British engineering company saves a multi-million pound oil rig project

Published: 09 Mar 2012

British engineering company saves a multi-million pound oil rig project

Oil rig engineers noticed parts were missing just weeks before it was due to start working

Engineers from a UK company with more than 30 years of experience in the oil and gas industry have used their expertise to make vital parts for an oil rig in the South China Sea, just seven days before the rig was due to start working.

Mussett Engineering, based in Norfolk, was asked to undertake urgent work to manufacture components after engineers on the rig realised that vital parts were missing.

The firm took on the challenge and within just one week, two sets of parts – both of which are used to connect the rig’s hydraulic systems – were produced and tested.

Managing director Gordon Mussett said: “We knew that the work had to be done on a very, very tight schedule because any delay to the project, which is the first deep-water well in the South China Sea, could have cost upwards of £1m a day.

“Our senior engineers had to work from sketches over a weekend to make sure that we had drawings to work from and we had to order the material to be delivered to us overnight so that we could start the machining work as soon as the designs were finalised.

“As well as machining the components, the company’s engineers were involved in a complex logistical operation to ensure that the parts would reach the rig without causing costly delays. It’s amazing to think that our engineers were still finishing the parts here in our factory on Sunday morning and that by Monday evening local time, they were being shipped out to the rig.”

The components for the South China Sea rig were made using a superalloy, a high-performance metal alloy which maintains strength and stability at high pressure and high temperatures.

Mussett added: “The success of this is really down to our staff and their commitment. As soon as we explained the urgency of this project to our machinists, they were happy to work late nights and through the weekend to make sure that we were able to deliver on time.”

Back to listing