Magma Global brings m-pipe to the offshore forefront

Posted on 27 Aug 2013 by The Manufacturer

Portsmouth manufacturer Magma Global has patented a product aimed at harvesting the planet's resources more safely and efficiently.

The company has patented m-pipe, a product designed for the offshore market that has already taken in £15m worth of orders from overseas.

The firm’s manufacturing facilities allow m-pipe, which is resistant to corrosion and fatigue, to be produced in discrete lengths up to 90ft (27.4m), restricted only by transportation.

Over £5m of this was added to its order books recently at May’s Offshore Technology Conference and Exhibition in the US where Magma Global also launched another new product, s-pipe.

After a development crisis in 2011 due to resources being invested into its advanced testing facility, the company found support from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB).

The body provided an Advanced Materials grant through its Smart programme, in a move Magma Global director Charles Tavner believes was crucial to the company’s success.

“This allowed us to tackle an area of our process which we knew would make a vast improvement to the overall performance of our product, but was beyond the capacity of the business at the time,” he said.

He added: “The Technology Strategy Board’s support helped secure an influx of orders, and 80% of them are from overseas. Our main customers are Shell, BP, Exxon, Chevron and Total, but the most important one for me was a home order, the first order – it was the high point for me when we delivered a product to EnQuest, on a platform in the North Sea last Christmas Day.”

The company, set up in 2009, has taken on 75 new employees as a result of the growth in recent weeks, and currently employs 125 personnel at the manufacturing plant in Portsmouth and its offices in the United States.

With oil and gas supplies running out, the offshore industry has been forced to operate in deeper waters and more dangerous environments.

Only a few years ago, offshore operators needed to be able to drill 500 metres into the seabed, something that has recently escalated to over 2000 metres in areas off the coast of Brazil, West Africa and the Gulf of Mexico.

Mr Tavner believes this factor contributing towards a rise in costs will provide the biggest challenges for the industry in decades to come.

“The quest for oil and gas in ever deeper water is constantly driving up the cost,” said Mr Tavner.

This article was reproduced from the original on the Technology Strategy Board’s website: