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Mick Dickinson foreman at Sheffield Forgemasters foundry finishing area stands amid the oilwell deck lift points being produced at Vulcan SFM We are the world experts in cast nodes according to Paul Mockford design director for Vulcan SFM the Forgemasters business unit that specializes in producing castings for fixed and floating oil production units including structural and heavy lift castings and mooring components tendon porch and deck stool castings insert nodes and pile lug cans

Sheffield Producing Massive Castings for Offshore Project

Aug. 19, 2013
Nearly $80-million contract, +160 metric tons Six fields being redeveloped, two new fields Components allow platform structure to be lifted, rotated

Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd.’s specialty offshore technology and project management division is designing and fabricating an oil-and-gas ‘jacket’ for an important project in Britain’s North Sea oil market.

Talisman Sinopec Energy U.K. selected Offshore Group Newcastle (OGN) for a £50-million (nearly $80 million) contract to design and fabricate the oil and gas ‘jacket’ – a steel support structure for an offshore platform support structure that is fixed to the sea-bed. OGN is specialty engineering and construction group for the offshore oil-and-gas industries, and it ass

Talisman Sinopec is redeveloping the Montrose, Arbroath, Brechin, Arkwright, Carnoustie and Wood oil fields in the North Sea, and developing two new fields, the Cayley and Shaw. The project gained U.K. government approval last October, and is forecast to extend the six oilfields’ life expectancy by 100 million barrels of oil.

OGN chose Vulcan SFM, the Sheffield Forgemasters unit, to design and produce four large-scale castings — two pad ‘eyes’, each weighing 27 metric tons, and two trunnion nodes, each weighing 55 metric tons. Vulcan SFM offers engineering expertise designing casting shapes to meet specific load cases and validated by finite element analysis.

The pad eyes and nodes will form high-strength, fatigue-resistant joints to connect the main leg and brace tubulars that form the jacket structure. These components will allow the massive 5,400-metric ton jacket to be lifted, rotated and installed on the seabed at its location in the North Sea - 130 miles east of Aberdeen, Scotland.

The jacket structure, nearly 120 m long, will support a 10,000-metric ton deck. It will be ready in spring 2014, with installation expected next summer.

Separate Assignment

Under a separate contract awarded directly by Talisman Sinopec Energy UK, Vulcan designed and manufactured four deck lift points – two castings, each weighing 35 metric tons, and two weighing 38 metric tons each, plus four forged pins and four cast sheaths for lifting and installing the deck on top of the jacket.

SFIL’s manufacturing complex at Sheffield, England, includes electric furnace melting and casting for ingots, foundry and forging operations, as well as and large-dimension machining capabilities.

The 10,000-metric tons/year foundry pours ladles of carbon or stainless steel up 100 metric tons, for products with maximum dimensions of 16X7.6X4.6 meters. Engineering, patternmaking, ultrasonic testing, and heat-treatment of finished products are done on site. It is able to produce castings weighing up to 350 metric tons. Its ASME certification has allowed SFIL to produce 16-metric ton castings for a reactor coolant pump for two new, Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear-power plants in China, and such castings will be included in all future AP1000 plants globally.

SFIL also has forging capabilities via a 10,000-mt press, with a fully integrated, 300-m metric ton manipulator; a 4,000-mt ton press with an 80-metric ton rail-bound manipulator; and a 2,500-mt press with a 50-mt rail-bound manipulator, and 8-mt mobile manipulator.

“We are the world experts in cast nodes,” Paul Mockford, design director of Vulcan SFM, said. “No other company in the world has our experience and knowledge of designing and manufacturing these complex safety-critical castings.

“Reliability and quality is critical in these situations and it is our unique track which means clients come to us for these components,” he continued. “These castings form an integral part of the structure and will need to function for the life of the structure in extremely harsh operating conditions.

Vulcan also will supply a 10-metric ton steel joint for the flare boom on the platform. The flare boom is a steel projection from the side of the platform that supports the flare burner, for flaring off excess gas safely.

The new platform will be linked by a bridge to the operator’s existing platform at Montrose, which processes well fluids from that field as well as the nearby Arbroath wellhead platform and subsea satellites.

About the Author

Robert Brooks | Content Director

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics, including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others. Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing — including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.

Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)