BOP Technologies has announced a new failsafe design for blowout preventers (BOPs) that would allow such devices to work even if the drilling rig has lost power or hydraulic pressure. The Houston-based manufacturer of oil and gas BOPs and well intervention systems says the design places a backup system in the body of the shear ram mechanism.
A BOP is a specialized valve or mechanical device used to seal, control and monitor oil and gas wells to prevent blowouts. The shear ram is its closing element, normally used as a last resort to regain control of a well that is flowing. It is fitted with hardened tool steel blades designed to cut the drill pipe or tubing when the BOP is closed, and then close completely to isolate or seal the wellbore.
According to the company, the new BOP design makes it possible to safely cut and close-off the well if power or hydraulic pressure is lost, protecting the crew and preventing oil from being released into the environment.