Sonardyne's wideband acoustic monitoring technology has been selected to play a key role in a new, emergency well containment system built by Trendsetter Engineering Inc. for the Helix Well Containment Group (HWCG).
The Helix Well Containment Group's capping stack is the most advanced well response system in the world and was built by Trendsetter Engineering. The Sonardyne acoustic monitoring system is clearly visible on the upper left of the structure.
HWCG is a consortium of 24 operators in the Gulf of Mexico who have come together with the common goal of expanding capabilities and pooling technical expertise to quickly and comprehensively respond in the event of a deepwater well control incident.
The new emergency well response system comprises an intervention capping stack that would be placed over a damaged well to stop its flow. Its advanced design makes it capable of capturing and processing up to 55,000 barrels of oil per day and 95 million cubic feet of natural gas per day at surface pressures of up to 10,000 psig.
During an emergency, the supplied Sonardyne data acquisition system would be used to remotely monitor pressure and temperature sensors fitted to the capping stack. The system consists of a Surface Command Unit, intelligent Deep Acoustic Remote Transducers (DARTs) and a Subsea Electronics Module (SEM) that is capable of transmitting data at high speed to the surface for immediate analysis.
Mario Lugo, president of Trendsetter Engineering said: "The performance of Sonardyne's wideband signal technology during the Macondo incident was a key factor for its selection. The technology was shown to work reliably in areas of extreme subsea noise. This is now the second time we have worked with Sonardyne on a system of this nature."
The intervention capping stack will be continuously maintained by Trendsetter's technical experts at its facilities in North Houston, where it will remain on-call for immediate deployment in the unlikely event that a deepwater well's blowout preventer (BOP) fails to operate as designed.