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- 2022 Innovation
The Osbit team is very proud to receive the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, in the Innovation category. The award recognises the company’s development of a pioneering engineering system, which is being used to support energy transition activities offshore.
Osbit’s Intervention Tension Frame (ITF) was designed by the company’s engineering team in 2015 to improve operational safety and efficiency when accessing offshore oil wells during well intervention operations. Previously, many offshore personnel used man-riding winches to gain access.
As well as being dangerous to personnel, this was inefficient, due to only being possible in very limited weather windows.
Osbit’s response to this issue, in partnership with customer Helix Energy Solutions, was to design and build a system that improves on existing industry standards. Through clever engineering, Osbit introduced integrated access where none existed before, allowing personnel to safely conduct operational activities, such as closing expired oil wells.
The ITF is 20 metres tall and offers three levels of above deck access to deploy tools into the well.
It is positioned on a vessel’s back deck, directly above a moonpool hole in the vessel centre, through which a riser pipe is routed to the subsea well. The system is compensated to enable the ITF and riser to be connected to the seabed whilst the vessel heaves in sea conditions.
The ITF is proven to significantly improve safety, while lowering the cost and environmental impact of well intervention operations. The system enables activities to be conducted from smaller vessels, in higher sea states, with accessing and deploying tools being safer and taking less time. The system also facilitates simultaneous operations without needing to disconnect from a well, and is still the only system to achieve this, six years on.
This initial project made a huge impact, enabling Osbit to take on a new assembly facility, significantly grow its team and raise its profile in the offshore industry. It later led to the business winning its largest project to date, a much larger well intervention tower, which utilises aspects of the ITF’s innovations.
Well intervention is just one of Osbit’s multiple technology streams, in which the company seeks to utilise its engineering expertise, and propensity for innovation, to drive safety and efficiency improvements in the offshore industry.
An exciting future
Shortly after being shortlisted for a Queen’s Award, the business was acquired by new offshore wind services outfit Venterra Group, which is building a portfolio of businesses to accelerate and transform the growing offshore wind industry.
Osbit Director Steve Bedford, comments: “This award is amazing recognition of our team’s world-class engineering skills. As a company, we have spent over a decade now cultivating an environment in which innovation and creative thought can flourish, and it is very rewarding to be recognised for the quality of the engineering output our team continues to generate.
“The global energy landscape is rapidly shifting and Osbit is already well underway with developing a range of exciting new systems to support and accelerate the energy transition.”