Waterjet Modifications Help Stop BP Oil Leak

DN Staff

August 2, 2010

3 Min Read
Waterjet Modifications Help Stop BP Oil Leak

Waterjet technology from Jet Edge Inc. and Chukar WaterjetInc. played a key role in helping BP stop the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.The companies provided ultra-high-pressure waterjet equipment and applicationexpertise to blast away hydrate ice crystals that had formed inside acontainment cap at the spill site, clogging the containment system.

Jet Edge custom engineered a 36,000psi waterjet intensifier pump that was dropped 5,000 feet into the Gulf topower a robot-operated, waterjetting lance that blasted away the hydrates. Toensure the hydrate remediation project's success, Jet Edge utilized advancedfiltration and ultra-high-pressure seal technology capable of withstanding theharsh undersea environment. The system was designed to blast with sea water orliquid gas.

Continental Hydraulics, in partnership with Jet Edge andChukar Waterjet, modified its valve used in the system to help retrofit thesystem. The company's DO8 valve is used to operate Jet Edge's waterjet pumpenabling the jet stream to blast away the hydrate crystals.

Kivisto provided onsite application andengineering services throughout the project, recently returning from severalweeks aboard a boat just 50 yards away from the Discoverer Enterprise. He saysthe solution appears to be working and will continually be monitored.

"This application required additionalmodifications to the standard valve to prevent the ingress of sea water," saysJeff Brandt, general manager for Continental Hydraulics. "Internally, there wereplaces on the valve that required different sealing properties at that seadepth (2,300 psi) to make sure we didn't get any water inside the valve and thehydraulic system."

From the valve point of view, the core tubethat provided override pins on the solenoid had to be modified to eliminate theoverride pins. Engineers decided the pins could potentially cause the valve notto shift properly, or allow water to leak internally into the valve. ContinentalHydraulics worked with its vendor, and they quickly responded to provide aproduct to retrofit the valve by eliminating the machining for the manualoverride pin. The pins are normally used to actuate the valve manually bypushing in the pin with a welding rod or screwdriver. It was a simpleconversion but it had to be done quickly.

Jet Edge's custom-engineered waterjetintensifier pump was dropped into the sea to power a robot-operatedwaterjetting lance that eliminated the hydrates. Kivisto says this equipment isthe first-known waterjet system capable of operating in water depths in excessof 5,000 feet, opening a new frontier for waterjet technology.

Chukar Waterjet provided onsite applicationsengineering services throughout the project, working with a subsea technologycompany, an offshore logistics and supply company, an offshore transportationcompany, BP and an independent safety group to ensure successful completion ofthe project.

Clickhere for more information and avideo about the application.

Waterjet Modifications Help Stop BP Oil Leak

Waterjet Modifications Help Stop BP Oil Leak_A

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