Subsea buoyancy, insulation and elastomer product specialist, Balmoral Offshore Engineering, announced the opening of its new test facility during the annual Offshore Technology Conference in Houston.
The Balmoral Subsea Test Centre, located at company HQ in Aberdeen, offers a comprehensive range of procedures including hydrostatic, mechanical and laboratory testing and represents a multi-million pound investment for the company.
"Our R&D programme is continually developing new materials for use at increasingly greater depths and in high pressure/high temperature (HP/HT) environments", said Jim Milne, chairman and MD at Balmoral, whose company is exhibiting on the UK Pavilion.
"This outstanding test facility plays a significant role in our quest to lead the subsea buoyancy and insulation market in terms of product technology and materials development. We have vessels that can test to sea water depth equivalents of 7000m (23000ft)."
A custom-built pressure test vessel, ‘PV6', thought to be the largest commercially available unit in Europe, forms the centrepiece of the new centre.
Installed vertically with an internal diameter of 1.83m (72") an internal length of 9m (29.5') and a maximum operating pressure of 410bar (6000psi), the vessel is fitted with penetration flanges to allow the connection of hydraulic and electrical lines.
Other tests carried out at the all-new centre include uplift determination, water ingress, bulk modulus, compression and creep. All equipment is fitted with or linked to the latest software to provide highly detailed results.
"It is vital that subsea equipment performs as expected in the field", says Balmoral's engineering and projects manager, Fraser Milne.
"When deployed many of our products are the final link in the subsea chain and installers must have the confidence that the products are entirely fit for purpose. Using this industry-leading facility ensures through-life performance for the products achieving certification.
"As a company we are dedicated to cost effective technology-led solutions for the deepwater oil and gas sector and are pleased to offer the subsea test centre for third party use."
The announcement follows a recent decision by Balmoral to establish a manufacturing facility in Brazil.