as well as monitoring and logging all data. After the process is finished, the seal is safely removed from the weld head enclosure before it’s polished and checked. If the values from the recorded data are satisfactory, the seal will be released for installation.

Sanders continues, “We are confident that our new fully tested and portable system is not only set to make life for the offshore operator safer and easier but also dramatically improve the bottom line for the oil company.”

Trelleborg Tackles Lower Operator Costs at This Year’s SPE Offshore Europe

The sharp fall in oil prices has resulted in intensified competition within the offshore oil and gas industry and the prevailing market situation confirms a continued uncertainty ahead. The market was quick to re-evaluate its processes and budgets, redirecting its primary focus to cutting costs, adding value and increasing efficiency.

SPE Offshore Europe

Fredrik Meuller, Business Area President, Trelleborg Offshore and Construction, says: “The natural reaction when the barrel price falls is for operators to cut costs wherever possible. However it is vital that operators save in the right areas and resist the temptation to simply buy cheap. It remains important to invest in solutions which will continuously deliver high performance over a long lifecycle, to protect projects in the long term, even in tough times.”

In light of these challenges, events like SPE Offshore Europe (September 8 to 11, 2015, Aberdeen, UK) are central to sharing knowledge. At this year’s show, Trelleborg’s experts will demonstrate just some of the innovative key solutions which can help operators bridge the gap between cost and performance on stand 1H81. Trelleborg will also highlight some of the ways in which the market can lower project costs, optimize productivity and retain competitiveness as barrel prices recover.

Vortex Induced Vibration
John Drury, Managing Director within Trelleborg’s offshore operation based in the UK, says: “In increasingly rougher seas, pipelines unsupported over free spans are prone to Vortex Induced Vibration (VIV) fatigue and this is a growing concern. VIV can lead to serious issues such as pipe girth weld failure or premature pipe malfunction. As such, we have designed the T-Strake, an innovative new VIV system which protects flowlines by suppressing the effects of these vibrations on pipes, avoiding damage and downtime.

“The unique design enables more efficient transportation and installation. The innovative manufacturing process for T-Strake means they can be produced up to six times faster than systems manufactured using traditional techniques, ensuring shorter lead times.”

SealWelding™
Downtime caused by failure or maintenance often yields a considerable cost that can also be avoided. Henk-Willem Sanders, FPSO Focus Group Leader at Trelleborg Sealing Solutions says: “Our innovative SealWelding™ technology allows seals to be welded in-situ on an FPSO platform, eliminating the need for the platform to disconnect and return to shore. Facilities will no longer need to shut down operations for weeks at a time, causing significant loss of earnings from lost production. Solutions such as ours not only add value, but save a significant amount of time and naturally, costs too.”

Trelleborg will exhibit its range of innovative offshore solutions at SPE Offshore Europe on stand 1H81. Products are designed with quality, performance and efficiency front of mind and include high performance pipeline protection and insulation, buoyancy and sealing solutions.

Trelleborg Makes Further Investment in Advanced Liquid Silicone Rubber Injection Molding in Bulgaria

Trelleborg Sealing Solutions demonstrates its commitment to developing its global Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR) injection molding manufacturing footprint with a further investment in support of the technology at its LSR facility in Pernik, Bulgaria.

Liquid Silicone Rubber Injection Molding

In April this year, Trelleborg utilized an option from 2011 to acquire the outstanding 50 percent of the shares in the Trelleborg Sealing Solutions LSR operation in Bulgaria. This latest investment will increase manufacturing floor space by 150% and the capacity of the tool room will be more than doubled. This expansion will allow future growth in small- to medium-sized technical LSR, especially over molded parts for food, beverage, baby care, sanitary, industrial and automotive electronics markets. A significantly increased area is dedicated to operation under the stricter hygienic requirements of the food and beverage industry.

Continued investment
Ursula Nollenberger, Product Director, Liquid Silicone Rubber Components, says: “Our investment in Bulgaria follows significant investments in Stein am Rhein, Switzerland and Northborough in the U.S. It is part of Trelleborg’s strategy to strengthen its positions in selected attractive market segments.

“Silicone rubber is a specialized material, accounting for just two percent of the total market for rubber. The advanced LSR segment currently represents around 15 percent of that silicone production. However, it is seeing exponential growth, particularly into high‐tech fields where the technology can meet the manufacturing and design challenges thrown up by complex applications.

Specialized production
“Operating in this emergent niche, Trelleborg Sealing Solutions is the world’s leading exponent of precision LSR and 2-component (2C) processing. Complex geometries, including multi‐components, are produced at our strategically positioned global manufacturing facilities in the same consistent way, with the same processes worldwide.”

The Trelleborg Sealing Solutions facility in Pernik, Bulgaria is one of three sites where Trelleborg Sealing Solutions specializes in Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR) injection molding. In addition to the Pernik, Bulgaria site, these are strategically located in Stein am Rhein, Switzerland, Northborough, Massachusetts, U.S.

e-Learning on Sealing Materials available now

This new e-Learning module on Sealing Materials provides an overview of the most commonly used materials at Trelleborg Sealing Solutions.

Additionally it gives more detailed information about specific materials. The material selection process, the different material properties and the composition of specific materials are presented; which gives you a basic knowledge of the most important facts about Sealing Materials.

e-Learning on Sealing Materials

The information presented in this module, should help you find the right material for your application.

Please find here the introductory lesson:
Rubber Materials, Part 1

To access the complete module and the complete e-Learning program which consists of several other topics related to Sealing Technology, please register and log in to our website:
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