Flexible Network Forum to Visit Balmoral Offshore Engineering


Technology developed to harness the potential of the world's most challenging deepwater projects will come under the spotlight when a worldwide knowledge-sharing initiative comes home to Aberdeen this month.

Balmoral Offshore Engineering will host the latest in the series of Flexible Network Forums (FNF) which were set up by the Aberdeen office of advanced subsea technology company MCS to raise standards and generate cross-company relationships in the subsea community.

The event on June 17th, which will be led by Balmoral Group chairman and managing director Jim Milne, will look at technology designed to cope with hostile deepwater environments such as the Thunder Horse field in the Gulf of Mexico and Girassol, Angola.

It will include a tour of the company's design and manufacturing facilities followed by a round table discussion on the developments being made in the in this specific field.

Milne said, "I am sure this will prove to be a highly informative forum as many of our products are designed with major challenges in mind that call for extensive research in the flexible pipeline sector. The visit means that we can use the FNF to share our obtained knowledge with the industry, promoting future technological developments within the sector."

The Flexible Network Forum was set up three years ago to facilitate open discussion and sharing of lessons in the flexible pipe industry. The initiative has involved operators, contractors, manufacturers, suppliers and regulatory bodies across the North Sea oil and gas industry with events recently taking place as far afield as Perth, Australia, and Norway.

Michael O'Sullivan, managing director of MCS in the UK said, "We have had great global success with the Forum series which demonstrates the important role it has to play in our industry. We believe that by sharing knowledge, ideas and experience we can ensure that best practice is used within the industry, and technology which is key to the sector can be developed with the lessons learnt from around the world.

"The visit to Balmoral Offshore Engineering will further the dissemination of key industry knowledge for the benefit of the industry as a whole."

The 2009 program offers a comprehensive agenda for flexible pipe technology, including updates on current joint industry projects and HSE updates.

MCS has been directly involved in over 90% of the UK North Sea's FPSO projects involving flexible pipe. With over ten years' experience in developing and implementing integrity management strategies for flexible and rigid pipe subsea systems in the North Sea and internationally, the company has also been involved in writing the industry guidelines on flexible pipe integrity management and is currently running a Flexible Pipe Technology Joint Industry Project which, towards the end of this year, will result in new and significantly improved API standards for the specification, design, testing and manufacture of flexible pipe in the industry.

This will ultimately facilitate much improved integrity and the wider use of flexible pipe into the future. This extensive experience has positioned them as leading experts in integrity management strategies for subsea systems.

MCS, which recently joined the Wood Group of companies, has over 200 people working across offices in, Galway, Aberdeen, Houston, Rio de Janeiro, Perth, Paris and Kuala Lumpur.