BP’s Challenger Programme Delegates Visit GE Oil & Gas (UK)
On January 9, delegates from BP’s Challenger programme visited GE Oil & Gas’ Newcastle (Wellstream Flexibles) and Cramlington (PII Pipeline Solutions) facilities to learn more about local pipeline solutions delivered to global customers.
The “Challengers”—Robert Watts, Louis Doyle, Darius Kermani and Martyn Chapman, recent graduates who have now joined BP’s early career training scheme at various U.K. sites—were invited to visit GE’s centre of excellence for magnetic pipeline inspection in a bid to learn more about the work being done in preparation for the In-Line Inspection (ILI) of BP’s 36-inch North Sea CATS Pipeline.
“Opportunities like this are always fantastic for engineers in their early career so we are very grateful to GE Oil & Gas for giving us the chance to see the work done in the fields of pipeline inspection and flexible pipeline manufacturing. PII is one of our four big global ILI suppliers, so being able to learn from experienced professionals in various departments and seeing the tools is a great learning experience,” said Robert Watts, BP Challenger and subsea pipelines operations engineer. “I also hope this visit reflects BP’s commitment to pipeline integrity and ILI by reaching out to experts.”
The day began at the Cramlington site and combined classroom style presentations together with the more hands-on experiences of engineering demonstrations and meeting apprentices in the workshop and witnessing the MagneScan™ system in action in the pipeline pull-through testing yard.
“GE Oil & Gas is always excited to work with people in their early career, set to fill the engineering skills generation gap; especially customers, as it gives both parties the chance to learn about how the other operates. There are many similarities between BP’s Challenge programme and GE’s internship and apprenticeship scheme, so being able to share and work with those with similar goals is beneficial for all involved,” said Kevin Johnson, PII Cramlington site leader.
In the afternoon, the BP Challengers visited GE Oil & Gas’ facility in Newcastle where a presentation from engineering manager Peter Robson was followed by a tour of Wellstream’s subsea flexible pipe manufacturing facility. The visitors got the opportunity to see the two new 26-meter diameter, 3,000-tonne manufacturing and storage carousels recently built, to add to its existing 2,000-tonne capacity and 35-foot reels, which allow longer lengths and larger diameters of pipe to be held prior to shipping offshore in the North Sea from Tyneside.
Press Release, February 12, 2014