B.E. Wedge's expertise has seen it called upon to play a part in a major oil exploration project that is aiming to tap into vast underwater reserves off the west coast of Africa.
The Willenhall-based plant, part of Wedge Group Galvanizing, galvanized almost a tonne and a half of steel used to create a number of pipe flanges that will connect pipelines carrying oil as part of petrochemical giant BP’s FPSO PSVM scheme in waters just off Angola.
The 12 flanges, each weighing approximately 115kg, were produced by HPF Energy Services, a UK firm that specialises in supplying precision components to the oil, gas, petrochemical and power industries, who were tasked with providing the equipment due to its long-standing relationship with BP.
“One of the main contractors for the FPSO PSVM project is based in Singapore, but due to their difficulties in sourcing the particular flanges required, we were asked to step in and help,” Andy Brazier, Group Export Manager of HPF Energy Services, explained. “Due to the time pressures involved, we required the flanges to be galvanized in a very prompt manner, and B.E. Wedge performed the task extremely well.”
“Because of the harsh, highly corrosive environment these pipelines and fittings operate in, galvanizing the steel is absolutely essential to help reduce the risk of rust and corrosion,” Lee Dickens, Commercial Manager of B.E. Wedge, explained.
The flanges will be installed as part of a FPSO (Floating Production Storage and Offloading) system that is used by the offshore industry to receive and process hydrocarbons, then store oil until it can be offloaded onto a tanker or transported via pipelines. The FPSO PSVM project is aiming to tap into four oil fields off Angola with waters ranging from 1,500 to 2,500 metres deep. It is hoped that once the venture is fully operational later this year, it will produce more than 157,000 barrels of oil a day.