By Mike McNulty, Rubber & Plastics News
Biddeford, Maine -- Polyurethane and syntactic foam product manufacturer Flotation Technologies Inc. has landed a contract to supply its CoreTec deepwater marine drilling riser flotation system to Delba Drilling International Cooperatie UA.
The pact is part of a multimillion dollar order between Delba Drilling and Deep Down Inc., Flotation Technologies' parent.
The system was selected by Delba Drilling specifically because of its unprecedented strength, according to Drilmar Monteiro, director of Delba Drilling. Flotation Technologies produces the riser at its Biddeford plant.
Highly engineered CoreTec modules "provide a superior and cost-effective solution with its demonstrated durability and longevity at ultra-high ocean depths," Monteiro said. CoreTec has a solid syntactic foam interior and a high-strength polymer exterior shell, called ToughSkin. The system uses natural rubber flex-pads to allow the riser to bend within the module.
"For too long the drilling industry has been willing to accept an inherently weak product to be used in one of the most demanding services in the world," according to David Capotosto, president of Flotation Technologies. "Our CoreTec drilling riser buoyancy modules represent a quantum leap forward in design and engineering."
The system will be installed on the Delba III, a semi-submersible drilling rig currently under construction in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. The Delba III is scheduled for delivery in early 2010 for drilling in Brazilian waters.
The company has begun manufacturing the systems and shipment is expected by the the end of the year.
Flotation Technologies, a global leader in deepwater buoyancy systems that's been in business since 1979, views its latest order to supply the CoreTec drilling system as a major step toward other pacts with Delba Drilling.
"We are currently in final contract negotiations for the Delba IV drilling rig, and we're confident that our success in the Delba III project will be repeated in Delba IV as well as similar, future initiatives," said Fred Maguire, the firm's sales and marketing manager.
Even with the global economic downturn, he said, "demand for semi-submersibles and drill ships is expected to continue to grow over the next year, with much of the demand in the South American region driven by Petrobras' exploration of its pre-salt reserves."
Petrobras, short for Petroleo Brasileiro SA of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is a semi-public company with a significant oil and energy base.