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Erikka Askeland

Erikka Askeland is the Head of Business at Aberdeen Journals

Balmoral unveils “industry firsts” at OTC

Balmoral Group has hailed an “industry first” as its subsea test centre carved deep into Aberdeen’s granite terrain nears completion.    A second pressure vessel - thought to be the largest in Europe - will be installed at the Balmoral Subsea Test Centre this summer. Supported by bespoke software, the test centre offers Balmoral and external clients the ability to monitor procedures from anywhere in the world. When complete the facility will offer close to 20 test vessels in total.   A smaller tank measuring 6ft x 23ft was installed in February, while the larger pressure test vessel which is nearing completion will measure 8ft x 29.5ft.   Jim Milne, chairman and managing director of Balmoral said: “These new additions complement the wide range of test vessels that were previously available for third party use. “The facility offers a comprehensive range of hydrostatic and mechanical test procedures supported by bespoke software that allows remote monitoring from anywhere in the world, an industry ‘first’.”   In another industry first, the firm has installed an elastomer manufacturing facility to produce 46ft polyurethane bend stiffeners that are used to add support to flexible pipes, umbilicals and cables.   Balmoral has developed polyurethane using only ‘safe’ polymers that avoid the use of highly toxic materials,    Balmoral’s technical team addressed the health and safety aspects of the industry by qualifying only ‘safe’ polymers that avoid the use of highly toxic materials and accredited by Bureau Veritas.   Fraser Milne, projects and engineering director at Balmoral Offshore Engineering, said: “Our new manufacturing facility will increase production capacity to meet market demands for this product.   “Balmoral products are put to the test in some of the toughest conditions in the industry. With much of our SURF-related products carrying BV certification to API standards, and a global track record that is second to none, clients can rest assured they are receiving not only the best product solution on the market but also the best possible technical advice available.”   Jim Milne said it was great to bring news of the company’s multi-million pound investment to OTC: “While the industry is consolidating for the future we have taken the opportunity to invest in our people and our technology.   “We are always seeking to maintain our competitive advantage in the market place and our commitment to technological improvement goes a long way towards that.”


Rovop director to head up US operations

A remotely operated vehicle (ROV) service provider based in Aberdeen has bolstered its US team after winning a raft of contracts worth around $19million (£15million) including a two-year deal with a Houston-based global company.   Rovop has appointed Euan Tait as president of the company’s US operations, while Katarina Tehlirian takes up the post of VP business development. Both will be based at the company’s Houston hub with Mr Tait taking over from Wayne Betts who is moving across to establish Rovop’ s operations in Brazil.   Mr Tait is a member of Rovop’s board and will continue his role as commercial director while heading up the US operations with the support of general manager, Neil Francis, in the western region   Ms Tehlirian, who joins the company from Subsea 7, has extensive business development experience in the US subsea sector and has previously worked with DOF Subsea and Canyon Offshore.   Steven Gray, chief executive at Rovop, said: “This is a great start to Q2 in 2017. The growth in our US team strongly positions Rovop for further growth in the region while the substantial new long-term contracts we’ve won demonstrates that, in a challenging market, our industry is changing and becoming more efficient, using technology and new working practices to lower cost and risk.   “As such, Rovop anticipates a record year in 2017 because our service and equipment is aligned with the future needs of the industry. While prolonged oil and gas market downturn is still hurting our industry, we believe there is much to look forward to.”   Rovop’s latest contract wins include a two-year deal with a Houston-based global oil & gas engineering company and a five-year contract with a European power cable installer. The firm has also secured a three-year contract with Centrica E&P to provide ROV services to the UK based oil & gas operator. The agreement will see Rovop support Centrica across multiple work scopes including drill support, decommissioning, and inspection, repair and maintenance (IRM).   In addition, Rovop is preparing to execute innovative platform-based asset life extension work for a UK operator to help boost hydrocarbon recovery.