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Arc Energy Resources has carried out specialised welding and fabrication services on a pig launcher and retrieval system (PLR) destined for a time-critical application in the Cascade Chinook oilfield in the Gulf of Mexico, where operator Petrobras is laying an additional subsea pipeline to increase production.

As part of the contract — for the subsea division of Vector Technology Group — Arc Energy welded a soft landing arm system to the PLR and fabricated a structural split flange support to enable the hub of a Vector Optima subsea connector to be attached to pipeline end terminations.

The company also fabricated and welded a number of specialised components to produce lifting brackets and control panels that were required to meet similarly demanding welding procedures for the Vector specification.

Key benefits of product application

  • Arc Energy’s welding engineers, led by managing director Alan Robinson, helped the Vector team to develop its drawings to a designed-for-manufacture stage.
  • The two companies worked on a joint-venture basis to produce the fabrications that connect to the Vector PLR, which is 3.5m tall and 2m wide and weighs five tonnes.
  • Arc Energy fabricated all of the components to high standards and close tolerances, in accordance with US structural welding codes AWS D1.1 and ASME VIII.

Arc Energy Resources

Arc Energy Resources is one of the UK’s leading specialists in weld overlay cladding and quality-assured fabrication services with a turnover approaching £5m, employing 70 staff in work space totalling more than 30,000ft2. The company’s expertise in weld overlay cladding services provides heavy-duty protection against corrosion and wear for process and pipeline equipment destined for use in any hostile environment. It can clad bores up to 4m in diameter and areas of restricted access within bores as small as 20mm in diameter.

The manufacturing infrastructure is qualified to ISO 9001:2008, ISO 3834-2, ISO 14001:2004 and ISO 18001:2007. The company also holds ASME U and R stamp certificates of authorisation, which qualifies it to fabricate and weld on components destined for use on pressure vessels built to ASME standard.

Arc Energy’s welders and fabricators are qualified to internationally recognised standards and specifications. A wide range of base metal/cladding combinations has been qualified to ASME IX, API 6A and NACE. In addition, Arc Energy offers in-house test weld, heat treatment, PMI and NDT facilities.

Arc Energy has recently invested £500,000 in two new rotating-head welding machines to increase productivity and extend the size and scope of work the company can handle. While conventional workstations move components around a fixed welding torch, the new machines use automated controls to manipulate the welding torch around a fixed component, accurately positioning it to apply the overlay while working close to the component’s footprint. The investment expands and enhances Arc Energy’s ability to handle complicated component geometries for the full or partial cladding and fabrication of a huge range of component sizes weighing anywhere up to 15 tonnes.

Managing director Alan Robinson is one of very few UK-registered European welding engineers. He has a Master's degree in welding and is a chartered engineer, a European engineer and a senior member of the Welding Institute. He has assembled a highly skilled team capable of delivering quality service from enquiry to delivery and beyond, which can engineer the perfect solution to the biggest of challenges.

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