The operating conditions below the surface, and therefore at the borehole and ultimately for BOPs at the surface, are extreme – in terms of pressure and temperature. When drilling through pockets of high pressure, immense quantities of gas and oil can shoot up toward the surface. The experts refer to this a “kick.” The force of a blowout can have grave consequences for oil platforms, the personnel working on them, and the environment – not to mention financial ramifications for their operators.
The fundamental principle for drilling sites, maintenance work, and especially any malfunctions is “pressure control.” To cope with these extreme pressures, and potential “kicks”, boreholes are equipped with a multi-stage safety system. With such a backup strategy, several BOPs with different designs are stacked one atop the other, like a series of shutoff valves. They operate sequentially, producing a mutually reinforcing effect.
Freudenberg’s Ultra Annular is a ring-shaped packing unit that sits within the BOP housing. During the drilling process, it must perform two completely different safety-relevant functions: on the one hand, within the BOP the unit has to seal the ring-shaped opening when the drill pipe is inserted. On the other, it must deliver reliable sealing when there is no drill pipe present. Freudenberg Oil & Gas Technologies is continually refining their existing products: excellent reliability and a long service life contribute to their sustainability.