Faster, safer, better: Claxton leads the way in drilling riser handling tools

Claxton has an unrivalled riser supply capability and offers more pressure, tensioning and complete system configurations than any other supplier in the North Sea. This scope and experience enables the delivery of multiple operational enhancements – just one example being our unique NT-2 Drilling Riser Handling Tool, which recently saved a client $2.9 million in a single campaign. This focus on efficiency and safety doesn’t stop there though – the NT-2 tool is just one example of numerous bespoke tools that add significant safety and operational benefits to running a Claxton drilling riser system – this bespoke tooling can only be found at Claxton.


The Claxton hydraulic internal tool for riser handling provides a wide range of benefits. In contrast to conventional flange tools, it eliminates the need for using traditional bolting and manual torquing up, and removes a significant proportion of the hands-on work associated with flanged connection make-up. The tool is supplied as a complete package and can be operated from a distance, which minimises the risk of dropped objects or simultaneous operations. These features translate into substantial make-up time savings and reduced risk to personnel. Claxton Internal  Drilling Riser Handling Tool
Claxton’s proprietary internal drilling riser handling tool delivers multiple operational and safety benefits. 

Shipped in its own container, the hydraulic tool requires less tooling and handling, and, crucially, helps to reduce the risk of human error that may arise during the torquing process. This, and the presence of additional safety mechanisms that operate when the tool is engaged, helps to improve safety. These safety mechanisms include a hydraulic piston that provides a positive lock, a colour-coded system to show the condition of the hydraulic lock and a four-plate mechanical system that prevents operators from inadvertently pumping back or disengaging the tool.


Claxton also provides a fully hydraulic riser spider designed and manufactured by Acteon sister company Subsea Riser Products. This riser spider has a compact footprint that makes it compatible with most standard drillfloor layouts and a design that accommodates a range of riser sizes and enables hang-off in all sea states.

Claxton Riser Spider
Claxton’s riser spider, developed in conjunction with our sister company Subsea Riser Products, in use offshore.

The spider has two self-centring plates that operate hydraulically and a simple open–close control system that actuates the sliding gate design and automatically engages and disengages the primary locking pins. The system features a fail-safe positive lock, takes just 12 seconds to engage and, with no electronic components, has low maintenance requirements. The alternative to this riser spider would be mechanical slips that bite into the pipe and could potentially damage the protective coating applied to riser’s external surface.


The Claxton multi-stud tensioning (MST) system delivers significant time savings when compared with conventional torqueing methods. On a 24-in. riser, for example, the traditional approach involves individually tightening the bolts, a process that could take 3–4 hours. The MST system cuts make-up time on the same joint to just 20–30 minutes.

Claxton Multi Stud Tensioner
Our multi-stud tensioner reduces flange make up time massively – saving many hours of rig time. 

Critically, the MST system also helps to ensure that the bolts are tensioned by the same amount and to eliminate the variation that often occurs during traditional tensioning methods. Bringing the flange faces together uniformly by tensioning the bolting simultaneously results in better gasket alignment during make-up and, thus, reduces the risk of twisting or crushing the gasket. The hands-off approach enabled by Claxton’s MST equipment reduces the requirement to lift heavy torque equipment during installation; the traditional approach involves moving heavy tooling round the flange and onto the individual nuts to complete the connection.


While supporting a major offshore development project, Claxton was asked to develop a special gasket-handling tool that could meet a specific client request and facilitate handling in a tight and sensitive location. The Claxton tool links into the internal wall of the gasket and provides mechanical lift. This removed the need for manual handling and minimised the potential risk of damage to the gasket and sealing faces of the riser/flange.

Claxton Gasket Handling Tool
Our gasket handling tool reduces potential pinch points and prevents damage to gasket faces.

The safe and efficient handling of riser systems is a crucial aspect of offshore operations. Applying the most effective tools and techniques to managing these vital pieces of equipment can deliver significant advantages in terms of safety, scheduling and reduced project costs.


Claxton’s riser delivery capability extends to more pressure, connector, tensioning, tooling and complete system configurations than any other supplier – our riser will be genuinely optimised to suit every nuance of your drilling campaign. When you need a riser, trust Claxton to make it happen.

Learn more about our drilling riser systems.

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