North East subsea sector continues to invest

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The North East Subsea sector continues to invest in the expectation of future success, despite the oil prices continuing to fall.

GE Oil and Gas, the world’s largest offshore service company and owners of Wellstream, has opened a new innovation centre on Tyneside this year, demonstrating commitment to the region and the sector.

The new centre will test and qualify flexible pipes with a focus on research and development for the next generation in the ultra-deepwater, high temperature/high pressure fields to be developed.

Not far from the Wellstream Centre is the Neptune National Centre for Subsea and Offshore Engineering being developed for operational use next year.  It is being developed on the Shepherd Offshore-owned Neptune Energy Park after receiving £3m from the Higher Education Funding Council for England, matched with £2m from Newcastle University and £2m from members of Subsea North East.

The centre will include Europe’s largest test tank for testing subsea equipment at temperatures and pressures equivalent to those found in the deepest oceans.

Around a mile further upstream, Bel Valves is to start work on the £10m Neptune hyperbaric test centre, which will be the first commercial facility of its kind in the world – the other two are owned by the US and Russian governments.  The Regional Growth Fund is providing £5m funding for the centre and backing is being provided by Newcastle University and the North East Local Enterprise Partnership.

For more information, help or advice please contact Andrew Davison on 0191 211 7950.