22 March 2013

Stork Technical Services scoops third major industry award for hot bolt clamp technology

Stork Technical Services, the leading global provider of knowledge-based asset integrity management services for the oil and gas, chemical and power sectors, has won the ‘The Innovator’ accolade at this year’s SPE Offshore Achievement Awards for its industry-first hot bolt clamp technology.

The Innovator award honours excellence in innovative technological solutions developed in the UK for the offshore energy sector. Stork was presented with the award last night (21 March) at the 27th SPE Offshore Achievement Awards annual ceremony held at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre in the UK.

Erik-Jan Bijvank, SVP – UK & Africa for Stork Technical Services, said: “We are delighted to have won our third major industry award for the hot bolt clamp. This once again demonstrates our commitment to technology innovation and delivering our expert service offering in the most efficient and safe manner. I would like to personally thank our onsite machining & bolting team for their hard work and determination to develop and commercialise a product that delivers significant bottom-line benefits for our customers.”

Stork’s onsite machining & bolting team, led by general manager, Pete Sheves, developed the technology in direct response to safety concerns raised by Operators relating to instances of uncontrolled pressure releases due to stud failures and future potential releases due to severe stud corrosion.

The innovative and multi award-winning system enables the safe removal and replacement of corroded bolts on live flanged connections that have eight bolts or less, with no disruption to ongoing production. This removes the activity from planned or unplanned shutdown programmes thereby reducing downtime / shutdown, the ancillary services required (e.g. nitrogen purging) and the associated demands for additional bed space to cover the shutdown activities.

The technology allows an Operator to eliminate an identified threat of pressurised release almost instantly and improves the safety for offshore operatives and the asset as a whole by reducing the likelihood of hydrocarbon releases which can have a devastating impact offshore.

To date, in excess of 1,200 four bolt flanged connections have been reworked with a 100% success rate while fitting new studs to the relevant pipeline specification.

Fraser Coull, Operations Support Director for Stork Technical Services, said: “We are very pleased with the initial success of the hot bolt clamp; a technology which was taken to market less than a year ago. We have already established an impressive track record in the North Sea and I am confident our recent industry recognition will help us continue to grow our business on a global basis. ”