Location: Gulf of Mexico & International Waters

Drop Protection for Subsea Applications

A major supplier of manifolds and blowout preventers approached Bedford representative EPI in Houston, Texas, to develop a unique drop protection solution. The supplier needed a corrosion-resistant, lightweight solution to prevent foreign materials from damaging important components that rest on the ocean floor — such as blowout preventers (BOP), stacks and manifolds.

Challenge

Bedford was asked to design a protection system ranging from 5 kj to 20 kj (kilojoules) of impact. The materials needed to be extremely strong (with the durability to withstand the pressures of being in 10,000 ft.-plus depths); corrosion-resistant to withstand constant exposure to salt water; and extremely lightweight. Covers made from PROForms® and PROGrid® FRP products shield critical components from potential damage that could be caused by falling tools and foreign objects. Specially designed handles allow an ROV to pick up and move the FRP covers for access to manifold valves.

Solution

PROForms® fiberglass structural shapes and PROGrid® fiberglass molded grating panels were ideal for this project because, unlike steel, FRP (fiberglass reinforced plastic or fiberglass reinforced polymer) is non-corrosive. The composite material is also lightweight enough for an ROV (remotely operated underwater vehicle) to remove the covers occasionally to access valves deep within the manifolds. The project was completed after a year of testing, and the results have been outstanding with no issues.