UK: Aubin Launches New Integrity Management and Subsea Division
Offshore chemical engineering specialist Aubin has launched a new integrity management and subsea division in response to demand from the oil and gas industry.
The division will provide ground-breaking solutions to urgent challenges facing operators of aging offshore infrastructure both in the UKCS and internationally as well as permanent fixes.
Aubin recently helped resolve one operator’s major integrity issue in the leg of a North Sea platform by adapting its patented L gel technology to create an internal pipework sealant on an asset in record time enabling repair intervention following a serious breach in integrity.
It is also currently working with another operator to seal a breach in the external sheath of a riser in West Africa in an operation using a diver to apply its newly introduced sealant product AXI-cast. In both cases, Aubin has devised solutions within days and, in the North Sea case, also secured regulatory approval.
The new capabilities work alongside the company’s patented range of subsea chemical solutions, which have focussed on buoyancy as well as pipeline cleaning and repair.
A number of graduate chemists have been recruited to join the highly experienced Aubin team and investment in manufacturing capabilities is under way to support the integrity management and subsea divisions.
Paddy Collins, CEO of Aubin, said: “Many of the assets in the North Sea were built to last 25 years and are still producing well beyond their original lifespans. This inevitably brings with it integrity issues. Our range of products can provide a quick temporary fix if there is a leak in flexible (and rigid) pipework by creating a seal around or within a breach. We also have products that can offer permanent solutions.
“We have seen significant growth at Aubin through new projects and international expansion, and adding this new division was a natural step for us. We have long assisted many of our operators with integrity management solutions, and adding these new capabilities allows us to continue growing and reaching new markets.
“Our integrity management technology has been successfully applied and we anticipate a growing need for it as offshore assets continue to go beyond their natural planned lives. Our technology will provide a wide breadth of services to operators, as it can be quickly deployed or used as a preventative measure.”
Aubin is advancing its line of integrity products, including AXI-cast, which can be utilised in subsea repairs, along with AXI-Lokk and AXI-gard, which are used for corrosion mitigation and plugging. The company is able to precondition pipelines to then utilise its gel solutions, saving additional time and cost to operators. Following use of the technology in the North Sea, an additional scope of work has followed.
The range of integrity products has been designed to work at temperatures up to 120°C with tailored specific gravity selection to suit breach location.
The new integrity technology joins Aubin’s existing roster of subsea capabilities. Using its expertise in buoyancy gel operations, the company is currently engineering an ROV-operated subsea lifting system, which can also be deployed topside from a vessel for diver operations and lifting large sections of infrastructure.
Aubin has perfected its DeepBuoy technology, which involves low-density liquid gel being pumped to bags attached to an infrastructure to buoy the materials and move them, creating a transferrable underwater lifting system.
The company’s new developments follow a £2.25million investment earlier this year from the Business Growth Fund. Aubin has recently welcomed new members of staff including a business development director, and has plans for continued recruitment as it continues to grow in new markets in Russia and the Middle East.
Press Release, July 02, 2013