Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Ultra-deepwater and Unconventional Resources Program)
New Safety Barrier Testing Methods
Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX
Safety barriers, such as valves and blow-out preventers, are vital components to continued oil and gas operations. These safety barriers are particularly vital for ultra-deepwater applications for which the failure to hold, operate, and maintain pressure could have catastrophic impacts to worker safety, the environment, and the economics of well operators. The utilization of these barriers requires that assessment of their performance be periodically assessed. The current approaches to performance evaluation, including leak detection, are costly and can result in unacceptable losses of production.
Southwest Research Institute proposes conducting a program to move the oil and gas industry, particularly in the ultra-deepwater community, towards more efficient and effective means of evaluating safety barriers. This program would be a two-prong effort aimed at both background information collection as well as prove-of-concept validation. The initial tasks would include soliciting regulatory input, reviewing existing literature, and executing a technology-selection task. The second half of the project will be aimed at lab-scale and field testing of selected technologies.
One of the key components in this project is interface with regulatory bodies. Thus, approaches developed during this project are likely to be on the correct road towards acceptance as regulatory-approved industry practices. The program outlined in this proposal will evolve the technical readiness of alternate approaches to safety barrier evaluation. More specifically, this project will allow for the identification of one or more specific testing methodologies that could then be expanded upon in future joint-industry projects or by individual companies.
Project Started: January 19, 2010
Project Ends: January 18, 2011
Total Estimated Cost: $160,000.00
RPSEA Maximum Share: $128,000.00
Southwest Research Institute: $32,000.00
RPSEA – Jim Chitwood (firstname.lastname@example.org or 281-372-2820)
Southwest Research Institute - Shane Siebenaler (email@example.com or 210-522-5758)
Final Project Report [PDF-2.97MB]