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Serimax delivers project success stories onshore and offshore

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World Pipelines,

Project success stories come not only from having advanced technologies, data traceability and intelligent, robust equipment, but also require consistent innovation and skilled personnel.

Innovation and training has become an all-consuming driver for the oil and gas industry over the last few years as the sector adjusted to a vastly changed landscape in which lower oil prices became the norm. As a specialised welding company which offers a range of services to support industry demands, Serimax has consistently put these two objectives at the core of their daily operations for more than 45 years, so the challenge of responding positively to the oil price decline was not as daunting as it could have been.

With a clear focus on greater competitiveness, getting closer to their client base, and continued innovation and training, the future for Serimax is optimistic and with its ongoing investment in welding technology and education the company maintains its unwavering commitment to developing high-value reliable and sustainable solutions in order to continue to meet the ever-changing challenges faced by customers. With one of the largest portfolios of specialised pipeline welding equipment and welding engineers in the world, and 5 strategically located training centres, Serimax is in an excellent position to meet those challenges head on.

Over the past five years, Serimax has managed eight global projects simultaneously each month, and performed in excess of 187 700 welds annually, with a repair rate of less than 2%. Looking to the future however, it is clear that projects in the oil and gas industry are becoming more and more complicated; with increasing requests to measure activity and where possible minimise costs, it has never been more important to promote and recognise expertise and judgment. In an industry moving towards data-driven decisions, having more hands-on local experts within the organisation guarantees that what’s important is managed as a priority and what is being described as “innovation” is genuinely innovative.

Middle East success

With this commitment Serimax has invested significant CAPEX in the Middle East, in order to put in place commercial and industrial capabilities that provide a truly local, integrated and value-for-money service to clients. Establishing a local hub in Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the associated investment in equipment, training and recruitment of local personnel, has been crucial to building strong relationships with major operators and contractors in the region, and by putting their “feet on the ground” Serimax has been able to provide a fast, efficient and expert response to client requirements, adding value by delivering a competent, dependable, high-quality performance through a committed and skilled workforce.

In Saudi Arabia, Serimax has brought together the full range of welding facilities under one roof, thus simplifying the customer and supplier relationship ensuring that the client receives specific solutions on-time along with subsequent cost savings. Providing a full range of welding services on a number of major projects in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Egypt and Kuwait and to support their commitment to the Middle East, when required, the Abu Dhabi operation can call on logistical and administrative support from Saudi Arabia base of their parent company Vallourec.

The welding solutions team provided offshore welding services on the Hasbah project and at completion will have performed almost 32 000 welds on pipes ranging in size from 6.625 in. to 36 in. as well as in Libya on the Mellitah Bahr Essalam project where 1040 welds on 20 in. CRA pipeline were welded with a 0.96% repair rate.

In addition to the Hasbah and Bahr Essalam offshore projects, Serimax was contracted by Subsea 7 through successful completion of the East Nile Delta project to work on their offshore unit, the Borealis, in the Mediterranean Sea for the Atoll Development project. This project was awarded in late 2016 and in September 2017 Serimax’s team had completed over 4000 welds (50 km of piping) with Subsea 7, on their state-of-the-art Seven Borealis pipe lay vessel.

Welding qualifications began in Serimax's workshops, in the north of Paris, in early February lasting just under four months. Thanks to intensive testing and preparation before launching, Serimax was ready for the challenges on-board the Seven Borealis.

The mission encompassed a full team of welding engineers and operation maintenance staff, as well as all the production equipment. Welding started at the end of August and was completed with a repair rate of less than 0.2% by the end of September.

Serimax used its world-renowned Saturnax 09 welding bug, which was first introduced on board the very same vessel, back in 2012. Through robust project management and operations joined with the vessel’s highly skilled teams, Serimax demonstrated its expertise of welding operations. Serimax’s offshore package provided a robust and flexible service, the result of years of welding experience and training, and Serimax was commended by Subsea 7’s Project Management team for this operational achievement.

Furthermore, a team member on-board was granted a safety award in recognition of proactivity and good safety initiatives. With 33 CRA projects completed over the past 5 years, Serimax is proud to add Atoll to their 451 km long CRA track record.

Onshore achievements

Onshore, Serimax has also been heavily engaged in a number of important work scopes over the past 10 years. In Saudi Arabia, welding services have been provided on the following projects: Khafji to Ratawi pipeline, Yanbu North Jedda pipeline, Jubail project MGS Phase 2/Fadhili. In Turkey on the Tanap project, four spreads of Saturnax welding stations completed more than 20 000 welds on 56 in. pipeline across 3 countries.

With this focus for onshore and in response to one of the major challenges for pipeline installation, Serimax developed INTERNAX, an internal welding clamp used to line up pipes correctly in order to facilitate the welding procedures, whatever the terrain and topography of the location. This internal welding clamp is capable of correcting out-of-roundness and is particularly suited to cross-country landlines. Unique in its field, eight fully automatic welding heads enable it to perform root passes from inside the pipe. INTERNAX’s wireless remote control system enhances operator safety and its pipe re-rounding capabilities reduce hi-lo and fit-up time as well as improve weld quality. All these attributes make INTERNAX the ideal tool for providing clients with a combined clamping and welding solution for flat, plain terrain profiles.

INTERNAX underlines Serimax’s R&D expertise, and last year Serimax launched a number of innovative solutions that provide operational efficiency and significant cost savings for customers. R&D is at the core of the company’s international operations and, supported by a 50-strong team at the Welding Technology Centre in Paris, Serimax’s focus on product development is an important differentiator in the industry.

With every project being unique, Serimax tailor solutions to the specific requirements requested and with projects becoming even more challenging with greater diversification of scope and associated risk; Serimax is ready to deal with this continuing trend through the proliferation of innovative solutions working hand-in-hand with a team of experts that are able to overcome your welding challenges and improve performance. Vallourec and Serimax strive to continually improve project performance, year after year, in operations, HSE, R&D, innovation and training.

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