LIMPET Sea Chest Blanking Trials Completed Successfully

April 21st, 2023

In the asset integrity industry, one of the most challenging obstacles that has emerged is the blanking of sea chests for changing of faulty valves. In order to solve this challenge, EM&I developed a system called LIMPET, which is a metal blank with ‘intelligent winches’ that pull themselves onto the sea chest. 

The idea was proven by EM&I Regional Operations Manager Francis Lacey’s team, who carried out three independent LIMPET trials in South Africa. The trials were carried out for three different clients who are key operators in the offshore industry, and all of them have been successful.

Through these trials, EM&I demonstrated their innovative capabilities to key players in the industry, building trust in the company’s technologies, solving clients’ challenges and winning new high-margin work.

The first LIMPET trial took place in 2021 before carrying out the isolation on an FPSO and, more recently, the last two trials were carried out for two major operators.

Through the trials, EM&I managed to prove that the team could isolate a sea chest with studs on the sealing flange as well as connecting winch lines to the diver handles around the sea chest coaming. There are no lugs for pulling in the sea chests on these coamings and a bespoke quick release system was designed to overcome this challenge.

The trials also demonstrated that we could isolate a specific, extra large sea chest opening on an FPSO. The sea chests had a flange sealing face on the coaming without studs and diver handles instead of lugs, which we were able to use to pull in the sea chest blank. 

Both trials were successfully completed, on time and to the satisfaction of the attending clients. As a result, EM&I subsequently won further work and the team has already mobilised equipment to carry out the isolations.