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GE announces new blow-out preventer technology capable of withstanding over 1,300 bar pressures

08th May 2014

GE Oil and Gas unveiled today its next-generation blowout preventer (BOP) program that will make 1,379 bar (20,000 pounds per square inch) subsea formations the next frontier in offshore oil and gas exploration

GE announces new blow-out preventer technology capable of withstanding over 1,300 bar pressures
New technology able to withstand massive pressures pushes the boundary of deepwater production

BOPs are critical pieces of subsea drilling equipment—in effect, 18-metre tall valves weighing several hundred thousand kilograms—that are designed to isolate pressure in oil and gas wells during drilling. Current GE subsea BOPs are only rated for 1000 bar, thus creating an industry demand for a new generation of BOPs that have the ability to access more challenging reservoirs.

However, because the physical demands of over 1000 bar drilling (at depths of up to 3,800 metres) are so different from existing 1000-bar systems, GE utilized its global technology teams to completely reengineer the new BOP stack’s components and also developed several new techniques and technologies with its project partners. Key features of the new BOP system include:

  • Upgraded GE Ram and Annular BOPs, designed for the specific demands of containing high-pressure, high-temperature reservoirs.
  • GE’s SeaONYX BOP Control System, based on mission-critical GE Power & Water systems, designed to provide maximum system uptime.
  • GE’s SeaLytics BOP Advisor software, designed to provide real-time performance and maintenance data to significantly reduce unscheduled BOP maintenance requirements.

The new BOPs will be manufactured at GE Oil & Gas’ Drilling Systems facilities in Houston, with key technical support provided by GE centres of excellence worldwide.

“GE’s new BOP system will enable operators to explore deepwater basins that are currently inaccessible with conventional 15-ksi BOP systems,” said Andrew Way, president and CEO of GE’s Drilling & Surface business—GE Oil & Gas. “Our new BOP system utilizes all of GE’s latest ‘Predictivity’ communications software solutions to allow for real-time remote monitoring of equipment status and performance, thus offering new degrees of reliability and performance.”


GE BOPs are known for their in-field reliability, based on a successful industry track record that dates back to the 1950s. GE’s new project combines that depth of experience with a number of new GE Industrial Internet technologies, such as SeaONYX and SeaLytics, facilitating better real-time decision making for subsea project operators.

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