eBOP™ Ram System
About the Technology
In 2014, the Noble Research and Development team began development of an electrically-powered BOP ram design based on a belief that an electrically-driven operator has significant advantages in comparison to a traditional hydro-electric operator. Over the past two years, Noble continued to develop its eBOP™ ram design and manufactured a prototype for testing. The technology is currently PATENT PENDING. In 2017, Noble completed a shear test of up to 2 million lbs. Based on proven technologies, the electrically-driven operator is ready to show a new potential future to the energy industry.
Research & Development Timeline
- 500k Test – In 2015, the 500,000 lbs closing force eBOP™ ram system was tested. It was proven that a 500K eBOP™ ram system was possible using standard components. With only minor modifications this design can be used on land based drilling rigs.
- Design – Using the lessons learned during the testing of the 500K eBOP™ ram system, an improved design was completed in 2016. The closing force was increased to 2MM lbs. The number of components was decreased and the design was made fully subsea capable (12,000ft). Also a major bearing manufacturer was included in the design team.
- Manufacturing – Manufacturing was completed in January, 2017. The manufacturing was done both in the US (machined parts, electrical drives, worm gear cone drives) and France (SKF roller screw and ram shaft).
- Testing – Planned for early 2017, early testing focused on functionality and controllability checks. After completion of the first phase progressively larger pipe diameters were sheared up to 2 MM lbs force. Testing was fully completed in 2017.
- Implementation – The current eBOP™ ram system design can be retrofitted on a variety of standard BOP ram bodies using different interface plates. The design is already subsea capable and will require modest modifications to be able to implemented subsea. However an integrated design of the ram design and the body can reduce overall weight, size and number of components even more. Design drawings reduce the number of bolts by two-thirds and remove five seals.
One of the key advantages of the e BOP™ ram system is an increase in reliability compared to hydraulic operated BOP’s. An independent detailed analysis showed that for a typical BOP configuration the MTTF (Mean Time Between Failures) increased by a factor of four. The reliability improvement is due to a significant decrease in the number of components coupled with improvements in individual component performance.
- Redundancy – The eBOP™ ram system has less components. This reduces human error during maintenance and reduces the number of part failures.
- Reliability — Improved reliability vs hydraulic operated BOP due to fewer parts, reduced maintenance, and less interfaces.
- Consistency — Electric drives allow for precise control of ram movement, predictive maintenance and automated test sequencing.
- Simplicity – Simple system which can be interfaced with ROV in multiple ways.
- Cost Control – Fewer parts means less money spent.
- Environment – The eBOP™ ram is a zero discharge system since no hydraulic lines are necessary.
- Inherent Locking System– The drive train is self-braking.
Component Photos and Sheared Pipe