RED Engineering has always specialised in solving difficult problems, particularly in relation to more challenging installation, maintenance and decommissioning operations. But a recently completed project to design and test a gas-tight metal-to-metal seal for subsea operations called upon all the company’s creativity, skill, experience and commitment.
RED was approached by Glacier Energy Services (Glacier), a specialist provider of engineered onsite machining solutions, to develop a metal to metal seal. With a proven range of onsite and remote machining products, the development of a bespoke seal arrangement would further enhance Glaciers capabilities to provide a turnkey pipeline machining service to global clients.
‘I think it’s fair to say that we have proved over the past ten years that we can deliver under pressure,’ says founding partner and Engineering Director, Richard Kent. ‘But this was a unique opportunity to prove ourselves in a difficult area of precision engineering, within an extremely tight timeframe.’
RED has established a global reputation for delivering excellence in the oil & gas sector, but although this project was for a subsea oil & gas application, it has also demonstrated the company’s ability to develop custom metal-to-metal (m2m) seals for the most demanding applications in other high-risk sectors.
‘Creating the perfect m2m seal is something of a Holy Grail for engineers,’ explains Richard Kent. ‘Existing sealing technology in the oil & gas sector is being pushed to the limits as operating pressures and temperatures of subsea wells continue to increase, and this is driving a demand for new, high-performance solutions. But m2m sealing is also of great interest for other sectors of the energy industries, including nuclear decommissioning.’