Sheffield Forgemasters awarded £5.5m for offshore steel castings

Sheffield Forgemasters is to supply steel castings to the first major offshore oil industry development in two years.

Sheffield Forgemasters wins offshore contract
Sheffield Forgemasters wins offshore contract

Vulcan SFM, the offshore division of Forgemasters, was awarded the £5.5m contract by Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) to supply 73 steel castings ranging from 0.5 tonnes to 19.5 tonnes for a semi-submersible oil platform. The platform’s hull is being built by SHI in Korea for operation in the Gulf of Mexico.

The project is said to be the first major offshore development to be sanctioned since a global cessation of offshore oil and gas developments in 2015 and will see a second oil platform installed at an undisclosed, established oilfield to increase overall production capacity.

Paul Mockford, design director at Vulcan SFM, said: “The contract is for a range of components, 20 of which are module support castings which allow the topside modules to sit on the hull of semi-submersible platform – the remaining castings are structural components within the hull.

“These hull castings are complex shapes and will reproduce the intersection of multiple plates of steel which would otherwise be welded together. Castings provide a more fatigue resistant solution in these highly loaded locations.

“One of the key benefits of using a cast solution for complex joints is that they can be designed to reduce the effect of fatigue loading. Thicker sections can be used in areas of high stress and smooth radii introduced to give reduced stress-concentration factors.”

Delivery of the components, which are being manufactured to the client’s design, is expected to start in late 2017/early 2018 and continue to mid-2018.

The new floating production platform will have the capacity to produce up to 140,000 gross barrels of crude oil per day from up to 14 production wells. Oil production is expected to begin in late 2021.

The platform will operate in the Green Canyon region of the Gulf of Mexico, which is approximately 200 miles south of New Orleans, Louisiana. It lies in approximately 5,100ft of water.