Over the last 12 months, RotaBolt technology has been introduced into a wide variety of applications to deliver bolted joint reliability for oil and gas operators in Azerbaijan and the Caspian, with offshore platform structures, cranes and a major new gas pipeline all benefiting from the company's products and expertise.
At Azeri, there are now seven platforms that feature RotaBolt's tension control systems. The innovative, built-in technology of the RotaBolt constantly and accurately measures and maintains tension; it has been used on riser clamps, structural clamps, 'J' tube bolting, flow line flanges and even on Christmas trees. The fasteners are also used on the platform's cranes, delivering joint reliability on the main slew rings.
RotaBolt is increasingly being recognised as a global centre of excellence for bolted joint technology, so operators are turning to the company and its range of fasteners to deliver tension control, which is critical to bolted joint reliability. At Shah Deniz, RotaBolts are used on riser compact flanges and flow line flanges, as well as on Christmas trees and the main slew rings of platform cranes.
"Operators are looking for a cost-effective solution to bolted joint safety and reliability," comments John Hirst, RotaBolt's Engineering Manager. "It is encouraging to see that a technology-driven approach to tension control is becoming more widespread. One of our biggest challenges remains one of education when there is a culture of tightening and fixing. We are delighted that, across a variety of applications, operators now see that to achieve bolted joint reliability you have to install bolts to their correct design tension and accurately maintain that tension – which is what our technology does."
Elsewhere, RotaBolt technology has also been used on gas coolers on offshore platforms to correct imbalances in gasket sealing. In the original application, operator BP realised that joint reliability was dependant upon all the bolts being tightened to a uniform design tension to develop the required gasket stress.
The decision was made to change out all the bolting to the RotaBolt tension control system. Installation was carried out by the frame agreement tightening contractor, who had used traditional methodology in the past. The joints have now been in service for over a year and continue to remain leak-free.