Deep Down, Inc., an oilfield services company specializing in products and services for the deepwater and ultra-deepwater oil and gas industry, today announced a patent on a novel subsea umbilical-splicing technology that looks to provide new alternative solutions for oil and gas distribution systems. United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued patent number 7,699,353, "Compliant Splice" which details the use of a new method and apparatus used to join existing segments of subsea umbilicals together. Subsea umbilicals are used in a number of applications in the exploration and production of oil and gas reserves found around the world. These applications include subsea well control, fluid handling, and other critical functions.
This new technology will provide oil and gas producers, as well as their support contractors, the ability to integrate existing umbilical segments into a variety of more efficient and effective configurations by creating a flexible, environmentally sealed "splice" between two or more subsea umbilicals, thereby creating a single, longer umbilical. This ability to quickly adapt existing subsea control, chemical injection and gas lift umbilicals into multiple arrangements will greatly reduce the turnaround time to complete subsea operations, and bring a higher level of efficiency to the oil and gas industry.
Ronald E. Smith, Chief Executive Officer, stated: "Using umbilical splices in their current form has long been a major hurdle to overcome for installation contractors. This is no longer the case with Deep Down's new patented design. Our patented solution will now allow multi-segment umbilicals to more efficiently conform to the shape of storage reels or carousels, as well as allowing Deep Down to support our customers in over boarding these spliced umbilicals without any additional specialized equipment, all while under full tension. Having the ability to make use of existing umbilicals in different configurations by joining them together provides our customers with greater flexibility in their field developments and contingency planning. This has been an effective tool for us in the past, and I am pleased that this Deep Down advancement is now recognized and protected."