Ashtead Strengthens Aberdeen NDT Team

Subsea equipment specialist Ashtead Technology has announced the appointment of Scott Stephen as its new Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) sales manager.

2017 08 03 104258Based at the company’s headquarters in Aberdeen, Scott will be responsible for business development and general sales and rental of NDT equipment and accessories, including phased array, ultrasonic flaw detection, corrosion mapping, eddy current flaw detection, hardness testing, composite inspection and thickness management.

Scott joins Ashtead from RSL NDT where he held the role of UK manager and was previously with Euro NDT as general manager, both based in Aberdeen.

The move comes as the independent firm, which has facilities in Aberdeen, London, Abu Dhabi, Houston and Singapore, recently gained certification from the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) for the calibration of NDT equipment and has expanded its NDT equipment rental fleet.

Allan Pirie, chief executive of Ashtead Technology, said: “At the beginning of 2017 we mapped out growth plans for our NDT department and Scott is very much part of that strategy. We’re delighted to welcome him into the team and look forward to pushing forward with our plans, particularly having also recently secured further UKAS accreditation.

“We continue to strengthen our team and our collaborative network of suppliers in order to offer the most reliable, innovative and cost effective equipment solutions to our customers.”

Having previously gained UKAS accreditation for the calibration of survey, positioning and oceanographic sensors, this most recent approval also covers the delivery of calibration services for ultrasonic testing equipment used by NDT inspection companies.

From its state-of-the-art laboratory in Aberdeen, Ashtead provides calibration services to the internationally recognised UKAS standard 17025. All calibrations are carried out by qualified, trained engineers in accordance with all major equipment manufacturer specifications.

Founded in 1985, Ashtead is the world-leading, independent subsea equipment solutions specialist providing rental and sale of survey, ROV and NDT equipment, engineered measurement solutions, offshore personnel, training, calibration, repair and maintenance and equipment management solutions. Positioned at the forefront of technology and innovative solutions, Ashtead strives to provide a one-stop-shop for cost effective solutions to maximise performance with high quality service and delivery.


Extensive decommissioning programme begins at world-scale petrochemical sites

Work is underway to clear a suite of redundant assets in the North East of England, in one of the UK’s largest projects of its kind.

World-leading petrochemical firm SABIC has appointed specialist consultancy RVA Group to oversee the decommissioning, demolition and dismantling of 10 plants at its North Tees and Wilton sites.

With work having already commenced in the two locations, the multi-million pound programme is expected to be completed in 2020.

The more immediate programme involves the demolition of a Jetty, which will begin at the end of July and be cleared in eight weeks. Continued decommissioning support is being provided for a tank farm complex and RVA is also finalising the contractor selection process for the demolition of two Aromatics plants, with a proposed mobilisation date of January 2018.

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Elsewhere in Wilton, the 48-week demolition of SABIC’s Olefins 5 Furnaces and neighbouring Butadiene 2 facility is already in progress and expected to be completed by the spring of 2018 and the close of 2017 respectively. 

Home to some of the most iconic industrial structures in Teesside, these two sites have transformed raw oil refinery materials into an array of chemical products, for almost half a century. But this is not the end of the SABIC story in the North East, as the organisation’s Site Director (acting) Daren Smith explains: “With the two-year upgrade of our cracker plant now complete, this current multi-million pound clean-up signals the latest chapter in the creation of safe, efficient and state-of-the-art facilities that are fit for the future.”

Whilst RVA is no stranger to projects of this scale – having overseen the three largest decommissioning and dismantling projects ever executed on Jurong Island, Singapore, for instance – this is the biggest assignment the team has seen undertaken in the UK.

“The portfolio of assets being cleared as part of this extensive programme is vast,” elaborates RVA’s managing director Richard Vann. “We’re talking a range of world-scale chemical plants made up of complex structures, surrounded by live plant, in a multi-user operational site. This is an inherently demanding project but unparalleled planning has been invested to prepare for this phase of works.”

With more than 25 years’ experience in this field and having worked for six other firms on Teesside, RVA was first appointed by SABIC in 2011 to review all redundant assets on the two sites. Drones were deployed for selected areas to meticulously inspect the condition of the various structures, before a rigorous, scheduled decommissioning strategy was developed to meet the operational, isolation and budgetary needs of the client. 

RVA was appointed via competitive tender to act as the decommissioning consultant, project management resource and CDM Principal Designer, for this latest phase of the project.

“Some of the elements we’re working with here, have not been in use for some time. By cleansing the site of assets that are no longer adding value – we’re paving the way for SABIC’s future operations in this industrial heartland of the UK.”

Six RVA personnel have a full-time presence on the two sites, with visiting roles from three additional senior managers. The collaborative assignment is also being carried out in conjunction with SABIC’s own project management team, plus surveyors, dismantling and demolition contractors who are being independently appointed via tender for each individual phase of work.


Clariant launches non-triazine H₂S scavenger SCAVINATOR(™)

Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, introduces an alternative to triazine H2S scavenger chemistry with substantial benefits for oil producers. New SCAVINATOR increases overall production with less downtime due to its best-in-class solids control and reduced potential for mineral scaling.

2017 08 03 102836SCAVINATOR is a water soluble scavenger for removing sulfide species from both gases and liquids and used to control hydrogen sulfide. It can be applied in batch form (contact tower) or continuously injected into pipeline streams.

  • Less downtime due to best-in-class deposit control; minimal pH impact & associated mineral scaling
  • Scavenging efficiency comparable/superior to triazine

Unlike triazine, SCAVINATOR does not have a propensity to produce solid reaction by-products, as demonstrated by numerous lab and field trial performances. In addition, it has a minimal impact on pH, which reduces associated mineral scaling. This combination of benefits enhances production and minimizes downtime linked to pipeline cleaning and solids’ removal.

SCAVINATOR’s performance is field proven. Several extended trials and applications conducted with large producers in the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas demonstrate its effectiveness in both direct injection and contact tower applications, with no impact on fluid separation.

Jon Rogers, Global Head of Oil Services at Clariant, comments: “SCAVINATOR was designed in response to our customers’ need for a H2S scavenger as fast acting as triazine but without the solids and high pH issues associated with triazine-based H2S scavengers. The result is cost effective scavenging and increased production system uptime.”

Clariant Oil Services is participating at the 3rd Annual Production Chemicals Optimization Conference from June 28-29, 2017 in Houston, Texas, USA where additional information on SCAVINATOR will be provided. Clariant is also the official sponsor of the Pre-Event Training Course. The presentation by Dr. Grahame Taylor, Clariant’s Global Innovation Manger for Hydrogen Sulfide Scavengers, titled “The Use and Essential Properties of H2S Scavengers”, will include further details on the benefits of the SCAVINATOR product.


Clariant is a globally leading specialty chemicals company, based in Muttenz near Basel/Switzerland. On 31 December 2016 the company employed a total workforce of 17 442. In the financial year 2016, Clariant recorded sales of CHF 5.847 billion for its continuing businesses. The company reports in four business areas: Care Chemicals, Catalysis, Natural Resources, and Plastics & Coatings. Clariant’s corporate strategy is based on five pillars: focus on innovation through R&D, add value with sustainability, reposition portfolio, intensify growth, and increase profitability.

Clariant Oil Services is a leading provider of chemical technologies and services to the oil, pipeline and refineryindustries. A global business with headquarters in Houston, Texas, Clariant Oil Services is represented in all major oil and gas locations. From deepwater exploration to refining, Clariant Oil Services provides chemical products and services designed to reduce customer costs, decrease operational risks and improve production efficiency.

Clariant Oil Services operates state-of-the-art R&D and applications laboratories in the United States, Scotland, Germany, Brazil and Indonesia, as well as an environmental testing laboratory in Norway. Clariant Oil Services’ industry experience is supported by a dedicated global technical services network, providing a unique position from which to address and resolve customer challenges anywhere in the world, now and in the future.


Forum to Improve Management of Health, Safety, Environment and Performance in the North Sea

Official Launch of New Oil & Gas Industry Resource

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A who’s who of oil and gas industry figureheads will be presenting at a forum in Aberdeen which aims to attract the next generation of leaders who will steer the North Sea to sustainable success.

Paul Warwick, Colette Cohen, Gunther Newcomb, Chris Bird and Professor Alex Kemp are among the esteemed panel of speakers at the event.

The forum, sponsored by Brodies, has been organised to mark the official launch of a new electronic resource for the oil and gas industry. Thanks to industry experts in their field and academics, Encompassing the Future: Offshore Oil and Gas Operations pulls together 40 years of inter-disciplinary knowledge and experience in environmental, health and safety and performance management. In an electronic format, which can be easily accessed and transferred to the next generation, the ten volumes will be an essential knowledge bank to ensure that the industry does not leak the expertise and experience from the loss of key personnel.

Welcomed by industry, government, academia and regulators, the resource will be fundamental to the sustainable future of the North Sea and in promoting the expertise and knowledge honed from this basin to other provinces around the world.

An ICOE (International Centre for Oil and the Environment) initiative, this knowledge repository will help future leaders deal with the challenges of oil price volatility, technological innovation and the loss of experienced personnel.

William Cairns, executive chairman of ICOE and editor-in-chief of the resource, said: “This much anticipated project distils, records and shares intellectual and operational expertise in a format for the digital age. The forum has been organised to introduce the industry to the concept and to provide a unique learning platform on key topics contained within the resource. Delegates will get to hear first-hand from the section editors on the valuable content and how it can be used to improve decision-making in the future. This is therefore a must-attend event for tomorrow’s leaders of our industry.”

Clare Munro, Head of Energy & Infrastructure at Brodies LLP, said:  “Brodies is committed to supporting the oil and gas industry and we are delighted to be sponsoring the ICOE’s launch. It has been a challenging time for the sector and this resource demonstrates the importance of working collaboratively to share knowledge and expertise and create a sustainable future for the industry. We’re working closely with clients on a number of the key themes highlighted in the resource, particularly around decommissioning, and it will provide valuable insight on extending the life and commercialisation of the UKCS.”

The launch will be hosted by Sir Ian Diamond and held on 3 August 2017 at Aberdeen University’s Kings College Conference Centre with a keynote address from the Scottish Minister for Energy, Paul Wheelhouse, MSP.

During the launch, guests will be given an overview of the thinking behind the project, the challenges currently facing the sector and how this knowledge bank can help meet these through new thinking, the retention and transfer of expertise and the collaborative imperatives between industry and universities.

The forum will then kick-off with a plenary session, chaired by Colette Cohen, chief executive of the Oil & Gas Technology Centre. This session will cover innovation and technology, integrated HSE management, the cause and effect of major incidents, managing risk, technological developments, the routes to management through apprenticeships and graduate education.

The afternoon round-table session, moderated by Willie Reid, director of the Oil & Gas Institute at Strathclyde University will feature the editors of the ten volumes of content in the resource. This includes evolving practice and legislation in environment, health & safety, economic impacts and outlook, future environmental protection measures, technological developments in operations and drilling, subsea technology, decommissioning, comparative risk management and achieving HSE best practice in corporate management.

Registration for the event costs £99 and tickets can be purchased through the University of Aberdeen Conferences and Events booking site;


M2 Subsea awarded internationally recognised DNV-GL certifications

MSubsea, the global independent provider of ROV services, has been awarded a raft of industry certifications from DNV-GL for its management system standards, just seven months after starting up.

2017 07 28 093910The Aberdeen-headquartered company received two of the internationally recognised ISO certifications for its quality management systems, both to the latest 2015 standards. The ISO 9001: 2015 promotes the adoption of a process approach and underpins M2 Subsea’s commitment to consistency, continual improvement and customer satisfaction. The accreditation was awarded following an independent assessment of M2 Subsea’s quality management.

The ISO 14001: 2015, which is aligned with the 9001: 2015, sets the requirements for environmental management systems. The accreditation covers business areas including operations, leadership, planning and support to ensure the company meets all environmental objectives as part of its daily operations.

Mike Arnold, chief executive officer of MSubsea, commented: “We are thrilled to have achieved a number of DNV-GL accredited certifications, only seven months after MSubsea was launched. The certificates are a huge testament to the quality of work our teams have already provided and our continued efforts for improvement.”

MSubsea also received the OHSAS 18001: 2007 certificate which is an internationally recognised standard for Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) management systems. The certification supports businesses in implementing the policies, procedures and controls required to achieve the best possible working conditions and workplace health and safety.

Mr Arnold continued: “Safety and environment is one of our core values and is always at the forefront of our operations. We achieve this through management, training, processes and a passion to deliver. To be able to assure our clients with an official accreditation is fantastic news for MSubsea.”