Designed to incorporate a shear pin in the system, Safe Releasing Bails provide a controlled shear mechanism at a predetermined load reducing the risk of damage to expensive equipment, increasing safety of the drilling installationâ€™s operatives and minimising the risk of environmental contamination.
Shearing in a highly controlled manner at a predetermined load, during compensator lockup caused by mechanical failure, maintenance issues, human error or other means, is the critical success factor in Safe Releasing Bails design. Compensator lock-ups on both passive and active systems are recognised within the industry as a major process safety risk factor, and the results can be catastrophic. Three recorded cases are in SPE 59216, where each tension failure caused a break at a different point in the landing string. With the Safe Releasing bails, this tension failure is mitigated against. Many cases of compensator lock up are not recorded as they happen during drilling when it is not serious, however, as wells become more complex and pinned to bottom conditions become longer and more common, the risk of catastrophic failure increases. A recent survey revealed an estimate from a service company that a compensator locks up at least once every 9 months.
ScanTech Offshore are the leading well test support service company, with a team that includes ex-well test engineers, senior operators and well test managers...
When a compensator lock up occurs, a surface mounted safety system is a perfect solution to mitigate the risks of over tension.
The Bail arms feature a shear pin in the outer top section, specifically designed to break if lock-up occurs. Its position allows operators ease of visibility, if activated and in resetting but also restricts the arm from separating if the shear bolt does break. This is essential in ensuring systems can be made operational again in minimal time, following the event of compensator lock-up. The design for Safe Releasing Bails was originally conceptualised in 2004 and has been used on approx. 40 jobs in the North Sea since. ScanTech Offshore has retained the core innovation and functional capabilities that contributed to its extensive use and successes in the North Sea and are now embarking on a global roll out plan for Safe Releasing Bails, offering the solution to customers on a global scale.