New Product Addresses Key Safety Issue for Oil & Gas Drilling

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James Fisher & Sons plc is pleased to announce the launch of a new safety product – the Weak Link Bail. This innovative solution has been proven in North Sea operations and has wide applicability to improve the safety of completions and workover operations throughout the international oil and gas sector.

Scan Tech AS, a member of James Fisher and Sons plc, designed the Weak Link Bail for use during completions and workovers on semi-subs and drill ships to prevent serious incidents leading to damage or even destruction of derricks and rigs. Working as the weakest link in the system, it provides a mechanism for a controlled break before any permanent equipment is damaged. In doing so it acts to protect the health and safety of the drilling installation’s operatives, reduces risk of hydrocarbon leakage and reduces risk to high capital value equipment.

Many companies in the oil and gas sector are struggling to comply with the ISO 136628-7 (Petroleum and natural gas industries – Design and operation of subsea production systems – Part 7: Completion/workover riser systems) requirement, that a weak link should be introduced in drilling rigs to counter the effects of compensator lock-up, drift-off, or the consequences of operator error. The new Weak Link Bail complies with this requirement by improving safety and reducing risk to personnel, operational and environmental concerns. The bail’s arms are designed to break at a set load and can be easily reset after activation using the hydraulic controls provided and without risk of hydrocarbon spillage. As a top side solution this can also be achieved without the requirement for expensive diving or ROV operations. The Weak Link Bails have been used extensively in the North Sea and are manufactured under extremely strict quality control to ensure that when necessary, they will operate exactly as required.

Rita Painter, who has recently joined the company, will take responsibility for the promotion and sales of the Weak Link Bail product to the wider oil and gas market. A metallurgist who has spent most of her career to date in the mechanical engineering industries, she joins James Fisher from Centek Ltd, where she spent a number of years in technical sales to the oil and gas sector, working in Latin America, Caspian, India and Europe.

“I am extremely pleased to take on this new role,” commented Rita Painter. “The Weak Link Bail system is an important safety technology for drilling operations within the oil and gas sector, and one that has wide applicability across the customer base of the James Fisher group. With a clear focus on developing innovation through our specialist subsidiaries to a wider market place, this new product demonstrates our commitment to maximizing the synergies available to the company as it grows, bringing excellent products to market on a global basis.”

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Anthony Smith

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