Over its three and a half decades of experience of offshore and subsea structural integrity services in the North Sea, Oil States Barrow has widened its remit from an initial focus purely on its Hydra-Lok pile-swage connections to also offer downhole and caisson testing and repair services.
Operating out of Barrow-in-Furness, UK, Oil States Barrow has been involved in the offshore construction industry since 1979. The company was acquired by Oil States Industries of Arlington, Texas, US, in 1996.
In the early days, the company was entirely focused on Hydra-Lok pile-swage connections for small subsea structures. Hydra-Lok offers an alternative solution to traditional grouted connections between offshore jackets and driven foundation piles.
Over time, the company has expanded into the maintenance and repair of platforms as part of the asset integrity and sustainability push, in order to keep profitable assets in service. In achieving this, the Hydra-Lok swaging system has been adapted for the repair of corroded and damaged caissons on offshore installations, and downhole pressure testing and casing repairs.
Targeting regions closer to UK shores in the North Sea, Oil States Barrow has established a reputation in asset integrity as part of the 'mid-life' cycle of oil and gas platforms. The company assists with upgrade programmes for the main oil contractors - Shell, BP, BG Group, Talisman, TAQA, Apache and CNR, to name a few - in providing an upgrade service for critical elements of the daily operational and running requirements on the platform.
It also carries out programmes relating to caisson upgrades, which provide the water for the emergency services on the platform and also for cooling during drilling - the main activity for exploration and extraction on platforms.
To complement this, Oil States Barrow is able to provide the initial high-pressure cleaning and inspection of the caisson, a service imperative in verifying the condition of the caisson and damaged areas of concern - for example, through-hole perforations, wall thinning, pitting and severance of the caisson.
As part of the caisson removal upgrade programme, for the removal of caissons where repair is not possible, Oil States Barrow has been able to invest back into the company to provide its unique cold-cutting-methodology solutions for subsea and topside. The technique uses abrasive-water-jet cutting and clamshell cutting capabilities.
However, Oil States Barrow also provides the option to reinstate a new caisson to the actual size of the one that has been removed, making use of a unique connector make-up system that provides a high-strength, high-fatigue metal-to-metal seal contact.
Oil States Barrow is a unique company and very versatile in adapting to market expectations with in-house engineering resources; and design, development and workshop facilities, including test pit capabilities.
The company believes it is in a strong position to provide the oil and gas industry with a complete solution for offshore platform asset integrity - something that is imperative in a constantly changing market sector.
Currently, Oil States Barrow employs 56 people, of which a majority are qualified in assisting with the offshore operational activities of the above services. The company is continually chanelling investment back into itself in order to help realise its potential - expanding its premises and increasing the size of the workforce, with the long-term goal of being able to offer its services in other geographical regions.