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Drilling Equipment

Subsea BOP Control Systems

The earliest floating drilling operations were carried out with direct control lines from the vessel to each function on the BOP stack. Many innovations were required to make these systems suitable for deeper water and separately retrievable. The pioneering innovators of subsea BOP control systems were individuals with Payne Manufacturing Co., Koomey Division of Stewart & Stevenson Distributing Co. and Hydril Co. The following table summarizes important developments of these systems.

Year Rig Name Innovator Innovation
1953 Submarex Koomey Directed connected control lines
Air operated hydraulic plunger pumps
1955 CUSS I Hydril Electric Hydraulic Plunger Pumps
80 gallon, 1500 psi accumulators
1961 Bluewater 1 Koomey 3000 psi accumulators with two pressure-reducing/regulating valves
1963 Ocean Driller Payne Bundled controlled hoses and retrievable control pods
1967 STAFLO Koomey SPM valves and choke & kill lines incorporated in control pods
1968 Bluewater II Koomey
Nuclear powered subsea hydraulic pumps and acoustic controls
tested but non-commercial
1968 Glomar V Koomey Compact design packer seal pods
1968 Sedco 445 Koomey First electro-hydraulic controls and 6000-psi accumulators
1970 Discoverer Koomey First Multiplex (MUX) control system

Recognizing the pioneering efforts of the following people and companies who contributed to the development of this technology:

Harry Burgess, Paul Koomey, Joe LeMoine, George Lewis, and Hershel Payne

Hydril Co., Koomey Division of Stewart & Stevenson Distributing Co. (Shaffer Division of Varco International) and Payne Manufacturing (Cameron).


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