23 Apr 2015

Intertek, a leading quality solutions provider to industries worldwide, has officially opened its newly expanded centre of excellence for corrosion testing services. The company has invested £1.2m in its Production and Integrity Assurance (P&IA) facility in Manchester, UK to meet growing demand for high-end corrosion and materials testing in the oil and gas industry.

The official opening was conducted by Dr Bill Hedges, Technical Authority for BP. Intertek has a long-standing relationship with the oil and gas operator, having provided consultancy and testing services for its global activities in the North Sea, North Africa and Gulf of Mexico.

Speaking about the impact of corrosion on the industry, Dr Hedges said: “Controlling corrosion in increasingly challenging production environments is of paramount importance to the oil and gas industry. Corrosion can be a notorious problem if not managed properly; it is time consuming and costly to remedy and impacts on safety and asset lifespan. By being able to identify and predict areas that are prone to corrosion issues and when these will occur, the industry is able to plan its maintenance and downtime activities more effectively. All operators face challenges with corrosion and expanding this centre of excellence will support improvements in this area.”

New contract awards worth over £1m won by the P&IA team in recent months include studies for major clients in the UK, Middle East and South East Asia. The work covers a wide range of technical areas, such as corrosion fatigue, pipeline wet layup simulations, corrosion in super critical CO2 environments, evaluation of corrosion resistant alloy sand non-metallic materials under high-temperature/high pressure conditions plus a range of studies related to corrosion inhibition. This has driven the site expansion which now covers 27,000 sq ft and is one of the world’s largest independent laboratories dedicated to corrosion testing.

Graeme Dicken, Business Manager for Testing at Intertek P&IA, said: “Corrosion is an important issue for the oil and gas industry, reportedly costing $1.4bn (£896m) annually, with subsea, topsides and onshore equipment all vulnerable. With asset life extension a key focus for the oil and gas industry, vital assets are increasingly expected to operate beyond their projected lifecycles driving a rise in demand for our experience providing advanced corrosion testing, technology development and research services.

“We would like to thank Bill for joining us today and sharing his experiences as we open the new laboratory. We have forged very strong relationships over the years with several major oil and gas operators, including BP. As a result of our collaboration on numerous projects over several decades, we have worked closely with the company to define ‘industry-standard’ testing protocols. We have a proven track record of developing test methodologies and constructing novel equipment, which then become industry-standard approaches.

“We have already seen the benefits of the investment, recently conducting a pilot plant-scale flow loop and full pipe section subsea simulation studies. The new facilities also include large-scale bespoke test rigs to simulate specific environments and issues, providing clients with accurate data and solutions.”

In addition to the expansion the facility has been granted accreditation for two tests under the UKAS ISO 17025:2005 standard - a vital requirement for clients seeking sour service testing.

Jim Palmer, Director of Intertek Production and Integrity Assurance, said: “Our Manchester site employs 65 corrosion and materials specialists, offering a multidisciplinary resource at one location, supported by a team of internationally renowned experts. In addition to this investment in the Manchester centre of excellence, the business has established an international network of corrosion and production chemistry laboratories in Aberdeen, Houston, Kuala Lumpur, Abu Dhabi and Adelaide, which has significantly extended our global reach.”

About Intertek

Intertek is a leading quality solutions provider to industries worldwide. From auditing and inspection, to testing, training, advisory, quality assurance and certification, Intertek adds value for its customers by helping improve the quality and safety of their products, assets and processes. With a network of more than 1,000 laboratories and offices and over 36,000 people in more than 100 countries, Intertek supports companies’ success in the global marketplace, by helping customers to meet end users’ expectations for safety, sustainability, performance, integrity and desirability in virtually any market worldwide. Visit www.intertek.com.

Sales enquiries:

Graeme Dicken
Business Manager for Testing
Production and Integrity Assurance
Email: graeme.dicken@intertek.com  

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Kathryn MacKenzie
Account Manager
The BIG Partnership
Email: kathryn.mackenzie@bigpartnership.co.uk