BP worked with NOV to provide Bondstrand™ glass-reinforced epoxy (GRE) pipe, which is much lighter than metallic pipe and has superior corrosion-resistance properties. More than 26,247 ft (8000 m) of GRE pipe system were installed throughout the platform, reducing weight by up to 50%. Following this, almost 29,538 ft (9000 m) of phenolic fiberglass-reinforced polymer (FRP) grating were installed across the platform to further reduce weight.
BP’s Clair Ridge platform is the second development phase of the Clair Field, the largest undeveloped hydrocarbon resource in the UK continental shelf.
The success of this phase prompted further weight-reduction solutions throughout the platform, with NOV suggesting a redesign of handrails as the next step. Approximately 2.6 miles (4.2 km) of the NORSOK-compliant MARRS® OFFSHORE handrail system, developed by engineers in NOV's Pipex px® group, were designed for the platform. In addition to meeting the required strength, toughness, and fire-resistance performance and safety standards for offshore oil and gas installations as dictated by NORSOK, the nature of phenolic FRP materials enabled weight reductions over standard steel railing systems.
With an extremely limited time frame, NOV also designed, qualified, fabricated, tested, and delivered 290 composite pressure vessels to BP. Two unique computer numerical control (CNC) machines, built from the ground up in a dedicated facility, assisted engineers in meeting the tight schedule by automatically performing various manufacturing-related tasks. More than 700 tonnes of weight were saved throughout the Clair Ridge platform as a result of installing the various composite systems, and BP was given confidence that the materials would not corrode for the entire life cycle of the development.
The sheer scope of offshore structures has necessitated a change in how the industry thinks about weight control, with the issue being so critical that design philosophies around offshore engineering and construction have shifted. NOV brought together products from Pipex px, part of the Fiber Glass Systems business unit, and technical engineering services to develop a complete turnkey solution on BP’s Clair Ridge platform, proving that breaking tradition can lead to immense successes.