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BALMORAL SUBSEA TEST CENTRE
 
THE INDUSTRY’S MOST COMPREHENSIVE, ACCESSIBLE AND COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE HYDROSTATIC AND MECHANICAL TESTING FACILITY FOR THE SUBSEA, RENEWABLES, DEFENCE AND OCEANOGRAPHIC SECTORS
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Balmoral Subsea Test Centre illustration
Hydrostatic testing

Substantial investment has been made in improving and expanding the Balmoral Subsea Test Centre which is now the most comprehensive commercially available hydrostatic test facility in Europe.

Upgraded vessels, 5, 20 and 40 tonne lifting cranes, remote monitoring software and procedures are in place offering independent testing for all types of subsea equipment to 7000msw (700bar) equivalent.

Standard tests include:

  • Uplift determination
  • Water ingress
  • Instrumented buoyancy loss
  • Hydrostatic compression and creep
  • Hydrostatic collapse
  • Bulk modulus
  • Buckle arrestment performance
  • Subsea controls testing
  • Valve testing

The hydrostatic vessels use air driven liquid pumps and can accommodate electric, hydraulic and instrumentation connections. Each vessel can be fitted with chart recorders, pressure and temperature data loggers that provide highly detailed results for analysis, while a computer controlled hydrostatic test system that automatically performs customisable tests using high capacity intensifier pumps via touch screen is available on vessels TC1, 2 and 3. This allows pressure and temperature data to be fed back to a networked server providing remote real-time test monitoring.

A pan and tilt subsea camera can be placed in the vessels to visually monitor tests when required.

Hydrostatic hyperbaric testing

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can you provide an overview of the test centre?

The Balmoral Subsea Test Centre is a fully comprehensive facility that carries out long and short term hyperbaric testing to pressures of 700bar as well as offering mechanical and submersion tests on all types of equipment from the smallest oilfield valve to the largest buoyancy modules. The facility includes overhead craneage of up to 40 tonnes.

What differentiates the Balmoral Subsea Test Centre?

Our pressure test vessels and digital analysis equipment allow customers and engineers to trial their products to extreme depths in a tightly controlled environment while monitoring procedures remotely via an online link.

Subsea products can be tested for a relatively short period of time and the asset owner can be confident that the results extrapolated will demonstrate how the asset will perform over a set period of time which could be up to 25 years – or longer.

What type of equipment is tested?

We test all sorts of offshore oil and gas equipment. From buoyancy modules to valves, engineering, mechanical and electrical assemblies, even portholes and pigging devices.

The centre is heavily used by companies working in the deep and ultra-deepwater sectors as well as those involved in exploration work.

Is the BSTC purely for internal use or can it be used by external organisations?

The centre is used predominantly for in-house product testing and R&D purposes. However, with 23 pressure test chambers available, supported by the mechanical and submersion test equipment, the facility is used by the offshore, petroleum, pipeline, drilling, decommissioning and oceanographic industries as well as military defence and academia.

What is the centre's key purpose?

To provide fully comprehensive subsea equipment testing that is accessible and available to a wide range of sectors. Mainly carrying out hyperbaric/hydrostatic testing to determine uplift, water ingress, buoyancy loss, compression, creep and collapse.

All BSTC staff are highly experienced and offer professional services, from enquiry to completion and follow up.

What is the geographic reach of the test centre?

Balmoral has been involved in the oil and gas industry since the 1980s and has always had an in-house research and test capability. However, the new centre has significantly expanded this offering meaning there is no requirement to send larger subsea equipment overseas, as has previously been the case. We test equipment from all over the UK, Scandinavia and mainland Europe.

What are the long-term prospects for the centre?

With greater emphasis being placed upon the move from fossil fuels to renewable energy – especially offshore wind, marine and tidal power – the test centre is more than capable of servicing these sectors so, in effect, it is future-proofed.

The centre is designed to meet the needs of the subsea community from hydrocarbon exploration to production, harvesting to decommissioning. As the UK energy mix evolves the Balmoral Subsea Test Centre will fulfil this requirement for many years to come.

CONTACT US TO FIND OUT HOW WE CAN HELP SOLVE YOUR CURRENT TECHNICAL CHALLENGE
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Balmoral Comtec Ltd
Balmoral Park, Loirston, Aberdeen AB12 3GY | +44 (0)1224 859000 | surety@balmoral.co.uk
Registered number SC301819

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