aae has helped Balltec reduce the time required to disconnect a drill rig’s mooring lines by 50%
Balltec is an engineering company providing effective and reliable solutions for various applications in the offshore oil, gas and renewable energy markets. These applications include mooring, pipeline recovery, heavy lifting and subsea cable protection.
The company required a suitable solution for the remote release system of its RigLOK release under-load subsea mooring connector, which was developed to reduce the cost of mooring offshore drilling rigs and platforms. This system needed to be capable of operating in a wide range of environmental conditions and water depths.
Balltec determined that an acoustic system would be the most suitable for this requirement, and after approaching several potential suppliers, it selected aae based on its initial response and track record in both the offshore energy and defence markets.
A bespoke acoustic solution
aae was quick to propose an acoustic system that met Balltec’s key requirements of compactness, long battery life and signal range. Once the initial specification and solution had been agreed upon, aae continued to work with Balltec to further develop the acoustic system to improve the effectiveness of its RigLOK connector.
The RigLOK connector was designed so that the mooring lines of the drill rig can be disconnected remotely using an acoustic signal, resulting in a reduction in time and required vessel support during the drill rig mooring operations.
Whilst the demand for offshore oil & gas is expected to decline as the drive to use renewable energy increases, Balltec anticipates that the offshore drilling market will need to continue to reduce its costs, especially with the relatively low oil price seen during 2020.
It has been estimated that by using the RigLOK in conjunction with aae’s acoustic system, the time required to disconnect a drill rig’s mooring lines can be reduced by at least 50%, representing a significant cost saving both to the drilling contractor and oil field operating company.
“Throughout the initial engineering development and subsequent product supply, aae has been extremely helpful and quick to respond. The company has provided technical support when requested, as well as trained personnel to assist with both workshop and offshore testing. aae’s solution has proven extremely reliable and efficient, and Balltec is looking forward to continuing its working relationship with aae in the future.”