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Cabling solutions for hard-to-reach areas

19th June 2012

With Global demand for oil, gas and petroleum-based by-products reaching record levels as easy-to-access oil reserves rapidly diminish, the oil and gas industry is being forced to venture into exploration and production in more extreme environments. But with this new era must also come fresh wave of technology, suitable for withstanding conditions never before faced by the industry

Gexol can withstand extreme offshore challenges for cable construction such as relentless heat, vibration, salt corrosion, drilling mud and mechanical stress

One of the greatest engineering design problems faced by deep well oil exploration and drilling operations is protecting instrumentation from extreme conditions of temperature, pressure, corrosion, and abrasion.

Nexans AmerCable, a global leader in cable assembly solutions for mission-critical equipment operating in harsh environments has designed products for use in the oil and gas drilling and production which it believes can overcome such challenges.

The company’s most renowned brand for the industry, Gexol, can withstand extreme offshore challenges for cable construction such as relentless heat, vibration, salt corrosion, drilling mud and mechanical stress.

Originally developed by GE over 30 years ago, the materials were replicated from railroad cables for use in the offshore industry, where it is used predominantly. Because of the natural gas boom in the US, the cables have now also been used in shale gas market, Phil Laudicina told Oil & Gas Technology.

“Gexol cables are designed for mission-critical applications where reliable performance in extremely hazardous operating conditions is essential for worker safety and profitable production”, said the company in a website statement.

One product, Nexans AmerCable’s Single Conductor Power Cable Gexol Insulated, is designed and constructed for the demanding global environments of offshore drilling and petroleum facilities. Its features include:

• high strand count conductors make this product much more flexible, easier to install and more resistant to vibration than Type MC, IEC spec or commercial cables
• Gexol’s lower dielectric constant and higher insulation resistance reduces electrical losses
• Gexol’s excellent resistance to moisture produces stable electrical properties throughout the life of the cable
• in a fire condition, Gexol’s nonchlorinated flame retardant system produces less toxic and less corrosive gases
• dual certified IEEE 1580 Type P and UL 1309/CSA 245 type X110
• highest ampacity ratings: ABS 100°C, DNV 95°C, LRS 95°C, Transport Canada 95°C.
• severe cold durability: exceeds CSA cold bend/cold impact (-40°C/-35°C).
• flame retardant: IEC 332-3 Category A and IEEE 1202
• suitable for use in Class I, Division 1 and Zone 1 environments (armored and sheathed)
• optional braid armor of bronze or tinned copper.

Nexans AmerCable’s GEXOL also complies with The Inventory of Hazardous Materials, also known as the Green Passport. The program is a key requirement of the Ship Recycling Convention, designed to aid safer and more environmentally sound recycling of ships.

When standard mud resistance is not enough, Nexans AmerCable has also developed a ‘World Class Mud Resistant’ cable jacket designed to deliver in the harshest operating conditions.

Designed specifically for exposure to high temperature ester-based drilling muds, this cable meets all the performance requirements of industry standards UL 1309 and IEEE 1580 for Type N jackets, says Amercable.

“When tested for prolonged exposure to the most aggressive ester based drilling muds, it easily passes the mud resistance requirements of NEK 606”.

AmerCable’s ester based mud resistant cables were also tested against the requirements of UL 1309 and IEEE 1580. Additional testing done on these cables show the jacket to pass cold impact at -20°C and cold bend at -40°C.

Texas-based, AmerCable is an ISO 9001 certified cable manufacturer that combines manufacturing technology and research to deliver high-quality oil and gas cable and engineered cable assemblies.

On 28 June, Cavendish Group International will bring together a distinguished panel of specialists to explore the many challenges to cabling solutions in offshore projects and evaluate the best practices in the field from both a Western and an Eastern perspective. For details and registrations for the event please go to:

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