Brownfield upgrade – valve control module

Brownfield upgrade – valve control module

Client: Trident Energy
Location: Equatorial Guinea
Equipment: Valve control module (VCM) – a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) guided subsea control module (SCM)


Access to technology: we have provided a technically viable, and more readily available, economic alternative to the original equipment manufacturer’s (OEM) solution
Improved lead time: we delivered a much more competitive lead time compared to the OEM
Protecting production: this solution protects future production for our client, which has huge economic value

Project background

Our client was looking for a solution that would provide a contingency against the potential impact of an umbilical losing both power and signal. The client was concerned that its existing solution would not be adequate in scenarios where umbilical failure would affect the ability to continue production remotely.

Proserv was engaged to manufacture an ROV operated backup VCM that would directly interface with existing infrastructure. Proserv’s backup control module would allow for mechanical control of the Christmas tree, without any need for power or signal. This mitigated the impact of an umbilical failure and providing insurance against loss of production.

Chosen for our responsiveness

Proserv was primarily chosen for this project due to lead time capability. This is because we were able to deliver inside a tight schedule of 12 months. The OEM could not provide an answer within the window the client required. They were also unenthusiastic in its support for a solution. Proserv had the expertise to design a solution that could interface with equipment already installed subsea, working in tandem, or ‘co-existing’, with those assets in situ. Our proposal offered a real alternative to the suggestion from the OEM.

subsea equipment
Valve control module – a remotely operated vehicle guided subsea control module

Reverse engineering the solution

Creating the VCM involved the design, manufacture and qualification of a new hydraulic coupler that could interact with the existing OEM’s hydraulic couplers already subsea. Developing this solution required our engineers to problem solve a number of issues. This included having to reverse engineer several key components needed to make the VCM work. This entailed the use of 3D scanning, which is a new technology for Proserv. This is a fantastic development for us, as our experience of using this will improve our augmented controls technology, or ACT, capabilities for the future.

Supporting the future

There are several thousand OEM hydraulic couplers in existence, owned by operators all over the world. Now Proserv has proven we have the capability to produce an alternative to the legacy product. With this expertise, Proserv can now assist those operators with both mechanical and electrical support, which opens up numerous potential future opportunities.

Find out more about our brownfield solutions.

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