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RR409 - High pressure, high temperature developments in the United Kingdom Continental Shelf

In 2004 the UK Health & Safety Executive (HSE) commissioned research in respect of high pressure, high temperature (HPHT) developments in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).

Part 1 of the report summarizes the scope for future HPHT developments possible in the UKCS. It is concluded that the price of HPHT exploration could be bigger than previously thought.

Part 2 of the report reviews the HPHT incidents and defines the associated safety issues. Well control incidents are by far the most frequently occurring but there appears to be an increasing occurrence of incidents related to catastrophic failure of well tubulars and hangers manufactured from premium steels or alloys

In Part 3 the engineering and management solutions implemented by the UKCS industry are reviewed. Where appropriate the risk associated with specific technical measures and concepts is highlighted. In a separate section a number of future technical developments are discussed.

In Part 4 it is concluded that although the UKCS industry is on the right track a number of issues will still need to be solved. Based on the discussions with stakeholders in a workshop a number of Joint Industry Type projects are identified, in addition to other issues that require attention.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

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Updated 2010-03-19