CNES builds 3000 tonne test rig for seamless steel pipe

Corus Northern Engineering Services (CNES) has manufactured a 3000 tonne hydraulic test rig for Oil States Industries (UK) Ltd; the rig will be used in China to test seamless steel pipe.

Corus Northern Engineering Services (CNES) has manufactured a 3000 tonne hydraulic test rig for Oil States Industries (UK) Ltd based in Aberdeen. The press is a complete tension compression test rig, which will be delivered to an Oil States customer in China, namely Tianjin Pipe Corporation (TPCO), who will use it to ensure its seamless steel pipe is fit-for-purpose.

Oil States Industries is a global provider of deepwater production products and subsea pipelines for the offshore and onshore oil and gas industries. The test laboratories at Aberdeen are accredited to UKAS ISO 17025 and have their own in-house designed 2000 tonne hydraulic press. However, in early 2007 the company designed a 3000 tonne version for TPCO.

CNES, which has considerable expertise in machine build and refurbishment, secured an order to build the new press in August 2007. The test rig was witness tested by TPCO at CNES' workshops in Scunthorpe and will shortly be delivered to China.

TPCO manufactures seamless steel pipe, used for a wide range of applications, including casing for oil well drilling, for transporting petroleum and natural gas, and for applications in the offshore, machinery, construction, electricity and aviation industries. These pipes need to be tested to international standards (ISO 13679) to ensure that they are fit-for-purpose and can withstand the very high tension and compression forces acting on them when in use. The new test rig replicates these forces.

Clinching the contract

The press itself measures 13m (L) x 2m (H) x 2.5m (W) and weighs just over 70 tonnes. John Backhouse, Business Development Manager Offshore & Energy at CNES, states: "We had a number of technical meetings with Oil States back in 2007. We did not offer the cheapest solution, but we certainly gave Oil States' engineers confidence that we could handle the project from a technical point of view. Our workshop facilities at Scunthorpe and our engineering expertise also helped sway the decision. There was also some very challenging machining and fabrication work to do and Oil States was happy that we could handle this."

Brian Shotter, Senior Test Engineer at Oil States, comments: "Having worked very closely with CNES over the last 12 months, I was very impressed with the quality of the machining and fabrication work on the test rig. Also, Corus' workshop facilities at Scunthorpe are very impressive and can easily handle large machining tasks such as this."

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