Oil and Gas Seal Housings and Connectors


Oil and gas drilling and processing operations rely on the leak-free transfer of hydrocarbons, drilling muds, and other process fluids to optimize operating costs and minimize environmental impact. Drilling operators and service contractors require easy to use, adjust, and maintain process fluid transport piping systems as well as rapid erection, reliable drill through conductor, casing, and riser stacks.

Much of the complexity, time, and cost involved in the process ultimately comes down to the connections between piping and tubular assemblies. Mechanical Research & Design, Inc. offers several different rugged oilfield connector products that have been proven in the field over the last several decades to mitigate many of these concerns. 

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Drilling Overshot Seal Housing, Diverter Replacement Spool, Diverter Assembly Frame, Oil & Gas Seal Housing | Mechanical Research & Design, Inc., Manitowoc Wisconsin U.S.A.

Standard Features

• Most of our connectors come in a variety of materials and meet H2S and API® 6A/16A/16F drill through and maritime riser requirements, API® 64 well control requirements, offshore drilling riser coating requirements, cold temperature drilling requirements, and can include Design Verification Reports from DNV®, ABS®, Lloyds®, or many other independent third-party certification bodies.


• Many designs are equipped to deal with mud temperatures from -40° F to 280° F.


• Most drilling contractors prefer multiple seal configurations using our durable SEALFAST® inflatable or mechanical seals, which minimize down-time during drilling programs and minimize the chance of environmental spills (HNBR, NBR, and FKM elastomers available).


• Easy to change out and low maintenance – proprietary designs include removable inserts and plates for minimal service-time. Bolt-on and weld-on interface versions are available.


• Design pressure ratings vary from 10 PSIG for some bell nipple overshot seal housings, to 2000 PSIG for higher pressure-rated diverter overshot packers.

Mechanical Research & Design, Inc. | Innovation Redefined | Manitowoc Wi

Drilling Mud Containment Housings, overshot seal housings, and Packer housings

Primarily found on fixed base, jack-up, and other permanent offshore production oil platforms (particularly those with bell nipple systems), these single or multi-seal housings and connectors are typically de-actuated when running riser and conductor joints. The seals are then inflated/actuated once the stack is leveled and set to height. They are then used as mud containment seal housings. Due to the simplicity of the heavy profile inflatable seal cross-section, these housings offer quick height adjustments, eccentric stack-up allowance, and angular misalignment tolerance far exceeding most conventional connector systems.


These housings can be mounted under the drill floor or to under-deck structural beams, can integrate a full mud pan, as well as other process and flow lines necessary for managing mud elevations and quality during returns. These units are also ideal for use as weld or bolt-on adjustable low-pressure riser seal housings and diverter overshot seal housings.  They allow rapid height adjustment during diverter change-out

Common Applications

• Bell Nipple Overshot Seal Housings: General drilling mud collection and containment housings with integral mud pan; bleed, fill, trip, flow, and swarf lines/nozzles available upon request.

• Diverter Overshot Packer Seal Housings: quick and easy installation and actuation for high-pressure applications – can have integral flow lines to act as a t-spool for diverter stacks.

• Telescoping LP Riser Seal Housings: Best for use with telescoping low-pressure riser systems that require flexible height adjustment and large angular make-up requirements. Often referred to as telescoping riser seal housings or packer seal housings.

• General overshot seal housings and overshot packer seal housings

Mechanical Research & Design, Inc. | Innovation Redefined | Manitowoc Wi

Dynamic Seal Connectors- Conductor Unions and Slip Joints

These dynamic seal housings are often found on floating production oil rigs, barges, and on drillships. They are commonly paired up with our inflatable spherical packers on KFDS diverter systems or as conductor unions, allowing for the drilling stack to accommodate vertical displacement from standard wave and tidal action, as well as ocean swells. These units come with low-friction mandrels and specially formulated “wear rings” for maximum life.

Our inflatable and mechanical slip joint assemblies also come with all of the flexibility and adjustability that our static housings offer making them ideal for clients who want to set the drilling stack with ease and forget it.

Common Applications

• Conductor unions on floating rigs, barges, and drillships

• Dynamic telescoping seal housings for most drilling riser stacks

• Traditional riser stack slip joints

Mechanical Research & Design, Inc. | Innovation Redefined | Manitowoc Wi

Drilling Riser Reducer Housings & Adaptors

Often used as an alternative to reducing mandrel spools in bell nipple systems, our SEALFAST® Inflatable and Mechanical drop-in reducers give clients another way to manage various riser and conductor sizes needed for the multiple diverters and BOP stacks needed in some drilling programs. These units are a flexible solution to quickly reduce conductor, and riser sizes while maintaining full drill-through capability. These units can be designed for full hang-off and nozzle loads for the drill stack and can be paired with a mud box or housing that interfaces to the rig floor or underfloor structure. 

Common Applications

• Drilling riser reducer/adaptors and reducer housings

• Drilling conductor reducers and reducer housings

• Inflatable and mechanical dresser sleeves

Mechanical Research & Design, Inc. | Innovation Redefined | Manitowoc Wi

General Oilfield Connectors and Seal Housings

Available in a wide array of sizes and pressures, our housings can be used laterally, vertically, or on inclines. These units come with and without integral mechanical restraint for full nozzle load requirements. Our new, cutting edge, inflatable and spherical seal housing packers allow for the ultimate flexibility for your mud transport, drill through, or flow line requirements. 

Mechanical Research & Design, Inc. | Innovation Redefined | Manitowoc Wi

Advantages of the Sealfast® Active Sealing Design

• Redundancy – Most of our connectors can be designed for single or multiple seals, offering redundancy for safety and environmental controls while minimizing downtime during drilling programs. Our most popular options are two and three seal housings, and some of our designs do not require a halt in production to replace seals!

• Adjustability – Save time with adjustable riser and conductor systems by using our SEALFAST® inflatable seal housings. These housings can be used for static linear adjustments in riser systems for up to several feet/meters make-up. Our seals are also often utilized as dynamic sealing solutions as conductor unions or slip joints on floating rigs.

• Flexibility – Allows for maximum angular misalignment and eccentricity in stack-ups in conductor casing and drilling risers due to stack-up or rig tilt.

• Reliability – We formulate special elastomer compounds engineered for use with highly corrosive drilling fluids, H2S environments, and industry-leading maximum temperatures, coupling them with rugged, heavy wall, low-stress design seal profiles.

• Ease of Maintenance – Save time and money changing over to a SEALFAST® seal and avoid costly and hard to source hydraulic components found in our competitor’s products. No special tools are required to change out our inflatable seals and have been perfected for maximum ease of removal with our proprietary designs.  

Contact the team at Mechanical Research & Design today to learn more. 

• For Control Panels, Utilities, Turnkey Test and Operational Systems, please see our Controls and Accessories page.

Have Specific Requirements?

We specialize in custom solutions! Take a look at a few of our proven custom solutions or let us know your requirements. Our engineers and production staff are equipped to travel around the world at a moment’s notice to assist you with your needs!

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