Ensco Replacing GE’s Faulty Bolts
International drilling contractor, Ensco plc reported that a vendor, GE Oil & Gas, recently communicated that certain batches of bolts used in offshore drilling should be inspected for possible replacement.
GE Oil & Gas issued notices regarding these bolts after a competitor’s rig experienced operational problems in connection with the bolts. Ensco’s rigs have not experienced any operational problems related to the bolts, used in H4 connectors, which connect a lower marine riser package to a wellhead.
Immediately upon receipt of the notice from GE Oil & Gas, Ensco began an evaluation of its fleet to determine which rigs have H4 connectors with bolts identified in the notice. Ensco’s jackup fleet and seven ENSCO 8500 Series® floater rigs are not affected by the GE Oil & Gas notices. For certain other floaters in the Company’s fleet, the relevant bolts have already been replaced. On the remaining floaters, the relevant bolts are scheduled for evaluation, and, where appropriate, will be replaced. The Company will provide an update on this issue in its regularly scheduled monthly fleet status report to be issued in mid-February.
The U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) issued instructions to operators requiring drilling contractors to inspect the relevant bolts for possible replacement.
“Ensco is working through this process, and in all cases, spare bolts are on hand or can be re-qualified from the Company’s available stock to replace the relevant bolts. Ensco has also secured new bolts to augment inventory,” Ensco said in a statement.
Press Release, February 8, 2013