New Technology Magazine

Trelleborg’s Buoyancy Technology Receives Pioneering Technologies Award

HOUSTON, Tex. -- Critical to delivering onboard operations offshore is the drill riser, which provides a conduit for the drill string and drilling fluids from the ocean floor to the rig. However, this has significant weight, which must be supported by its own structure and ultimately by the drilling vessel.

After pioneering the introduction of commercial syntactic foams in 1957, the need to reduce a drilling riser’s net weight in water, and ensure that the structure and drilling vessel are supported lead to Trelleborg supplying the first syntactic riser buoyancy modules for use in oil drilling in the Santa Barbara Channel in 1969.

The marine riser buoyancy technology, specifically termed drill riser buoyancy modules (DRBM), for the next decade, achieved every new deepwater drilling record as depths reached up to 9,000 feet.

As such, Trelleborg was awarded a Pioneering Technologies Award at the 2015 Ocean Star Gala event in Houston, Texas. Awarded for its significant contribution to drilling technology for marine riser buoyancy, Trelleborg now joins a select group of companies in the prestigious Offshore Energy Center Hall of Fame.

Alan Burgess, president for Trelleborg’s offshore operation, said: “To be recognized for our pioneering work in the use of syntactic foam buoyancy in offshore drilling applications is a huge honour for Trelleborg. We were responsible for innovating the use of syntactic foams for marine buoyancy applications and these are still widely used in today’s most demanding offshore drilling applications. We are very proud to be the only syntactic foam buoyancy manufacturer to be invited into the Offshore Energy Center Hall of Fame.”

Established in 1989, the Offshore Energy Center is dedicated to increasing awareness of the energy resources available beneath the world’s oceans and to record the unique heritage and technological accomplishments of the industry that discovers, produces, and delivers these resources.

The Pioneering Technologies Award recognizes important technologies and the development of those technologies by individuals, companies, organizations and institutions in the fields of offshore technology. The centre’s Hall of Fame recognizes people and technological innovations that stand out in the development of the offshore industry and its resources.

To find out more about Trelleborg’s offshore operation or any of its products, visit

Using advanced polymer material technology, Trelleborg’s offshore operation provides high integrity solutions for the harshest and most demanding offshore environments. As part of the Trelleborg Offshore & Construction Business Area of Trelleborg Group, Trelleborg’s offshore operation specializes in the development and production of polymer and syntactic foam based seismic, marine, buoyancy, cable protection and thermal insulation products, as well as rubber-based passive and active fire protection solutions for the offshore industry. Within its portfolio are some long established and respected brands including, CRP, OCP, Viking and Emerson & Cuming. Trelleborg’s offshore operation has been providing innovative solutions to the industry for over 30 years.


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