Summer 2012

New product addresses key safety issue for oil & gas drilling

Scan Tech AS ‘Weak Link Bails’ – an innovation that has been proven in North Sea operations and has wide applicability to improve the safety of drilling operations throughout the international oil and gas sector – is now available throughout the James Fisher group.

Weak Link Bails are used to prevent serious incidents resulting from compensator failure, which can lead to damage or even destruction of derricks and rigs. Working as the weakest link in the system, it provides a mechanism for a controlled break in the drill string before any permanent equipment is damaged. In doing so it acts both to protect the health and safety of the installation’s operatives as well as its high capital value equipment.

Many companies in the oil and gas sector are struggling to comply with the ISO 136628-7 (Petroleum and natural gas industries – Design and operation of subsea production systems – Part 7: Completion/ workover riser systems) requirement that a weak link should be introduced in drilling rigs to counter the effects of compensator lockup, drift off, or the consequences of operator error. The new Weak Link Bails provide a ready-made and robust solution that meets this requirement and improves safety. The bail’s arms are designed to break at a set load, and once the event is over, the bails can be reset easily using the hydraulic controls provided and without risk of hydrocarbon spillage. As a top side solution this can also be achieved without the requirement for expensive diving or ROV operations.

Scan Tech Weak Link Bails have been used extensively in the North Sea and are manufactured under extremely strict quality control to ensure that when necessary, they will operate exactly as required. They are now being made available worldwide as a product through the James Fisher & Sons group.

Rita Painter, who has recently joined James Fisher and Sons plc, will take responsibility for the promotion and sales of the Weak Link Bails product. A metallurgist who has spent most of her career to date in the mechanical engineering industries, she joins James Fisher from Centek Ltd, where she spent a number of years in technical sales to the oil and gas sector, working in Latin America, central Asia, India and Europe.

Rita comments:

 “I am extremely pleased to take on this new role for James Fisher and Sons plc. The Weak Link Bails system is an important technology that will improve drilling operations HS&E. For operations within the oil and gas sector this product has wide applicability across the James Fisher Group’s customer base. With Fisher’s clear focus on bringing innovation from specialist subsidiaries to a wider market place by utilizing the wider James Fisher group, this new product demonstrates our commitment to maximizing the synergies available to the company as it grows, bringing excellent products to market on a global basis.”

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