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Forum Promotes Industry Collaboration on Flexibles

17 March 2009

The first meeting of the UK's Flexible Network Forum is being held today at Golfscape in Aberdeen.

A global initiative to promote shared knowledge of flexible pipe in the subsea sector, FNF was set up by subsea engineering company MCS, part of Wood Group's subsea and pipeline technology group.

This event, hosted by Wellstream, will focus on the challenges of high pressure and deep water in subsea developments.

The presentations from Andy Roberts, engineering manager of Wellstream and Michael O'Sullivan, MCS' new managing director in Aberdeen will cover two high pressure application programmes, along with materials and safety factors and the advances in what is needed in relation to getting acceptance, accreditation and testing for these critical elements of subsea equipment. “The purpose of the forum is to share and disseminate knowledge, ideas, experience and technology among companies so that the industry can ensure pipe integrity, while also looking at how the life of pipe can be extended,” explains O'Sullivan.

The Flexible Network Forum was set up in Aberdeen over two years ago to facilitate open discussion and sharing of lessons learnt in the flexible pipe industry, and has involved operators, contractors, manufacturers, suppliers and regulatory bodies across the North Sea oil and gas industry.

The Flexible Network Forum programme in 2009 offers a comprehensive agenda for flexible pipe technology, including updates on current joint industry projects and HSE updates.

MCS has been involved in over 90% of the UK North Sea's FPSO projects involving flexible pipe. With over ten years experience in developing and implementing integrity management strategies for flexible and rigid pipe subsea systems in the North Sea and internationally, the company has also been involved in writing the industry guidelines on flexible pipe integrity management and is currently running a Flexible Pipe Technology Joint Industry Project which, towards the end of this year, will result in new and significantly improved API standards for the specification, design, testing and manufacture of flexible pipe in the industry. This will ultimately facilitate much improved integrity and the wider use of flexible pipe into the future. This extensive experience has positioned them as leading experts in integrity management strategies for subsea systems.