Parker's unrivaled industrial distribution network extends to approximately 13,000 locations globally. Through this extensive network of local, independent businesses, Parker brings its products and services to customers in 104 countries. Flux Active Service is a Parker distributor located in Stavanger, Norway, providing hose, couplings and related services for fluid power, power and control solutions for the oil and gas sector and maritime industry.
In March 2020, as the global pandemic caused major disruptions in the United States, Flux Active Services placed an order with Parker's Parflex Division for an 88 line, 2,000 ft. blowout preventer (BOP) umbilical and 300 ft. jumper bundle. These essential products are critical to drilling operations as they control the blowout preventer on the seafloor. The bundles were mutually agreed upon for an August delivery. As time progressed, the end customer moved up the timeline noting that they needed the products much quicker due to an active drill project.
Parflex responded to the customer's challenge by improving the delivery date by more than 30 days, The end customer booked a direct flight from Cleveland, OH to Stavanger, Norway for the product in late July. The logistics of moving a product like this was not a small task as the main umbilical is 13 feet wide, 11 feet tall and weighs 20,000 pounds. Due to the size or the product, the end customer contracted an Antonov 124 cargo airplane specifically for the transport of this product.
From start to finish, Parflex exceeded the customer's expectations, and is currently preparing to ship a second bundle for the same rig which will serve as a redundant back up that will also ship early and receive its own flight!
The blowout preventer (BOP) is a critical piece of equipment in oil & gas drilling. The BOP resides on the wellhead on the seafloor and prevents the uncontrolled flow of fluids during drilling and completion. It essentially can seal the well if a back pressure spike (“kick”) is sensed and stop the flow to the surface which could cause severe damage. The BOP umbilical is comprised of smaller pilot hoses and at least one supply hose that are cabled together. The umbilical transmits hydraulic power and signals to the pilot valves on a BOP. A BOP usually has two sets of these pilot valves (“blue and yellow pods”) and thus two umbilicals.
The Parflex Division is a leading manufacturer of the thermoplastic hose. Thermoplastic hose is essential to a subsea umbilical due to several key reasons.
1. Length - In the case of these umbilicals, all of the pilot hoses and supply hoses were continuous, no splice fittings, over 2000ft.
2. Weight - These hoses are fiber-reinforced and thermoplastic making them up to 70% less weight than a corresponding wire reinforced rubber hose.
3. Corrosion protection - The hose in the umbilical is fiber-reinforced ensuring that there are not any hose elements susceptible to seawater corrosion.
4. Fluid compatibility - The core tube and the cover of the hoses has compatibility with BOP hydraulic fluids and seawater
The Parflex Division has a long history of manufacturing BOP umbilicals. These products have shipped for oil and gas drilling in Southeast Asia, Australia, the Caspian Sea, and of course the Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea. Parflex has made subsea products up to 15,000 ft continuous length in the past. With the addition of HCR (high collapse resistant) hose, the capabilities and the applications that Parflex can service continues to expand.
Contributed by: Matt Peter, division marketing manager, Parflex Division