Welding habitats placed on offshore platforms have eliminated the need to shut in wells.
Without the habitats, welding operations in well bays on offshore platforms typically require all other wells to be shut in to prevent the heat source from igniting produced oil or separated gas.
In one example, Shell Offshore Inc. on its Gulf of Mexico Cognac platform, Block Mississippi Canyon 194, employed a welding habitat to enable it to replace the casinghead of one well without shutting in other producing wells on the platform.
Governing regulations would have required all producing wells to be shut in if welding is performed within 10 ft of the well bay.
Shell used a heat-resistant welding dome (Fig. 1) to isolate the welding area, …