Castrol, a leading global lubricants manufacturer, has launched its next generation subsea control fluid. Castrol Transaqua SP (System Protection) is a pioneering formulation designed to simplify subsea operations and offer enhanced system protection compared to products currently on the market.
Control fluids are one of the most complex moving parts in a subsea system, so reliability is essential. The control fluid has to transfer power, lubricate, deal with contamination and protect control modules, Christmas trees, and wellheads from degradation in a wide range of temperatures and pressures on the ocean floor.
Improvements in system protection should lead to increased component reliability.
“The subsea industry is facing great challenges in terms of how it operates – with various economic factors driving change. To ensure profitability amidst these conditions, it is important that operators can trust in every component of a subsea system, which is why Castrol Transaqua SP is so important and timely,” said Simon Youngman, marketing manager, Castrol.
Fields are producing for longer than ever, meaning that subsea production systems need to perform for longer than intended. As a consequence, operators are often using a mix of different generations of subsea equipment and control fluids have to accommodate a wider variety of equipment, increasingly in sub-optimal conditions.
Youngman added: “With this in mind, Castrol has listened closely to subsea operators about the implications of current and future trends in the industry. As a result, we have developed Castrol Transaqua SP in close consultation with subsea equipment manufacturers to be a truly best-in-class solution that can work across all components in a system. This means that operators can be confident of the integrity and performance of their systems, and enjoy enhanced system protection as a result.”
Castrol Transaqua SP is designed to be compatible with a wide range of elastomers, plastics, metals and completion fluids. This compatibility with completion fluids is especially important during well installation activities, when fluid mixing may occur potentially leading to line blockages. Furthermore, another key challenge faced by operators is the potential for seawater to become trapped in the system, leading to a reduction in corrosion resistance or the formation of deposits.
Castrol has designed Transaqua SP to have class-leading stability with seawater; up to 50% at seabed conditions of 5°C with critical additives remaining in the solution. Additionally, Transaqua is thermally stable, tested in conditions up to 160°C, allowing for safe operation at temperatures between -50°C and 150°C.
Castrol assembled a team of world-class control fluid experts to develop Castrol Transaqua SP, marrying over 30 years of subsea industry experience with pioneering research from leading universities on lubrication and corrosion. The fluid has been rigorously tested by Castrol’s industry-leading research and development team and has undergone over 130,000 hours of screening.
Additionally, Transaqua SP has been designed to meet the most stringent environmental legislation. It is fully OSPAR compliant and categorised in the UK as posing the least potential environmental hazard to the marine environment with an OCNS group E classification and no substitution warning, along with a “Yellow” rating in Norway.
Transaqua SP has API 17F (3rd Edition)/ISO13628-6 Annex C, API 17E/ISO13628-5 industry standards and has also qualified with major industry equipment manufacturers (TRL 5). Transaqua SP is now being made available across Castrol’s global supply network.