Spring 2014

Scan Tech supplies key safety product to oil major

An international oil major is leasing Scan Tech AS’s Weak Link Bails – a proven safety product in the offshore energy sector – for use in the Far East.

This contract has come about as a result of a global sales initiative led by James Fisher’s Rita Painter.

Rita explains:

“The Weak Link – or Safety – Bails are designed for floating rigs. They are used when in a pinned to bottom condition such as well testing or completion, and are designed to help avoid catastrophic failure of the landing string and other pressure control equipment, should the compensator lock up during these critical operations.”

Rita has recently been awarded a foundation degree in marketing, and wrote her dissertation on the subject of compensator lock-ups. Such lock-ups, she notes, are fairly common, but most occur when the rig is not pinned to the bottom. The consequences are much more severe when it is, and three such incidents are known to have occurred in the North Sea oil field during the 1990s. 

“I ran a survey to try to find out about other incidents, and five more serious occurrences were brought to my attention, none of which are in the public domain. These happened in parts of the world where health and safety is not as well recognised as in the UK sector.”

Rita reveals.

Weak Link Bails were originally designed by GMC – now Scan Tech AS – for Statoil in the North Sea where they have been in use since 2005. The new contract began in mid-March, and is worth approximately £1.2m a year to the James Fisher Group, excluding assembly, installation and service costs. At the end of the rental, the bails will be returned and will be made available to other companies.

Hard work yields results

Rita is pleased that her team’s hard work has paid off, and that the Weak Link Bails will be used for the first time outside the North Sea:

“It is great that we have been able to demonstrate the benefits of this system to an oil major operating in the Far East. This is a very positive reflection of the outstanding performance of this technology in the North Sea over a number of years and I am confident that the Weak Link Bails will prove their worth in this new environment. This is an important technology that we continue to invest in; it helps reduce the risk of damage and hence consequential costs, hydrocarbon spillage and downtime. But most of all, it could help to save lives.”

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