Intertek, a quality solutions provider to industries worldwide, has invested £1.2 million expanding its centre of excellence for corrosion testing services to meet growing demand for asset life extension solutions in the oil and gas industry.
The expansion, which has been driven by major new contract awards worth around £1 million, takes the total investment in the Manchester, UK, site to over £5 million since it first opened in 2008.
Originally consisting of two units with a total size of 10 000 ft2, the facility has been extended twice to meet rapidly growing demand for corrosion testing services, primarily from the oil and gas industry. Now covering 27 000 ft2, it is one of the world’s largest independent laboratories dedicated to corrosion testing.
Graeme Dicken, Business Manager for Testing at Intertek Production and Integrity Assurance, said, “We believe that our newly expanded facility is the largest of its kind in the world. The additional space will ensure that we can meet the increasing demand from clients to tackle the problems they are facing with respect to the use of materials and chemicals in extreme environments.
“Following the site expansion, we have large-scale bespoke test rigs to simulate specific environments and issues, providing clients with accurate data and solutions. The upgrade recently enabled us to conduct a pilot plant-scale flow loop and full pipe section subsea simulation studies. We have a proven track record of developing test methodologies and constructing novel equipment, which then become industry standard approaches.”
The site provides specialist laboratories for sour service, high pressure/high temperature, coatings and non-metallics, chemical treatment testing and particularly corrosion fatigue studies. In addition, the facility has been granted accreditation for two tests under the UKAS ISO 17025:2005 standard - a vital requirement for clients seeking sour service testing.
Corrosion is well reported to cost the oil and gas industry US$1.4 billion (£896 million) annually, with subsea, topsides and onshore equipment all vulnerable. Vital assets are increasingly expected to operate beyond their projected lifecycles, driving a rise in demand for the corrosion testing services that Production and Integrity Assurance offers.
Jim Palmer, Director of Intertek Production and Integrity Assurance, said: “With almost 40 years’ experience in advanced corrosion testing, technology development and research, our business is uniquely positioned to provide pan-industry advanced corrosion testing services. Our Manchester site employs 65 corrosion and materials specialists, offering a multidisciplinary resource at one location, supported by a team of internationally renowned experts.”
In addition to this investment in the Manchester centre of excellence, the business has an established international network of corrosion and production chemistry laboratories in Aberdeen, Houston, Kuala Lumpur, Abu Dhabi and Adelaide.
Edited from source by Elizabeth Corner