Subsea Flexible Pipe Specialist Boasts Apache Contract Extension

Leading flexible pipe specialist flexlife has secured additional subsea engineering support work with Apache North Sea to double the value of the original contract awarded earlier this year.

The extra work brings the total value of the contract to nearly £5million over three years with the option to extend to five years.

flexlife's original deal covered all subsea engineering and operational pipeline support on Apache North Sea's assets and the company will now be involved in the operator's new subsea developments.

flexlife director of projects John Marsden said, "Our work with Apache North Sea was a first for us and took us in a new direction with the development of the subsea engineering side of the business. We had hoped to prove ourselves quickly and increase the scope of our remit to supporting their ongoing operational work and we are delighted we have achieved that aim.

"Apache North Sea is a very important client to us and this is an extremely significant development for flexlife. We added five experienced subsea engineers to our team to work with them and are now in the process of trebelling that number to at least 15."

flexlife also was awarded long-term integrity management contracts with Maersk and CNR earlier this year, again for three years with options to extend to five.

Mark Richardson subsea projects manager at Apache North Sea said, "The subsea operational support provided by flexlife to Apache has been completed aligned to Apache's goals and objectives. The early successful implementation of this support combined with a significant increase in our subsea development opportunities has seen flexlife rapidly expand to meet our requirements without diluting the philosophy of execution. The relationship, although in its infancy, is proving to be a winner."

flexlife was formed in April 2007 and recorded turnover of £3million in its second year in business. The team has more than doubled in size to just over 20 people in the last year and growth in sales of around 70% is predicted for 2009/2010, primarily through work in the North Sea and Brazil.

flexlife also offers integrity management services with its breakthrough patented scanning technology -- the first to be able to successfully scan flexible risers in situ. The application can scan for a flooded annulus and flexible pipe armour wire corrosion, factors which significantly affect the service life of flexible risers commonly used on floating production vessels (FPSOs).

The tool is ROV-deployed and can operate down to 6,000metres, helping to extend the lifespan of flexible pipes and minimise additional cost, personnel and environmental impact for clients. flexlife is currently working on commercializing the next phase of the technology -- permanent monitoring collars that can be fitted to all new and existing flexible risers.