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Successful Development of Explosion Proof Connectors for Terra Nova Project

20/6/07.

The Terra Nova oil field discovered in 1984 by Petro-Canada is the second largest field located 350km off Canada’s East Coast and the first harsh environment development in North America to use a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel.

Back in May last year, production of the Terra Nova oil field was halted due to a mechanical issue with the gear box which was attached to the starboard main power generator. The early shutdown allowed Petro-Canada to advance it’s program to improve reliability. Part of the program was to replace the environmental connectors including the connectors to the Beacons, Lights, Telephones and Sensors in addition to those located in the lower turret.

SEACON were contacted by Petro- Canada to come up with a suitable design for this project which presented a number of challenges including the required CSA (Canadian Standards Authority) Hazardous location testing and certification along with a very tight delivery of the connector assemblies. The CSA has a very strict criteria in order that connectors can be certified as flame proof. One such requirement was that the contacts of the connector be self-extinguishing should a flame or spark generate following mating or de-mating.

Many challenges were faced and overcome including the large conductor size of the cables and identifying a solution to attach the armor to the shells, but still facilitating the flow of rubber through and around the armor to avoid any air entrapment in the termination. As a result of our highly skilled Engineering, Production and Project Management teams working closely together with the customer and the CSA, SEACON developed the 8010 Series of connectors, which combine our All-Wet connector technology. These connectors were subjected to a number of stringent tests required by the CSA including temperature, flame, explosion, pressure and mechanical strength all of which successfully passed. This new development further shows our continued commitment to customers in coming up with workable solutions for specific applications.