Alpa Winch: Sustainable lifting technology

Alpa Double Retention System gives dramatic reduction in CO2 emissions.

Climate change is an ever-present concern for Alpa. As part of their commitment to environmental sustainability, they have developed alternative technologies to help reduce CO2 emissions from the oil and gas industry. The recent innovation, the Alpa Winch, is a bright example of the Alpa’s contribution to a greener and more sustainable oil and gas production.

The Alpa Winch system is suitable for high risk handling applications on vessels and rigs. It is designed in collaboration with Equinor and DNV GL following a full failure mode and effects analysis. For superior safety features, it is fabricated with two redundant winch systems mounted in one common frame with two independent suspension systems. The principle for redundancy is followed from the frame suspension to the lifted load. The complete system is powered by a redundant hydraulic system which is controlled by a fail-safe control system. This ensures maximum safety in all situations.

But how does the use of Alpa winch contribute to abate carbon emissions in the oil and gas industry? Read on to discover.

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Reduction of gas flaring

Lifting operations above producing oil wells in a drill floor area is highly regulated. One drop of an object onto these pressurised systems, both subsea and topside, can cause blowouts and explosions and may result in irreparable damage to human life and the environment. Shutting in adjacent wells is mandatory when lifting and this would mean releasing the pressure via gas flaring, resulting in tons of CO2 emissions. An exception to the rule though is lifting operations were redundant lifting measures has been applied combined with procedures and control measures which secures safety in all situations.

The Alpa Winch is designed inherently safe, preferably with redundancy in all load bearing components and control measures. This means the necessary safety measures are implemented and that there are secondary means to contain the load in all situations. In addition, software and hydraulic systems complement the design to avoid critical situations while using of the system.

The Alpa Winch is designed and fabricated according to Norsok R-002 High Risk Class II and certified by international design standards and directives. It is the first commercial solution approved for lifting over live wells due to its double retention capability. One single fail in the load path or in the control system will not lead to dropped load.

The figure below compares a lifting set-up with and without Alpa winch during normal production and simultaneous drilling activities.

Grid Shut in
By using Alpa winch, there is no need to shut-in the adjacent wells. This increases production and reduces gas flaring significantly, thereby saving tons of gas waste.

“Several international E&P majors has opened their eyes to our green solutions. The business case for the DSW solution has proven to be incredibly lucrative for our clients and 2019 will be a very exiting year for us” – Founder and MD of Alpa, Gunnar Gjeldvik

Increased uptime

Optimal oil production comes from steady and uninterrupted uptime. Not only do clients lose profit when closing the production of wells, the flow pressure could also be reduced when re-starting the production again. In worse cases, the oil might have left for other directions in the reservoir, leaving operators little to no choice but to drill new wells.

Lifting over live wells using Alpa winch ensures steady well operations and alleviates the need / risk for drilling a new well.

In a nutshell

One of the focus areas of Alpa is to design and manufacture sustainable material handling products that reduces climate-impacting CO2 emissions. Initiatives towards sustainability will require constant effort and will take time, but together with their clients, Alpa will continue to take steps forward to abate their contributions to climate change.

The Alpa winch system meets the stringent Performance Level (PL) requirements according to EN ISO 13849-2 for Safety Related Part of a Control System. For more information about Alpa products, contact [email protected]. Alpa is a fully owned subsidiary of the Axess Group.

The Alpa DSW is a part of the Axess Group Climate Roadmap targeting a 60% reduction of our emissions by 2025 in addition to contribute in reducing our clients environmental footprint.

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