Deep Water

Deepwater Challenge

Challenges and Solutions

Operators are continually extending the boundaries of deepwater drilling and production, with water depths now more than 10,000 ft.

At the same time, high deepwater operational costs emphasize the need to maximize efficiency and minimize NPT. The challenge requires experienced, dependable, and innovative resources to help operators reduce risk and optimize production and recovery.


Maintaining well control at increasing water and well depths

As deepwater wells access ever deeper targets, they encounter higher pressures and require increasing abilities to control drilling equipment on the sea floor.

From the industry’s first BOP to the largest installed base of BOPs worldwide, Cameron leads the way in pressure control technology, and the deepwater arena is no exception. 

TL Ram-Type BOP     |     EVO Ram-Type BOP

Shearing with tool joints and hardbanding across BOP rams

Contingency planning for managing well control events is a critical component of drilling programs. This must include shearing any pipe in the wellbore, then sealing and stabilizing the well as the ultimate safety measure.

BroadShear off-center tool joint shear rams can successfully handle the large, heavy tubulars used in deepwater drilling and they are the industry’s only rams to successfully shear all elements of the string about the BHA.

BroadShear Off-Center Tool Joint Shear Rams

Optimizing preventive BOP maintenance and minimizing unplanned NPT

The high costs and challenging conditions of deepwater drilling make BOP stack performance critical to operational success. Surveillance of the stack can improve performance and guard against considerable and costly NPT.

The BOP condition-based monitoring system comprises sensors, data recorders, and redundant transmission technologies. The system acquires data from the BOP stack, such as ram position, hydraulic fluid condition, stack accumulator bottle fluid volume, pressure, temperature, and solenoid performance. Analytics, alarms, and reports convert the data into useful information for real-time monitoring, condition-based maintenance, and emergency mitigation and recovery. Maintenance can be scheduled to reduce unplanned NPT and well control emergencies identified in a timely manner.

BOP Condition-Based Monitoring System

Maximizing reliability of riser systems connecting rig floor and subsea BOP

Deepwater drilling requires a reliable connection between the rig floor and the BOP on the seabed thousands of feet below.

Cameron provides complete riser systems from the drillfloor to the BOP stack, equipped with multiple safety features, such as an automatic or hydraulically operated fill-up valve designed to prevent riser collapse should drilling fluid levels drop in the riser. The Robo-Spider system—the first fully automated riser-flange-bolt torque system—can reduce riser-flange-bolt torque time by up to 70%, while increasing rig floor safety. Our RF riser system and LoadKing ultradeepwater riser system joints are API 16R certified and the riser gas handling system includes an annular for sealing the riser annulus and a gas bleed spool to safely bleed off gas and mud to a choke manifold.

Marine Drilling Riser

Responding rapidly and effectively to changing downhole pressures

Deepwater wells frequently encounter narrow drilling mud weight windows, uncalibrated pore pressure models, and highly laminated reservoirs. MPD provides a closed-loop circulation system and can be used to enhance wellbore stability, drilling efficiency, and kick detection while reducing mud losses and stuck pipe incidents through rapid response to pressure changes.

Together Cameron and M-I SWACO offer the industry's first complete OEM deepwater MPD system. A key component of this system is the integrated MPD riser joint comprising the Cameron riser gas handling system and the M-I SWACO below-tension-ring rotating control device (BTR RCD). The telescopic riser joint can also be provided MPD ready with an inner barrel sized to enable an RCD and associated deployment tooling to pass through. The integrated system maximizes performance and reliability and minimizes footprint, replacing redundant and potentially incompatible equipment from multiple suppliers.

Managed Pressure Drilling on the Schlumberger website


Inhibiting hydrate formation over life of field

Hydrates are crystalline solids that form when water and gases such as natural gas, H2S, or CO2 combine at high pressure and low temperature. They can plug oil and gas pipelines and gas gathering, compression, and transmission facilities, significantly affecting production operations.

Injection of monoethylene glycol (MEG) or methanol is commonly used for subsea hydrate mitigation. By combining industry-proven monitoring, metering, dosing, and MEG regeneration technologies, our hydrate management system is able to achieve target inhibition and extend the field life while preventing costly and unnecessary overdoses. The system comprises multiple elements.

Hydrate management system

Hydrate Management System

Optimizing subsea well access from spars and TLPs

In tension-leg platform (TLP) and spar top-tensioned riser (TTR) applications, the early execution phase of a project can entail thousands of man-hours in third-party engineering and interface management to establish efficient and reliable access to subsea wells from surface.

DryAccess deepwater production systems provide complete, seamless integration of three critical vertical access interface systems from one supplier, resulting in substantial cost savings for you. This solution optimizes the execution phase for the TTR systems, including the engineering, interface management, and system integration testing (SIT), which are critical-path activities on the overall project schedule, with the potential to significantly impact production. The three systems are

  • fatigue-resistant subsea wellhead systems with unique parallel-bore metal-to-metal sealing technology and the ability to install and test hangers and seal assemblies in open water
  • high-capacity versatile tieback connectors that provide a reliable connection between the subsea wellhead and the riser system
  • compact and high-availability surface wellheads and trees.

DryAccess Deepwater Production Systems

Transferring produced fluids from subsea wells to processing facility and beyond

Multiphase Subsea PumpTo send produced fluids from deepwater and ultradeepwater completions to a processing facility, a subsea production system is required. Our fully integrated systems incorporate subsea trees, as well as manifold, wellhead, and flowline connection systems. Subsea processing, boosting, and multiphase metering systems accelerate and enhance oil recovery, even in long-offset developments. Our multiphase pumps have achieved production rate increases of 30%–100%. Swivel stacks and fluid transfer systems ensure that liquids and gas are transferred reliably to FPSO and FSO facilities and onward to LNG carriers.

Subsea Technologies & Services