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Project in focus: rigless slot recovery in the North Sea

Lifecycle stage


Claxton brought in the multidisciplinary team needed to deliver the project. This involved close integration and collaboration with specialist cutting companies and a dive support vessel.

The programme started by deploying a specialist casing cutting system to remove a section of the conductor and leave the stuck BHA intact but exposed. This approach meant that the traditional surface cutting equipment had to be modified for the subsea application.

Two sizes of diamond wire cutting machine were used to cut through both the remaining conductor stump and the BHA at the same time. Once the cutting machine had sliced through the conductor and BHA, Claxton was able to recover the top section.

During planning, the orientation of the remaining BHA relative to the conductor stump was uncertain. This required Claxton to create a unique whipstock with a slot beneath the landing plate that would enable it to capture securely the exposed part of the BHA in any orientation.

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The integrated team led by Claxton delivered the full work scope in only three months, including designing, manufacturing and testing the bespoke equipment.

The cooperation of the staff involved on Tyra East made it possible to deliver what was needed in a very tight timeframe, as the project was completed ahead of schedule despite a weather delay.

Alex Lucas, Senior Drilling Engineer at Maersk drilling department said, “This was a very challenging piece of work requiring integrated planning across many departments and companies, not to mention the extensive amount of design, manufacturing and testing of equipment Claxton designed especially for the job in double-quick time.”


Claxton completed the world’s first rigless platform well abandonment over a decade ago and has subsequently deployed it’s cutting and recovery tooling on more than 270 successful conductor cutting, recovery and abandonment operations.

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Decommissioning Case Study Pack

The Claxton offshore decommissioning case study pack showcases our vast experience of delivering successful decommissioning projects.