SPE’s Offshore Achievement Awards

May 28, 2013

Innovation in the offshore industry was one of the key themes at this year’s 27th Offshore Achievement Awards.

The event, supported by Offshore Engineer and held at the Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre, was successfully re-launched in 2011 by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Aberdeen section.

Ian Phillips, SPE board member and chairman of the OAA organizing committee, said: “The Offshore Achievement Awards are the pinnacle of the energy industry calendar and SPE Aberdeen is very proud to host this prestigious event.

“The caliber of entries we received this year was exceptional. Our judging panel, which comprised senior representatives from sponsoring companies and SPE Board members, faced some difficult decisions, particularly in the Innovator category, where the excellence of the entries led to two companies being declared joint winners along with another being highly commended.

“From all of the entries we have seen, it is clear that there is much to be celebrated in the offshore industry, from small companies creating a step change in safety through to huge global organizations that are producing the next generation of industry leaders,” added Phillips, also director of CO2DeepStore.

Malcolm Webb graduated from Liverpool University and is a lawyer by profession. He began his oil career with Burmah Oil in 1974 and held a series of senior roles for the British National Oil Corp., Charterhouse Petroleum, and PetroFina. He spent three years as director general of the UK Petroleum Industry Association before joining Oil & Gas UK in February 2004, where he has been closely involved in its major change process to make it the leading trade association open to all companies within the UK offshore oil & gas industry. He is a member of PILOT and the Fiscal Forum, the UK government/ industry bodies which aim to secure the long-term future of the UK upstream oil & gas industry, and of the Scottish Government’s Energy Advisory Board. He is also a director of the industry skills body, OPITO and chairman of Common Data Access Limited, which facilitates access to UK geo-technical data.

Aberdeen-based Axis Well Technology is an independent provider of well technology and reservoir development consultancy services. The company has built up a global portfolio of more than 100 clients with nearly 30% of sales overseas. It provides life-of-asset expertise in management, engineering and supervisory services, spanning the initial phases of field conceptual design to end-of-life abandonment operations. Axis recently set up two new divisions, subsurface and well integrity. Sales have almost trebled in recent years and operating profits increased about 50% in the past year.

Aberdeenshire-based ROVOP began ROV operations in 2011. It is currently providing support to jackups, specialized lay vessels and IRM activities. It has committed to £18m of new vehicles, as well as a £250,000 simulator to enable onshore project preparation, scenario planning and training. It has recruited more than 40 personnel in one year. From sales of £3million in its first year, the company is on target to achieve £10million this year. Managing director Steven Gray said: “This industry recognition is a great achievement for ROVOP, particularly in a year when many subsea companies have also enjoyed considerable success. Over the past 18 months, ROVOP’s business has grown significantly through a combination of investing in strong, skilled people and developing a cutting edge fleet of ROVs. We have pledged a further commitment of £15m over the next 18 months, which will see the purchase of hydraulic and electric ROVs, creating an additional 60 jobs.”

Graham Skinner is a trainee rig manager with Aberdeen-based KCA DEUTAG Drilling. He has worked through drilling positions from roustabout to toolpusher and has qualified as a risk manager and project manager. He is currently working in South Africa as a safety supervisor and will next join the Ben Rinnes jackup in Gabon as assistant rig manager. Graham is working towards his MSc in Drilling and Well Engineering, and serves as an SPE eMentor.

The “one-team” approach by theUK North Sea Gryphon Area Recovery Project Subsea Team, comprising Maersk Oil, Technip, Bibby, Fugro and Canyon, put safety at the heart of a major project. Visible leadership and effective collaboration achieved more than 500 days of subsea construction without a lost-time incident. The teams initial role, in response to storm damage to Maersk Oil’s Gryphon FPSO, was to establish a clear vision and a common purpose of safe construction in reinstating subsea architecture.

Aberdeen-based Online Electronics specializes in design and manufacture of pipeline pig monitoring equipment and pipeline data communications systems. Over 15 years, it has developed a range of more than 40 products and systems that have become industry standard. Building on its North Sea experience, global exports have increased 40% in the last four years with foreign markets now accounting for more than half of sales annually. It continues its own research and development and has hub operations in Dubai, Singapore, Australia, Houston and Brazil.

London-based Houlder and Southampton-based BMT Nigel Gee have developed a Turbine Access System for operations on offshore wind farms. It is a hydraulical, motion-compensated, lightweight gangway providing a stable point on the workboat foredeck. Designed to be retrofitted and used in up to 2m waves, it increases typical operability by 0.5m. The first system was successfully deployed on the Rhyl Flats wind farm. Houlder said: “Analysis from our sea trials calculated a potential annual upswing in workboat operability from 75% to 94% in typical wave conditions. This is based on proven safe access in 1.7m waves. The maximum TAS design parameter is over 2m significant wave height. At today’s workboat charter rates and energy prices, an increase to 94% working days on a site such as RWE’s Rhyl Flats wind farm equates to a yearly saving of up to £750,000 from workboat uptime and improved turbine operability.”

Aberdeenshire-based Red Spider’s full-bore ball valve is used during subsea completions. The e-Red-FB is permanently deployed as part of the tubing string. It is a computer-controlled valve that can be repeatedly opened and closed by remote command using a closedloop hydraulic circuit, powered and controlled by integrated electronics,with no connections to the surface. Operators can install well completions faster, eliminating the need for repetitive and costly interventions, saving about 36 hours per completion – or about $1.5 million per job. Red Spider was bought by oil services giant Halliburton earlier this year.

Corroded stud bolts seriously impact an asset’s integrity and unscheduled pressure releases can have a devastating impact offshore. This led to Holland-based Stork Technical Services developing a more sophisticated method of removing and replacing corroded bolts. Stork introduced the first Hot Bolt Clamp technology in 2012, with thousands of connections reworked in the North Sea, without shutdown and with 100% success.

Holland-registered Tendeka’s wireless gauge allows real-time flow and shut-in data to be transmitted to surface. The gauge has been successfully trialed in the North Sea. Through a unique tool design, a series of short pressure pulses are created using the energy of the well. These pulses are then decoded on surface to provide pressure, temperature, and well status. The gauge can be retrofit to existing wells, can optimize asset performance, reduce costs and is fully retrievable. It is equally effective in oil and gas wells, as well as water injectors. Edinburgh-based Web Rigging Services’ have developed a system for temporary underdeck access for fabric maintenance on offshore . The patented Web Deck combines modern, strong, lightweight materials and innovative design. In comparison to traditional, suspended scaffolding, the system has 87% fewer contact points and 75% less volume. The Web Deck is lighter and reduces installation time by up to 80%. OE


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