27 Apr 2017

Reading time 3 min

Optimised technologies offer big benefits for offshore customers

Small innovations can deliver huge operational advantages; MacGregor’s strategic acquisition of majority shares in Flintstone is already delivering benefits to offshore customers in terms of cost and weight-optimised technologies

In September last year, MacGregor made the strategic decision to acquire majority shares in the small, innovative Scottish company, Flintstone Technology Ltd. The move enables MacGregor to offer an even greater range of capabilities, primarily within the mooring and fluid-handling sectors.

“Offshore operators and field owners are looking for cost and weight-optimised technologies in order to be more efficient,” says Høye Høyesen, Vice President, MacGregor Advanced Offshore Solutions. “We understand that these are crucial elements in today’s market.”

Customer-driven capabilities

“Sometimes we offer customers products that can deliver capabilities far beyond what they thought were possible and sometimes operators approach us and explain what they would like to achieve, but the technology simply does not exist yet to make this possible,” continues Mr Høyesen. “At this point, we can either embark on developing technology especially for the customer, which we have done many times in the past, or we search the market for those hidden gems, which is exactly what Flintstone is. It has seen gaps in the market where offshore operators are seeking new or more advanced capabilities and has invested in highly-specialised technology that can make these operational wishes a reality.

“Developments include products that reduce offshore installation times, bring weight savings, or contribute to safer operations.”

With Flintstone’s expertise, MacGregor can offer a greater range of capabilities within the mooring and fluid-handling sectors

Traditionally, mooring systems have been delivered as sets of components rather than as systems with an emphasis on their entire lifeycle. “By taking into account all aspects of a system; from installation and re-tensioning in-service, to the need to change mooring lines, we have been able to substantially reduce both the capital expenditure and the system’s on going running costs through the introduction of key innovations,” says Andrew Clayson, Managing Director, Flintstone Technology. “These include our pull-through connector and the subsea tensioner; both are cost-effective and practical.”

The pull-through connector has successfully been installed on the Enquest-operated floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, Kraken and Statoil’s FPSO, Mariner, both in use since 2015.

Wider portfolios bring added value

Dundee-based Flintstone, which was established in 2012, sees a lot of potential from teaming-up with MacGregor. It will gain all the advantages offered as part of a larger organisation and Flintstone’s engineering solutions complement MacGregor’s existing portfolio in the offshore segment and also expands it into new market areas.

“We are very happy to join MacGregor,” says Andrew Clayson, Managing Director, Flintstone Technology. “We are a small team with very competent and innovative engineers. We see great potential to add value for customers. We like to challenge existing solutions and look for ways to improve, exactly what MacGregor is renowned for. Becoming part of a bigger company also brings many benefits, both for customers and our employees.”