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Vallourec Pre-Installed Cable Protectors first successful long string deployment in the North Sea

Vallourec has successfully completed the first long string deployment of its new Pre-Installed Cable Protectors (PICP) in a production well in the North Sea.

Vallourec has successfully completed the first long string deployment of its new Pre-Installed Cable Protectors (PICP) in a production well in the North Sea.

This installation follows a positive trial of a handful of units on the international oil company’s well last year, after which the oil and gas operator requested 200 PICP units for a full string. At the end of February 2023, 139 PICP units were successfully Run in Hole (RIH).

The main driver for the operator to use PICP was to improve safety. PICP requires only one person in the 'red zone' around the rotary table to install the cable and torque up the cable protectors’ single bolt, compared to traditional cable protectors that need three or four personnel in the 'red zone’. PICP also takes far less rig time during RIH compared to standard cable protectors, and the logistics needed to utilize PICP are far simpler and easier compared to standard cable protectors.

"We appreciate PICP’s significant safety benefits by reducing the number of personnel required in the red zone during operations," said the oil and gas operator representative. "It is easy to use and allows for the removal of box thread protectors before reaching the rig floor which further minimizes red zone activity."

"Using the 'as run' tubing tally is sufficient to count the number of PICP’s installed, eliminating the need for manual counting of cable protectors”, a service company representative added. “PICP also reduces clutter and manual handling and can hold the full string weight using side door elevators”.

The PICP’s use in the well achieved its main aims, not only improving safety with only one person operating on the rig floor, but also reducing personnel exposure thanks to needing less time around the rotary table and simplifying operations with the easy alignment of the cable protector to the cables at the rotary table, reducing activity and dropped object potential.

In addition, there was no need to change tubular handling or torquing operations from operators’ standard RIH procedure, no need to stop RIH operations to replenish traditional cable protector crates on the rig floor and the pneumatic ‘NutRunner’ torque wrench used on the PICP was even proven to speed up RIH.

This has been a great milestone for the PICP team, the fact that the customer is delighted with the safety improvements that PICP brings to their completion installations is a huge achievement for the project and opens opportunities with other operators globally.
Jon Bibby
PICP Business Owner

Vallourec received a further order for nearly 200 units from the operator in late 2022. These new units have been delivered and will be used on a second North Sea well in July 2023. The customer also just re-affirmed their acceptance of PICP by placing a third order with Vallourec for a further 275 units for additional operations.

In addition to proving the value proposition of our product, the repeat orders of such quantities give us also the opportunity to validate the robustness of our production route, taking into account all the feedbacks from the first order to improve our supply chain and quality management and also our design for the next ones, showing to the customer our reactivity to improve our offer
Jérôme Fiorucci
PICP Product Owner

The success of the PICP is a significant milestone for Vallourec, and the company is now expecting other entities globally to start using PICP. Furthermore, PICP has enabled Vallourec to secure other OCTG work with the operator and potential VFS work for future completion thread inspection. This was possible due to the exposure that the PICP has provided for Vallourec in the customer’s North Sea rig sites.