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GE Introduces Deepwater BOP Blind Shear Rams with Advanced Capabilities

04 May 2012

GE Oil & Gas is introducing its next-generation technology for shearing and sealing wellbore tubulars at the 2012 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston.

The new Blind Shear Ram is designed for use in GE’s 18-3/4 inch ram blowout preventers (BOP) used in drilling. The new patent-pending Blind Shear Ram has the ability to both shear and seal after cutting 6-5/8 inch tool joints, which are heavy coupling elements for a drill pipe.

GE’s Blind Shear Ram allows customers to use current BOP stack arrangements without having to manage the spacing between rams or create operational methods to avoid 6-5/8 inch tool joints. This technology solution also is designed to eliminate non-shearable sections, allowing for greater shearing flexibility.

The shearing capability was confirmed during testing witnessed by representatives from several leading oil companies. The rams were successfully tested to 15,000 psi after cutting the tool joint. Centralizing arms are designed to allow successful shearing of buckled or offset pipe, and modifications to the block and blade allow greater force to be applied without damage.

"Our new Blind Shear Rams are designed to centralize, shear and seal after cutting tubulars up to and including 6-5/8 inch drill pipe tool joints in the BOP,” said Sam Aquillano, vice president—drilling and surface for GE Oil & Gas. "Previous offerings included a new casing shear ram that could cut but not seal 6-5/8 inch drill pipe tool joints.”

He added, "The Blind Shear Ram is the latest example of how GE continues to seek and develop innovative solutions for the challenges that our customers face in drilling, particularly in deepwater and challenging environments. We are continuing testing to understand the full upper limits of what the new blind shear ram designs can achieve.”

The new ram design is now being offered for use with GE’s current 5K operator.