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Innovation Puts Hydratight Ahead for Subsea Service

03 February 2009

HYDRATIGHT'S specialist subsea operations have shown a 50 per cent rise in demand over the past year, thanks to innovative new products and services.

Though Hydratight is a relatively small cog in the overall subsea industry, it is widely recognized as an extremely important one — indeed Hydratight is the market leader in its field by a huge margin, with the most innovative equipment and service.

“We have always been at the forefront with technology and are constantly developing new technologies and services to complement an ever-changing sector,” explained subsea business manager Martyn Conroy.

Subsea fields are becoming more and more essential to national economies. The North Sea is arguably more important to the UK economy and way of life today than it was 30 years ago, and keeping the flow constant more crucial than when the fields first came online.

To ensure continuity and longevity of supply, more and more custom-made solutions are becoming essential, and Hydratight designers continually develop more efficient solutions to industry needs. The large jump in demand is a direct result of meeting essential needs with top-class responses.

“New, innovative uses of our expertise and technology have been central,” Martyn explained. “Our unique MORGRIP ® ball-and-taper, weldless pipeline connector technology is a good example; with diver and diverless MORGRIP technology now a global market standard in pipeline repair.”

Hydratight has signed a series of frame agreements with core subsea diving contractors, which effectively make the company the preferred supplier of subsea joint integrity related equipment for the region.

Over the past 18 months, Martyn and his team have been involved in a major push to change industry perceptions about Hydratight's expanding role as a full-service company rather than as an equipment provider

“It's not just about equipment but about personnel and technical service too,” Martyn confirmed.

From 24/7 technical and operational service to quick turn-around tool fit drawings and bespoke solutions, Hydratight Subsea has a major internal support structure dedicated to assisting clients.

“Each contract is fully serviced by a Hydratight engineer on-site. The client has one point of contact for all subsea joint-integrity needs. We have no competition in this offering, which is something we are very proud of.”

The subsea service is backed by a huge stock of subsea equipment — and investment is constantly being made in new technology and design. A new compact tensioner (AquaMAX) is due to enter service in February 2009, which will cater for compact and standard flange types, with maximum coverage of common flange types.

To maintain their number one position in the field, Martyn and his colleagues make presentations to prospective and existing clients around the UK at the rate of about 20 a month.

These hour-long “lunch and learn” events focus not on sales but on the latest technical developments and are open to anyone.

“We demonstrate best practice and the importance of correctly tightening nuts and bolts, and how they behave in different situations. And we show how incorrectly tightened nuts and bolts can have major safety implications," Martyn explained.

“New problems always arise and they mean new solutions need to be found. We simply work hard to stay ahead of everyone else; that's the major reason Hydratight has been so successful.”