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Collaboration to develop next generation solutions for deep water transfer of subsea oil and gas

07 April 2011

British firms develop cutting-edge technology to tap estimated Total Addressable Market of US$13.9 billion pa

Martin Jones, CEO, Magma Global Ltd. (left) and Dr. Geoff Small Technical Program Manager, Victrex Polymer Solutions (right)
Martin Jones, CEO, Magma Global Ltd. (left) and Dr. Geoff Small Technical Program Manager, Victrex Polymer Solutions (right)

Victrex Polymer Solutions, a division of Victrex plc, a manufacturer of polyaryletherketones, and Magma Global Ltd. have signed a collaboration and exclusive material supply agreement that will enable the two companies jointly to address the increasingly harsh and aggressive environments that deeper subsea oil and gas extraction is demanding, where existing technologies are starting to break down. This new collaboration between two British companies showcases the capabilities of British innovation. Both Magma and Victrex are widely recognised in the oil and gas industry for their strong technical backgrounds and commitment to innovation. Magma specialises in developing next generation risers, jumpers, spools and flow-lines for the sub-sea oil and gas industry for deployment in demanding, deep water and high pressure, high temperature (HPHT) operating environments.

“We believe with the development of our carbon polymer pipes we can deliver risers and flow-lines that can offer significant performance improvements over incumbent technologies in all key areas, especially weight, fatigue and long term reliability. This enables us to significantly increase safety factors and decrease the risk of deep water subsea extraction of oil and gas,” said Martin Jones, CEO at Magma Global. “Securing agreements and working closely with key suppliers, such as Victrex, are important factors in enabling us to bring our industry-leading products to market.” With oil and gas in scarce supply, the offshore industry has been forced to operate in deeper water and more aggressive, demanding subsea environments. Existing technologies and materials struggle to cope in these new, harsh operating environments, creating a gap in the market for risers and flow-lines that enable the safe and efficient transfer of sub-sea oil and gas. According to estimates by energy business analysts, Douglas-Westwood, subsea pipelines will account for more than 50% of the US$139 billion capex spend on subsea hardware over the next five years, amounting to US$13.9 billion pa over the period.

Dr. Geoff Small Technical Program Manager at Victrex said, “We are working very closely with the engineers at Magma to develop and produce a product exclusively for Magma's application.” Ten years ago, the distance that offshore operators needed to reach the sea bed was typically around 500m. Now, it is in excess of 2000m off the coast of West Africa and in the Gulf of Mexico, while off the coast of Brazil it is up to 3000m, and in the future there will be a requirement to address depths of 4000m. In the Arctic, off Greenland, the depth is 2000m, but the extreme cold presents a whole different set of challenges. 

Martin Jones added: “As the offshore industry is required to move to more aggressive and demanding operating environments, technology will play a leading role in the drive to improve efficiencies and increase safety surrounding the recovery of oil and gas,” Dr. Small said, “and Victrex will continue to work with innovative companies, such as Magma, to develop successful material solutions to overcome the challenges that the industry faces. The selection of the correct material will be a key component towards this goal.”

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