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USA: Aker Solutions to Open Hi-Tech Drilling Equipment Simulator in – Houston

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Norway based, international oil services group Aker Solutions is about to open North America’s most advanced drilling equipment simulator in Houston, Texas. The simulator will be available to rig operators with the objective of making offshore drilling operations safer and more cost effective.

Aker Solutions is investing USD 2.5 million in the new state-of-the-art drilling equipment simulator, which will be available 24/7 for North American based rig operators and oil companies. It will double the capacity of the current training centre located in Katy near Houston. The new drilling simulator is expected to be officially opened early 2012.

“This will be the most advanced drilling simulator in North America and we will double our training capacity when it is ready for use. It will have dedicated staff who can provide round-the-clock service on Aker Solutions’ complete range of topside drilling equipment. We look forward to start working with our customers in this new and upgraded centre,” says Glenn Ellis, head of drilling technologies for Aker Solutions in the US.

Aker Solutions is one of the world’s top providers of drilling equipment packages and technologies for deepwater drilling operations. Using advanced 3D visualisation technology, the company has developed the market leading drilling simulators, which are already in operation in Brazil, Singapore, Norway and South Korea, in addition to Houston. A new simulator is also being prepared in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The centrepiece of the 9,800 square foot training centre is a new 240 degree domed simulator. Its dome-shaped screen, combined with utilization of actual drilling control systems software, creates a realistic environment that emulates what is experienced on a rig. Each specific rig is meticulously recreated as a virtual asset, including all rig equipment and control systems. This offers the possibility of onshore training and detailed operational planning, with the same signal treatment, in virtual environments that are identical to those that will be experienced offshore.

The training centre’s extensive server systems are made up of 88 individual servers, which provide enough capacity to run simulations on two drilling rigs simulator systems simultaneously. A manual switchover solution allows quick change of the rig configuration in the simulator to ensure maximum simulator utilisation.

“A realistic, real-time visualisation of drilling operations enables rig operators to learn to make better and faster decisions. The result is safer operations, more efficient drilling and increased rig uptime. This simulator technology certainly allows us to offer superior training facilities for our clients and our own employees,” adds Glenn Ellis.

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USA: TDW Plans to Open Global Pipeline Integrity Center

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T.D. Williamson, Inc. (TDW), a leading provider of pipeline equipment and services, has announced plans for the creation of a Global Pipeline Integrity Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Once complete, this world-class showcase facility will combine the TDW inline inspection engineering, manufacturing, operations, service center, and data analysis functions in one location. Situated close to the airport in the Salt Lake International Center, this new site will double the current TDW footprint in Salt Lake City and is indicative of the ongoing TDW investment in inline inspection.

Our goal is to create a Global Pipeline Integrity Center that not only houses our inline inspection capabilities but that also leverages the total breadth of TDW technologies,” says Eric Rogers, Director of Pipeline Integrity Solutions for TDW.

In addition to serving as a global hub for inline inspection, the center will showcase TDW pigging products, including launchers and receivers, and pipeline services, such as cleaning and non-destructive testing.

“This new facility will also enable future growth, including the addition of a data center, customer and employee training facility, and pipeline test equipment for inline inspection tools,” Rogers adds.

TDW offers a wide range of inline inspection technologies. Advanced KALIPER® 360 technology is specifically engineered for use in newly constructed pipelines to provide geometry baseline information. TDW also offers high resolution deformation (DEF) tools for locating, sizing and determining orientation of diameter reductions or expansions. Magnetic flux leakage (MFL) tools provide detection and sizing of internal and external metal loss in liquid lines, and GMFL tools do the same for gas pipeline environments. SpirALL™ MFL (SMFL) technology is designed to detect longitudinal defects in a pipe body or longitudinal weld seam in conjunction with additional technologies available on TDW multiple dataset platforms. XYZ Mapping service provides the precise centerline profile of a pipeline in latitude, longitude and elevation. TDW is also conducting extensive research into Residual Field and Low Field Magnetism technologies for mechanical pipeline damage prioritization.

“Our technologies are constantly evolving and expanding,” says Rogers. “Our ability to combine technologies and generate multiple data sets in a single inspection makes defect discrimination more accurate and efficient than ever before. Our new facility will enable us to continue the proud tradition of TDW innovation.”

Plans call for the new TDW Global Pipeline Integrity Center to open its doors during the first half of 2012.

About T.D. Williamson, Inc.

A world leader in pipeline equipment and services, TDW delivers a comprehensive portfolio of safe integrity pipeline system solutions for onshore and offshore applications, including hot tapping and plugging, pipeline cleaning, integrity inspection, pigging and non-tethered plugging pig technology for any pressurized piping system, anywhere in the world.

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Jamaica: Bids Open for LNG Project

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The Government says it will be hosting meetings with prospective bidders for the Jamaica’s Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) supply project and the building of a Floating and Regasification Terminal next week.

The meetings are to take place on Monday and Thursday at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel. Minister of Energy and Mining, Clive Mullings and Chairman of the LNG Steering Committee, Christopher Zacca are expected to speak at both pre-bid meetings.

The Office of the Prime Minister says pre-bid meetings are opened to all interested bidders but that attendance is not required to submit a proposal in response to the project.

The Government was forced to re-tender the bid for the Floating Storage and Regasification Terminal after the Contractor General, Greg Christie, alleged there had been irregularities in the bidding.

Christie had said the eventual winner, the Exmar Consortium, had been given an unfair advantage. However, this week the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions said there was no evidence to draw the inference that Exmar’s advantageous position was the result of bid-rigging or corruption.

Original Article

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