Deepwater BOP cleaner removes debris using magnets, vortex suction effect
- By Katherine Scott, associate editor
Archer, a global provider of drilling and well services, launched its Tornar Deep Water BOP Cleaner this week at the 2013 SPE/IADC Drilling Conference in Amsterdam. The tool, designed for 18 ¾-in. subsea BOPs, removes wellbore debris from the BOP and marine riser cavities in challenging depths using a vortex suction effect. Tornar flow ports are combined with proprietary magnets to extract debris while maintaining full well control and protecting the BOP. “Using traditional jet tools cannot clean the cavities because fluid always takes the path of least resistance, so it wants to go up the riser… The Tornar tool creates a suction in a cavity, so we are pulling out stuff rather than pushing in,” Timo Jokela, business development manager – oiltools for Archer, said.
Magnets used in the tool were made to fit subsea BOPs and has only a plus pull at the front. “By that we enhance the magnetic force and field by 30%,” Mr Jokela said.
The Tornar Deep Water BOP Cleaner is an advanced version of Archer’s shallow-water model, which was released in summer 2012 and has been used mainly in the North Sea. The company hopes to bring the deepwater version to the US, Australian, Brazilian and African markets next month. “We are already in the process of negotiating a master service agreement with a major rig operator,” Rolf Egil Håland, Archer president and managing director, oiltools, said.
Operators’ desire to reduce downtime was a major driver for the development of the tool, as subsea BOPs continue to account for a significant percentage of nonproductive time in drilling operations. In fact, one major operator in Brazil recently attributed 70% of their downtime to BOP-related issues, according to Archer. “When you run pipe, you create swarf or small steel particles. If you mill anything, you create bigger steel chunks and pieces, and because the BOP is magnetic and the riser is magnetic, they will obviously attract magnetic particles,” Mr Jokela said. “If you do the regular BOP tests and close the BOP with this magnetic steel particles in there, you will damage the BOP seals, hence the BOP test will fail and you have to pull everything out and redress your BOP.” By safely and efficiently addressing the accumulation of drilling debris and solids, operators will minimize factors that can hinder the smooth functioning of the BOP.
Further, the Tornar tool can be run without pulling the BOP. “When you go into deepwater and ultra-deepwater, where you have 2,000-meter water depths, cleaning the BOP and riser takes a lot of maintenance time. With this tool, you don’t have to pull the BOP as you would if you were using traditional cleaning equipment,” Trond Skjeie, business development manager – oiltools for Archer, said.
The company believes that using a combination of riser brush, string magnet and junk basket to clear the riser of mud and scale and collect debris is what sets the Tornar technology apart from more traditional cleaning tools. In addition, its three-stage flow sleeve diverts flow out through the cleaning ports or through the bottom of the string, thereby enabling full well control during cleaning operations.
Tornar is a trademark of Archer.