A critical subsea part is 3D printed by the leader in Norwegian oil.


Revolutionizing the Oil and Gas Sector with Additive Manufacturing

When it comes to addressing resource scarcity and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the concept of a circular economy is gaining momentum. Countries worldwide are making efforts to transform their economies by reexamining production methods and embracing reuse, repair, and recycling. Additive manufacturing (AM) is emerging as a game-changer in the quest to convert material waste into new objects. This is evident through a pilot project conducted by Aker Solutions, a leading Norwegian oil exploration and development company, in collaboration with Aker BP, F3nice, and Additech.

Aker Solutions is an energy infrastructure division of the company, with a focus on petroleum resources on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. With key stakeholders like Aker ASA, BP, and investment firms like JP Morgan and State Street, Aker Solutions is a powerhouse in the industry. To explore the use of recycled materials for high-performance applications, Aker Solutions joined forces with F3nice and Additech. F3nice specializes in manufacturing metal AM powders made from recycled materials, while Additech, owned by venture capital firm Clara Ventures supported by Aker, is a Norwegian 3D printing bureau.

The project centered around 3D printing tubing hanger protectors for subsea wells. These protectors play a crucial role in safeguarding the sensitive hydraulic and electrical controls of the wells during the tubing installation process. Traditionally made of stainless steel, these protectors have a significant carbon footprint, with 237 kg of CO2 emissions attributed to their manufacturing and transportation. In contrast, 3D printing these components reduces the carbon footprint to just 34 kg of CO2 emissions per protector.

To produce the parts, the team utilized a powdered blend of recycled scrap material sourced from workshops in Tranby, Norway. The process involved 3D printing the protectors using a mere 13 kg of steel powder, compared to the 227 kg required for conventional manufacturing and transportation. F3nice handled the conversion of waste metal into additive powder, while Additech oversaw the laser powder bed fusion process.

An impressive aspect of this project was that over 80 percent of the materials used came from waste metal at the Tranby site. This not only reduced transport costs but also decreased dependence on imported, carbon-intensive materials. It is worth noting that the entire process adhered to industry standards, meeting API Level 1 certification for additive manufacturing service providers and manufacturers, as well as DNV-ST-B203 Parts, Additive Manufacturing of Metal.

AM has the potential to become the most efficient method for producing parts using recycled feedstock, thanks to economies of scale. By applying material only where it is needed, AM reduces overall resource usage. Furthermore, it allows for optimization of designs to achieve maximum performance. These benefits are particularly significant for the oil and gas sector, where raw materials are scarce and fossil fuels play a critical role in global socioeconomic stability.

To continue meeting energy demands during the transition to alternative forms of energy, the oil and gas sector must strive for maximum efficiency. AM can contribute to this goal by reducing lead times and enabling the production of parts near the point of use. Wilhelmsen, a prominent shipbuilder, has taken the lead in 3D printing for offshore oil rigs and other marine applications. The company has even piloted the use of drones to deliver 3D printed parts to a Berge Bulk ship, demonstrating the practicality and value of this technology.

In addition to these macro reasons for adopting AM in the energy sector, the benefits of 3D printing can also be applied to other forms of energy generation. The performance advantages that AM brings to oil and gas can extend to these alternative sources. As the world becomes increasingly aware of the need for sustainable practices, the oil and gas industry must embrace innovations like AM to extract the last remaining drops of energy efficiently and responsibly.

In conclusion, the collaboration between Aker Solutions, Aker BP, F3nice, and Additech has showcased the potential of additive manufacturing in transforming the oil and gas sector. By leveraging recycled materials and reducing carbon emissions, AM provides a sustainable solution for producing high-performance components. As the energy industry looks to a future with limited resources, AM offers a path to efficiency, reducing waste, and optimizing designs. With continued advancements, AM will undoubtedly play a crucial role in shaping the energy sector for years to come.

While we all know the importance of addressing the environmental issues associated with deep sea oil spills, it’s fascinating to see how one company is taking a unique approach to tackling this problem. Acker, a renowned energy company, is not only investing in alternative energy but also in additive manufacturing (AM) services through Additech. This decision truly reflects the company’s commitment to maintaining its position in a post-fossil fuel world.

Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, has gained significant attention in recent years for its potential in revolutionizing various industries. From healthcare to aerospace, the possibilities seem endless. However, one area that hasn’t received as much limelight is its role in addressing environmental concerns, particularly the prevention and mitigation of deep sea oil spills.

Why is this significant? Well, traditionally, deep sea oil spills have been incredibly challenging to manage, with significant consequences for marine life and coastal ecosystems. However, with the advancements in 3D printing technology, there’s an opportunity to create innovative solutions that can ultimately prevent such disasters from occurring.

Through investing in AM services, Acker is paving the way for the development of cutting-edge technologies to combat deep sea oil spills. By leveraging 3D printing capabilities, engineers and researchers can design and produce specialized equipment and tools that are tailored to the unique challenges of oil spill response.

For example, imagine a scenario where an oil spill occurs in a remote and inaccessible offshore location. Rapid deployment of response equipment becomes a logistical nightmare, often resulting in delays and exacerbating the damage. However, with additive manufacturing, it’s possible to produce some of these crucial response tools on-site, eliminating the need for lengthy transportation and assembly processes.

Additionally, 3D printing offers the flexibility to create complex and customized designs. By harnessing this capability, scientists can develop innovative solutions to contain and clean up oil spills more efficiently. From intricate oil-absorbing materials to specialized underwater robots, the possibilities are endless.

Acker’s decision to invest in this technology is not just about staying ahead of the curve; it’s a proactive step towards environmental sustainability. By actively exploring alternative energy sources and supporting the development of advanced AM services, the company is sending a strong message about its commitment to a post-fossil fuel world.

Staying updated on the latest news from the 3D printing industry is crucial for anyone interested in the future of technology and its impact on our environment. Furthermore, receiving information and offers from third-party vendors can provide valuable insights into the potential applications of AM services beyond deep sea oil spill prevention.

In conclusion, Acker’s investment in additive manufacturing through Additech is a welcome move in the fight against deep sea oil spills. By embracing innovative technologies, we can navigate towards a future where such disasters become a thing of the past. Let’s stay informed and support companies like Acker that are working tirelessly to create a sustainable and oil-free world.

Original source


“Why did the 3D printer go to therapy? Because it had too many layers of unresolved issues!”

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