The problem

Due to a slight oil weep, a North Sea operator had an asset where the well UMV (Upper Master Valve actuator) hydraulic head required replacement ahead of a forthcoming wireline intervention.

The challenge was to do this whilst ensuring no harm to people, the environment and to minimise production losses.Historically, actuator hydraulic heads have required significant torque to break the head connection and in some instances this has simply not been possible with manual tools. This has led to significant periods of delay – often with the work scope not actually being carried out. In light of this, Oilenco developed an Actuator Removal Tool, which uses hydraulic pressure to break the head connection. The intent of the tool is to significantly reduce the manual effort and time involved in breaking the connection.

Manual chain wrenches have previously been used to break the connections. This has been a very labour intensive and problematic task leading to delays in work scope. In some cases on the platform, wrenches have failed to break the hydraulic head connections. Due to this, there was a concern that if the connection could not be broken, there may be delayed or even cancelled wireline intervention operations on the well.

What we did

Oilenco and the North Sea Operator worked together to use the Actuator Removal Tool to assist in removing the hydraulic head on the upper master valve.

The Actuator Removal Tool successfully broke the connection at 2,000psi (~4,000ft.lbs torque) and the UMV hydraulic head was changed out and the well being handed back to operations within 12 hours. There was significant positive feedback on the use of the tool compared to breaking the connection manually.

Well Torque Alpha 5