Pioneering drilling riser wins EEEGR award

09th February 2009
Three sister companies which worked together to create a world-first in the high-pressure drilling riser market have scooped the prestigious Energy Innovation Award from EEEGR (East of England Energy Group).

The companies, Claxton Engineering, 2H Offshore and Subsea Riser Products are all part of the Norwich-based Acteon group.

Their ground-breaking riser is expected to be in action in the North Sea by the autumn, enabling UK oil and gas production company Venture to drill and complete subsea wells from a jack-up drilling rig.

Claxton Engineering managing director Laura Claxton said afterwards: "This award is incredibly important to us not just to show what we have achieved but to prove there is still new technology and development in the oil and gas industry."

SRP managing director Simon Luffrum said the success highlighted how well the companies complemented one another.

"The support we had from Venture also allowed us to make that first bold step towards bringing this idea to reality."

Their innovation is a pioneering full-bore access riser capable of working at pressures in excess of 12,000psi. Flanges used to connect individual pipe sections will be attached using a shrink-fit process.

The award was presented to the team by British Chambers of Commerce chairman Neville Reyner.

The runner-up was Swedish company OPCON with its Powerbox which converts waste heat into energy from temperatures as low as 55C.

A special award for Best Emerging Technology went to Polysolar, based near Cambridge, for a transparent, photovoltaic architectural glazing to create low-cost solar energy in buildings.

The awards were made during a gala evening at the Holiday Inn, Norwich, where guest speaker Adam Bruce, chairman of the renewable energy trade association BWEA, praised the enterprising work of all eight finalists.

He called on the East of England to become the base for industries servicing the renewable energy sector - "the North Sea oil of the 21st century".

"Let us commit to an energy revolution that will transform our lives and this region.

"In this room tonight we have the raw talent that will deliver on this vision - congratulations to all of you - whether you won an award or not - for it will be you who will be the shock troops of this revolution.

"Total investment in offshore wind - if we are to meet our targets - could be near £60bn over 20 years.

"And yet we can supply one-fifth of Europe's energy from renewables; it will give us energy security in times of shrinking resources; and unlike North Sea oil, North Sea wind will never run out."

For more information call Holly Harvey or Nikki Collings at EEEGR, 01493 446535.

Release issued by Roy Strowger, of TMS Media. Contact 01493 662929.

CLICK HERE to download the finalists presentations.