NI’s Decom Engineering invest £250k in new Aberdeen base

Pipeline decommissioning specialist targets North Sea clients and issues Chopsaw Challenge

By Claire Cartmill
Wednesday, 26th January 2022, 2:00 pm
Decom Engineering’s business development manager Matthew Drumm and managing director Sean Conway at the firm’s new Aberdeen base
Decom Engineering’s business development manager Matthew Drumm and managing director Sean Conway at the firm’s new Aberdeen base

Northern Ireland’s Decom Engineering (Decom) have opened a new facility near Aberdeen to be close to clients operating in the oil and gas sector.

The pipeline decommissioning specialist has invested £250,000 to set up a base at Dyce near Aberdeen Airport – strategically located to be closer to North Sea oil and gas clients.

The 6,000 sq ft facility will be used for equipment testing and storage, hosting customer trials days, and it will allow faster deployment of Cookstown-based Decom’s assets to clients working in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).

To mark the expansion, Decom have issued a Chopsaw Challenge – promising that their machinery will cut through piping materials which may have defeated other cutting solutions.

Decom Engineering, chief executive officer, Sean Conway, said: “We are delighted to extend our footprint with this new Aberdeen presence, which adds to our existing capability in Holland and our headquarters in Belfast.

“This investment gives us a platform for significant growth in 2022 and beyond by offering more direct and speedier access to existing North Sea clients and a large number of potential new customers who operate in the UKCS and international oil and gas markets.”

Decom have already hosted a number of client open days in Aberdeen to showcase the capabilities of its cold cutting saws which can perform a ‘clean cut’ through 2-24 inch materials, including steel pipes with a range of problematic coatings.

Nick McNally, Decom’s operations director, continued: “We are encouraging companies which have redundant piping infrastructure, and who may have had problems sourcing an appropriate cutting solution, to get in touch.

“Our chop saws are capable of working in the harshest working conditions on varying pipe diameters and material composition. We are confident they are capable of clean-cutting through the most challenging materials, regardless of the coating the pipeline is encased in.”

Decom’s technologies have been deployed on international decommissioning projects where oil and gas operators have to replace or remove ageing subsea infrastructure and redundant assets.

A recent hat-trick of contract wins valued at more than £400,000 includes a six month campaign in the Gulf of Thailand on behalf of a global oil and gas operator in which Decom will undertake a 1000-cut programme to allow the removal of subsea pipelines in water depths of up to 100 metres.

Sean explained: “Even in the initial weeks of opening in Aberdeen we are enjoying a return on investment. Previously, we would have to hire premises to host technology demonstrations, but the clients visiting Potterton are benefitting from this greater flexibility which better suits their requirements.

“The ability to store our own equipment closer to clients’ operations and to have it at the ready for faster deployment is a real bonus, and it will be an important factor in building on our reputation as a reliable and responsive provider of decommissioning solutions.”

Visitors to Decom’s Aberdeen base can also witness first-hand how the firm’s other major business line – Pipe Coating Removal (PRC) – can offer substantial cost savings.

Pipelines which have been removed from the seabed would typically have a coating material which has to be removed if the pipeline is to be repurposed for use in other construction projects.

Sean added: “We can demonstrate on-site how ageing pipelines can be cut to order then stripped of multiple coatings in preparation for use on other construction projects. This not only reduces carbon emissions by limiting the transportation of redundant pipeline infrastructure, but it returns a value to the asset owner which often remains locked up in redundant and unwanted pipelines.”

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