QV Wellhead Components

At Unity, we are committed to driving down costs and helping to reduce the operational footprint of the oil industry through efficiency and innovation, especially in mature basins such as the North Sea. Here, operators are increasingly having to adapt their business practices to ensure that capital and operating cost levels are sustainable.

Mature basins are typically associated with declining oil revenues but increasing costs (and problems) due to corrosion and scale buildup caused by water production. Additionally, the ageing of wells and facilities bring its own challenges, such as the management of increasingly obsolete equipment.

We have a rapidly growing business providing our QV range of accessories and spares for use with original equipment manufacturers' (OEMs) wellhead equipment. QV is ideally suited to mature operating environments. We can rejuvenate old equipment by fitting modern, high-performance accessories, but at a price point in line with the needs of this sector.

Our QV range of equipment offers our clients significant advantages:

Lower cost.

Our range can provide significant savings to the operator, for example:

  • QV Xmas Tree & Wellhead spares and ancillaries are typically 30-40% less than OEM
  • QV Actuators are typically 15-20% less than OEM

Shorter lead times.

Lead times for OEM equipment, especially when obsolete, can be excessively long. Not only can this delay any planned well operations, it also ties up working capital in holding critical parts. Lead times for Unity’s QV equipment and spares are typically far shorter. As parts can be replenished quickly, critical inventories can be reduced, releasing your working capital for value-adding activities.

Giving just a few examples of the lead time reductions that QV enables:

  • Gates and seats are typically provided in 12 weeks, compared to 5-6 months for OEM
  • Actuators are typically provided in 16 weeks, compared to 9-12 months and sometimes up to 24 months for OEM
  • We have designed and provided suspension flanges with multiple connector styles inside 16 weeks where our clients have been unable to obtain quotes for such equipment.

No vendor lock-in.

Vendor lock-in is inefficient and rarely to the customer’s advantage. We recognize that fact and will ensure that switching is easy.

Wherever possible, QV equipment is designed as a retrofit to OEM equipment, enabling an easy switch away from the OEM. Furthermore, you won’t be stuck with us – if you decide to return to using OEM equipment, or want to replace QV with another third-party alternative, you’ll be able to do that.

Technical and operational benefits.

Unity has a wealth of experience in dealing with a wide variety of different OEM’s wellhead equipment. We have contracts to provide services on over 1000 wellheads across the North Sea. We have turned that experience into know-how, developing the QV range of accessories and spares, designed to enhance the performance of OEM xmas trees.

QV performance matches or exceeds the equipment it replaces.

Our technicians have serviced and repaired just about every type of wellhead equipment used in the industry. We have taken that knowledge, together with the latest engineering methods, to ensure that QV products provide outstanding performance in the field.

For example, our QV Actuators provide the best combination of compactness, ease of service and reliability, in a fully modular package. Response times are short, in both cutting and non-cutting service, and failsafe closed.

We can produce custom engineered designs.

Although we seek to provide you with standardised equipment wherever possible, to minimise your inventories, sometimes you may need a custom engineered product. This is especially the case when dealing with obsolete equipment, where obtaining replacement parts can be particularly problematic.

We have an established track record of designing new or adapted QV equipment for our customers. Just a few examples include enhanced tie down bolts and secondary mechanical sealing solutions, suspension flanges, quick exhaust valves, retrofit gates and seats for multiple styles of valve blocks and Xmas Trees, plus a wide range of support and stabilisation clamps for conductors and wellhead integrity.

We are investing in R&D to transform the way that spares are supplied.

Through one of our sister companies we are already 3D-printing with high-nickel alloy. The size and complexity of the products is at the cutting edge of current metal printing technology.

We are exploring the use of the same technology to print other components such as gates and seats. Printing such parts could entirely avoid problems with obsolescence and dramatically reduce lead times. Our vision is that such parts would be supplied to you on a just-in-time basis, rather than you needing to hold critical spares inventories.

The design of QV equipment can be independently verified by certifying authorities.

We understand that switching from OEM equipment comes with a perception of increased risk. To manage that perception, we can provide verified designs for equipment, manufactured with rigorous quality assurance, and tested in accordance with recognised industry standards.

We have developed a good working relationship with a number of independent certifying authorities, who will review and assess the suitability of our designs. Some relevant examples of our independently certified work are:

  • Full xmas tree trim upgrade from sweet to sour service and associated internals
  • Design and supply of 3rd party approved suspension flanges
  • Design and supply of 3rd party approved enhanced tie down bolts

Testing of QV equipment is carried out in accordance with recognised industry standards.

Just as any reputable OEM would, we test our equipment in accordance with recognised industry standards. For example, we design and test QV equipment in accordance with API 6A with technical quality requirements being defined by the relevant equipment type product specification levels (PSL). The QV equipment range is tested to API 6A Performance Requirements (PR) in addition to any client specific requirements.

We work in accordance with API Q1 and expect to have an API 6A licence next year.

Our quality management procedures have been reviewed and adapted to ensure that we can work in accordance with API Q1. We are committed to completing the API audit process and being awarded a licence to provide wellhead equipment with an API 6A monogram.