Why Are Oil and Gas Trees Called Christmas Trees?
15 December 2017 – No Comments
The ‘Christmas’ or ‘XMAS’ tree can be used both on the surface or subsea in oil and gas operations.
Since the 1950s, subsea trees have been topping underwater wellheads to control oil and gas flow to the surface.
To find out more about the AQUASIGN fixing recommendations for trees both onshore and offshore please visit our Trees page.
Trees are vital pieces of equipment for oil and gas projects. They are used for not only extraction, but also for water injection or disposal and gas injection. As well as controlling production, trees are also used as a hub for testing, servicing, regulating and choking an oil or gas stream.
Subsea and surface trees are an assembly of valves stacked on top of each other, with various spools, pressure gauges and chokes around the valves to control production and flow. The various pieces of equipment decorated around the arrangement of valves gave rise to trees being compared to Christmas trees. No tinsel, no baubles, simply lots of useful controls to embellish a group of valves, and perhaps a bit of a disappointment for anyone expecting a star at the top.
Oil and gas trees are stars in their own right for controlling and troubleshooting any issues while oil and gas are being extracted. Without these trees and associated controls, oil and gas extraction wouldn’t be as well managed and safe as it is today.
If you would like to discuss the requirements for your own trees please contact the AQUASIGN team for more information.
Christmas Tree Facts
- The first subsea tree was installed in 1961
- Trees can be both horizontal and vertical.
- They can be used in both shallow and deep-water operations.
- Tree designs would be dependent on water depth, temperatures, pressure and expected flow.
- The deepest subsea trees have been installed Brazil and in the US Gulf of Mexico, in waters measuring up to 9,500 feet deep.
- Trees are tested to withstand the pressures of water that is 10,000 feet deep.
At AQUASIGN we have a section of our website dedicated to trees and what markers and signage is required. Visit our page to read the suggested fixing method, sign type that recommend as experts in the field of subsea marking solutions.
Or contact our team if you have any questions or require any additional information.