OTC 2012: GE addresses dual-gradient drilling, blind shear ram improvements

Offshore staff

HOUSTON – GE (NYSE: GE) is showcasing its new MaxLift 1800 pump system at the 2012 Offshore Technology Conference. This pump paves the way for dual-gradient drilling (DGD) in deepwater.

DGD can reduce the impact of the water column on deepwater drilling. To achieve a dual gradient, flow from a well being drilled is diverted to a MaxLift 1800 pump located above the BOP where it pumps the return drilling mud to the drilling vessel in an auxiliary line. The riser then is filled with seawater density fluid with the same head as if the rig was on the seabed since the pumps prevent the hydrostatic pressure of the mud from being transmitted back to the wellbore.

The new GE pump can deliver up to 1,800 gpm at discharge pressures up to 6,600 psi and can handle solids up to 1.5 in. DGD helps manage a narrow pore pressure/fracture gradient hole.

Also at OTC, GE Oil & Gas has introduced its next-generation Blind Shear Ram, which is designed for use in GE’s 18-3/4 inch ram BOP. The patent-pending Blind Shear Ram can both shear and seal after cutting 6-5/8 in tool joints.

The rams were tested successfully to 15,000 psi after cutting the tool joint. Centralizing arms are designed to allow successful shearing of buckled or offset pipe, and modifications to the block and blade allow greater force to be applied without damage.

The new ram design is now being offered for use with GE’s current 5K operator.


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