• 3 minutes Could Venezuela become a net oil importer?
  • 7 minutes Reuters: OPEC Ministers Agree In Principle On 1 Million Barrels Per Day Nominal Output Increase
  • 12 minutes Battle for Oil Port: East Libya Forces In Full Control At Ras Lanuf
  • 10 hours Could Venezuela become a net oil importer?
  • 2 hours Reuters: OPEC Ministers Agree In Principle On 1 Million Barrels Per Day Nominal Output Increase
  • 13 hours Tesla Closing a Dozen Solar Facilities in Nine States
  • 19 hours Saudi Arabia plans to physically cut off Qatar by moat, nuclear waste and military base
  • 10 hours Gazprom Exports to EU Hit Record
  • 13 hours Why is permian oil "locked in" when refineries abound?
  • 3 hours Oil prices going down
  • 11 hours EU Leaders Set To Prolong Russia Sanctions Again
  • 9 hours Could oil demand collapse rapidly? Yup, sure could.
  • 9 hours Oil Buyers Club
  • 13 hours EVs Could Help Coal Demand
  • 7 hours Saudi Arabia turns to solar
  • 1 day Teapots Cut U.S. Oil Shipments
  • 19 hours China’s Plastic Waste Ban Will Leave 111 Million Tons of Trash With Nowhere To Go
  • 41 mins Russia's Energy Minister says Oil Prices Balanced at $75, so Wants to Increase OPEC + Russia Oil by 1.5 mbpd
  • 1 day Battle for Oil Port: East Libya Forces In Full Control At Ras Lanuf
Alt Text

Oil Inches Higher On Strong Crude Draw

Oil prices rebounded on Wednesday…

John Daly

John Daly

Dr. John C.K. Daly is the chief analyst for Oilprice.com, Dr. Daly received his Ph.D. in 1986 from the School of Slavonic and East European…

More Info

Trending Discussions

Small Company’s New Subsea Wellhead Tap Design Attracts Oil Majors Interest

Small Company’s New Subsea Wellhead Tap Design Attracts Oil Majors Interest

As offshore drilling moves into deeper waters, new engineering techniques are needed to cope with temperatures that can hit 150 degrees Celsius, with crushing pressures that can exceed 25,000 pounds per square inch (psi).

As the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico proved, when things go wrong, the consequences can be enormous where high pressure, high temperature (HPHT) wells are situated, but the extreme conditions will increasingly impact major oil finds in not only the Gulf of Mexico, but developing areas of the North Sea, Arctic and offshore Brazil and Africa as well.

Related article: Kurdistan Set to Begin Oil Exports to Turkey with New Pipeline Next Month

Now the development by Aberdeen based engineering services business, Plexus Holdings, of a subsea wellhead tap design for controlling flow on a subsea oil well that will be ready for testing by the middle of next year, is attracting major interest. The subsea wellhead, developed in partnership with oil companies including Shell, Total and Eni will use an engineering system Plexus Holdings developed over 15 years ago, but which oil majors have been reluctant to embrace.

Developed in partnership with oil companies, including Shell, Total and Eni. CEO Ben van Bilderbeek explains that the wellhead’s innovative design is based on a simple principle. When one tube is run inside another in a well, a gradually tightening ring is clamped around the outside. The outer tube is forced onto the inner tube and the resulting friction subsequently eliminates all movement from the system. While traditional wellhead systems create torque from within, the Plexus Holdings design incorporates an “outside-in instead of inside-out” engineering process that also removes the movement between metal sealing parts that takes place in traditional wellheads, which can contribute to the failure of wells.

Van Bilderbeek commented on the value of the design, “It is only very occasionally that a technology emerges that surpasses the established norm and sets previously unattainable standards. When this happens, we believe that such an opportunity should be embraced and welcomed, rather than deemed disruptive.”

Related article: Canada to Build World’s Largest Artificial Lake District to Store Oil Sand Waste

Plexus Holdings has certainly proved its value in the niche market of oil services business; since 2010 their profits have surged 700 percent as the company’s surface wellheads, using its patented POS-GRIP system, have become widely used for new North Sea exploration wells. Plexus Holdings currently makes the majority of its revenues by renting its POS-GRIP wellheads to explorers, but its successes are currently isolated to projects where its superior performance makes it a product of necessity. In the world’s most technically challenging wells – HPHT environments – some of the world’s largest oil companies are customers, including BHP Billiton, Shell and Conoco Phillips. The success of their innovation is reflected in the company’s bottom line - in October Plexus Holdings reported another “record” year, with revenues up 30 percent to $41.6 million (2012: $32.1 million) and pre-tax profits rose 38 percent to $6.8 million.

Van Bilderbeek believes that the oil majors reluctance to embrace Plexus Holdings’ new wellhead design comes from both a reluctance to change their traditional way of doing things, preferring to deal instead with traditional bigger U.S. makers of wellhead equipment such as GE Oil and Gas, FMC Technologies and Cameron, plus his company’s interest in developing license sharing agreements. As Plexus Holdings’ management currently holds 70 percent of the company shares, a buyout by an oil major is out of the question, and van Bilderbeek is confident that they will come around, saying, “We will grow this carrot, polish it. It will be big and fat and beautiful and then we will hang that carrot in front of the industry and see what happens.”

By. John C.K. Daly of Oilprice.com




Back to homepage

Trending Discussions


Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News