Saipem wins Spotlight on New Technology award for oil spill response

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Italian-based oil and gas contractor Saipem has won the Spotlight on New Technology award by OTC – Offshore Technology Conference, one of the most important international oil & gas industry events.

OTC will be held from May 6-9 and as every year, it will take place in Houston, Texas. The award showcases the latest and most advanced technologies that are leading the industry into the future.

The winning technologies were selected based on five key criteria: new, innovative, proven, broad interest and significant impact. Saipem won the Spotlight award for the OIE (Offset Installation Equipment), a technology developed for Oil Spill Response Limited.

OIE is the only technology in the world capable of remotely capping oil well spills due to incidents or blowouts, significantly speeding up intervention times and consequently minimizing environmental impact. In the aftermath of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster, the need arose for the major oil companies to provide a concrete answer to potential incidents. As such, an industry-owned and funded Consortium was set up that manufactured four capping stacks placed in strategic locations around the world to ensure global coverage in the result of future oil spills.

OIE was developed in response to oil well blowouts in medium-low depths, where it is not possible to operate a vessel positioned vertically above a damaged well. In fact, in 2011, OSRL involved the major operators in the industry to find a solution through an international tender.

Saipem won the tender in 2012 thanks to the OIE project. Today, Oil Spill Response Limited manages the technologies developed by the Consortium, including the OIE. OIE’s installation technology, which is based on the principle of the “hot-air balloon”, weighs about 250 tons and is remotely controlled by robotic guides capable of aligning the capping stack with extremely high precision above a blown out well, thus blocking the oil spill.

The technology, entirely developed and manufactured in Italy, was designed, fabricated and tested by Saipem over 6 years, involving more than 200 engineers and specialists, with 4,000 technical designs and documents produced, half a million hours worked and over 150 companies involved in the process.

OIE is stored at the Trieste base, where Saipem ensures maintenance of the system, offshore operators, training of its personnel, that of Oil Spill Response Limited and its members. The technology is ready to be mobilized at any time, thanks to a team of skilled technicians who are specially trained to use the system. OIE is Saipem’s answer to a responsible future for the oil and gas industry.

Saipem has been awarded an Engineering, Procuring, Construction and Installation (EPCI) contract for the Subsea Umbilicals Risers Flowlines (SURF) package for the Liza Phase 1 development offshore Guyana at the Stabroek Block. Saipem’s contract also includes transportation and installation of umbilicals, manifolds, and associated foundations for the production, and water and gas injection systems.

The company has also been awarded contracts for the second phase of the ExxonMobil-led Liza development to the tune of 700 million USD. These contracts were assigned by Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL), an affiliate of ExxonMobil, as the project operator, in partnership with Hess and CNOOC Nexen.


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