Successful trials for wire rope and umbilical lubricant

Paul Boughton

A new wire rope and umbilical lubricant from ROCOL developed to meet much tougher global marine ecology regulations has proven its uncompromising performance capabilities in trials with a leading offshore and subsea services provider.

Aberdeen-based Fugro Subsea Services, which supports a wide range of customers operating in the North Sea, the Mediterranean and Africa, was interested in implementing an ecologically sensitive and dependable solution for use on its vessels.

Fugro operates a diverse fleet of Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and vessels that support its clients in the delivery of a wide range of offshore projects. These include underwater construction projects, subsea engineering, inspection, repair and maintenance of pipelines and subsea structures and trenching in both the oil and gas and renewable markets.  

The company ran a trial using Biogen Wireshield on ROVs operating from its Grampian Surveyor vessel for a three-month period off the coast of West Africa. The trial was designed to put the lubricant through its paces on umbilicals in the deepest operating waters (between 1,000m and 3,000m) – much deeper than the 100m to 200m depths typically found in the North Sea.

According to Fugro technical support engineer, Andrew Morton, the trial results provided the assurances the company sought and gave it the confidence to give the lubricant approved product status.

As an Environmentally Acceptable Lubricant (EAL), Biogen Wireshield was developed by ROCOL specifically to meet the biodegradable definition according to the OECD 306 test method. Prior to customer trials, product testing had already demonstrated 0 galvanic reaction after 1,000 hours in salt spray tests, plus shear stability in the presence of salt water with little degradation.

“Using a product such as this means we are able to greatly extend the lifetime of our umbilicals and we can avoid long delays for umbilical repair or replacement whilst also respecting the environments in which we operate,” concluded Morton.

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