AMOG Technologies Pty Ltd is pleased to announce that, on the afternoon of 2nd February 2016 (AEST), we signed a licence agreement with Matrix Composites and Engineering Ltd for the commercialisation, manufacturing and sales of AMOG's patented LGSTM technology.

AMOG Technologies is the R&D arm of AMOG Consulting, a Melbourne based specialist engineering consultancy active in the Oil & Gas, Defence, Mining, Rail and Renewable Energy sectors. AMOG is a leading authority in the field of analyses of Vortex-Induced Vibration (VIV) on risers, moorings, cables, and pipelines in the offshore and subsea sector.

This innovative new riser buoyancy system is set to have a significant impact on drilling productivity, potentially saving operators millions of dollars, per rig, every year.

LGSTM addresses one of the biggest problems in offshore drilling; Vortex-Induced Vibration (VIV) imposes amplified hydrodynamic drag loading and excessive bending on drill strings during high current events and in field rig moves. These factors too often require operations to be suspended or delayed, with downtime costing operators significant sums of money.

AMOG undertook extensive investigation of in excess of 800 case studies for deep water locations  and current profiles (including the Gulf of Mexico) in order to assess the potential increase in uptime when LGSTM is used in comparison with conventional cylindrical buoyancy modules, modules fitted with helical strakes, and modules fitted with fairings. These studies indicate that in an average drilling season LGSTM can deliver an increase of 20% in uptime during eddy current events, saving operators up to US$15M in lost time per annum. For seasons with more sustained eddy current events the potential returns are even greater. 

In a time where there is pressure on cost reduction in all elements of the offshore oil and gas industry, LGSTM is an enabling technology to achieve significant operational cost savings in the drilling sector.

What is LGSTM Technology?

Longitudinally Grooved Suppression (LGSTM) technology was developed by AMOG Technologies Pty Ltd and employs a novel surface geometry which reduces VIV response and therefore overall drag, in slender structural elements in current flows. [LGSTM is a trademark of AMOG Technologies and pending registration]

LGSTM technology can be manufactured using existing production practices as it requires no protrusions or extra parts or added mechanical complexity. The drag reduction and VIV– suppressive properties come directly from its geometry at minimal sacrifice to the available buoyancy volume. 

In addition, LGSTM buoyancy modules:

  • Are easy to install
  • Provide comparable buoyancy and manufacturing costs when compared to conventional modules
  • Are easily stacked both vertically and horizontally
  • Can be used with existing riser handling and storage equipment
  • Can be applied to both new builds and existing structures

The inspiration for the LGSTM comes from biomimetics and was modelled on the large saguaro cacti. The previous wind tunnel testing hypothesised that the shape of the cacti was an evolutionary selection factor due to the lowest drag shapes surviving high wind speeds. 

AMOG undertook a comprehensive small scale model testing program at Monash University in Melbourne, at sub-critical Reynolds Numbers covering in excess of 70 variations of candidate geometries. These were further refined in terms of their application to drilling riser buoyancy modules, which resulted in AMOG taking out several patents covering this family of geometries.

As a final step towards commercialisation, AMOG and Matrix have recently conducted large scale model tests at high Reynolds Numbers, sub-critical Reynolds Number model testing and large scale model tests to verify results at prototype scales. These tests were conducted at Oceanic-NRC in Newfoundland, Canada which is a world leading independent large scale hydrodynamic testing facility.

Matrix have just announced their first order for LGSTM. Furthermore, Matrix have successfully manufactured the first full scale prototype drilling riser buoyancy modules incorporating LGSTM at their Henderson facility in Western Australia.