Dear COIN and WTN Members and Registered Non-members,
Please find below a warning from Neil Sultan of Lundin in Norway about the use of certain types of elevators for non-vertical lifts. Please feel free to cascade this warning within your organisations:-
I would like to pass on some info / a warning to the WTN and maybe COIN too based on a learning we have had: Some of the elevators we commonly use in running test strings actually, according the manufacturer's manuals cannot be used for non-vertical lifting – ie, the manufacturer expects the rig to have a mouse hole and that pipe is run in the "old fashioned method" picking it up vertically.
Where rigs don't have a mouse hole / have modern / automatic pipe handling systems then these elevators cannot be used according to the manufacturer.
I have not fully researched this yet and just want to get a warning shot out on the network but so far it seems like the two main manufacturers we come across (NOV & B+V) and the following elevators do not allow the item to be used for non-vertical lifting.
· NOV: GG / YC / HYC
· B&V: CL-150-1000
I questioned and received feedback from NOV as their manual was a bit fluffy – this is their reply: GG or HYC elevators are "not suitable for horizontal use neither do we recommend the use of an "external" mechanism? (i.e. lock wire or tie-down straps ) for locking elevators"
I have not spoken to B+V as the manual is quite clear:
Intend of use
The elevator is designed to be installed into Elevator links and handle vertical pipes.
THE LIFTING OF VERTICAL PIPES IS TO BE PERFORMED CAREFULLY AND MUST BE MONITORED. THE PICKING UP OF HORIZONTAL OR TILTED PIPES IS DANGEROUS AND NOT PERMITTED BY THE MANUFACTURER
IF THE OPERATOR CONSIDERS TO USE THE ELEVATOR FOR OTHER OPERATIONS THAN THE INTENDED USE (FOR EXAMPLE HANDLING OF HORIZONTAL PIPES), IT IS MANDATORY TO MAKE AN ADDITIONAL RISK ANALYSIS
See attached flier which I'm putting together for more info… This is not any sort of official doc, yet…
Locally, where all rigs are fitted with automatic handling equipment, we pretty much use the BX elevators for the majority of lifting. However there are times when we don't – some of the TCP BHA's and usually the lifting in of the STT / flowhead. Most of these rigs do not have a mouse hole so we've actually been doing it all wrong for years!!
I have spoken to a couple of the handling equipment service suppliers here and they were not aware of this restriction in usage – I guess it's a case of "that's the way we have always done it" so no-one has questioned it. This does not give us an excuse to carry on though…
I guess also globally there are more manual handling rigs out there so they will have mouse holes etc but the STT will remain a problem on floaters…
In summary then I would say if one wishes to use these type of elevators for horizontal / tilted lifting then a proper Risk Assessment and deviation will be required.
As far as we are concerned in Norway, the authority regulations state that we must use equipment according to the manufacturer's instructions so a deviation would be incredibly difficult and unwise. Added to that there was an incident here back in 2010 where a slip joint fell out of a manual B+V elevator during a non-vertical lift so there is precedent on this. Unfortunately for a lot of us (well testers at least) this was not well publicised and we have remained ignorant. I am now looking at ways to use the BX Elevators for ALL lifts in running DST strings:
Senior Well Test Engineer