2H Offshore

High risers

Oil and gas engineering experts, 2H Offshore, an Acteon company, celebrates 20 years in the riser and conductor business this year, and has found that its unique service offering is enabling it to go from strength to strength.

The London-based company was founded in 1993 by Dr Hugh Howells and Steve Hatton, whose unique engineering skill sets allowed them to offer engineering services focused on offshore risers. With core capabilities in structural analysis and design, mechanical engineering and materials, and a flair for innovative thinking, the company has led the way in offshore riser technology development. Over the years, finding solutions for individual clients’ requirements as a result of increasing water depth and design pressures has become second nature to the growing team of highly qualified engineers at 2H. “Our core engineering and design services gain a lot of repeat business from global operators such as BP, Shell, Total, Statoil and ExxonMobil,” says business development manager, Jeremy Cowell.

An example of 2H’s core business is the award this year of a Steel Catenary Riser (SCR) detailed design project by LLOG Exploration Company in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico for its Delta House development. The production and export risers will tie back to the Exmar OPTI-11000 semi-submersible that is to be moored in 4500-foot (1372 metre) water depths in the Mississippi Canyon Block 254.

2H Offshore is now expanding into the shallow water market with its trademarked CoSMOS (Conductor Supported Minimum Offshore Structure) platform, a unique production platform for applications in water depths up to 100 metres.

The concept was originally developed by UWG, 2H’s sister company then also owned by the Acteon Group, and has the unique capability to allow installation from a range of vessels, but principally from a jack-up drilling unit. With the topside directly supported by the well conductors, the need for a jacket becomes redundant, thus simplifying the procurement and installation process. “CoSMOS provides less steel, less structure and a quicker installation period, which reduces costs across the board,” highlights Jeremy. “We worked closely with three other Acteon group companies to gather shallow water engineering data and figures to show that CoSMOS can do the same job as a standard jacket at approximately 40 per cent reduction in cost.”

Due to CoSMOS requiring a relatively benign environment, the company is primarily focusing on regions around the Equator, such as West and East Africa, the South China Seas and the Middle East. “The oil and gas market in Africa is extremely busy right now, plus its calmer waters make it a strong candidate for 2H’s CoSMOS solution,” says Jeremy.

Proud of its innovative solutions, 2H Offshore has developed a range of new riser technologies. It recently, for example, worked with Acteon sister companies Claxton Engineering, Pulse Structural Monitoring and Subsea Riser Products (SRP), on a high-pressure drilling riser for Statoil. The companies combined their skills to deliver a drilling riser solution with bespoke engineering work and a state-of-the-art monitoring system to track performance. With average jack-up rigs constructed for 80-100 metre water depths, the requirement for the design and construction of a 132 metre drilling riser in an eight month time-frame was a major challenge for the companies involved, but the successful completion of the project has led to plans to extend jack-up drilling into even deeper waters.

What is certain is that the market has been good to 2H Offshore in the last 20 years and based on current predictions the company’s future looks extremely positive too, as the offshore industry moves into even deeper areas. “There is no doubt that we are still expanding,” says Jeremy. “We have grown from a team of two to almost 300 people globally. The demand for our expertise has led us to open regional offices in Houston, Rio de Janeiro, Kuala Lumpur, Aberdeen, Perth and Beijing, and we anticipate growing even further to satisfy demand in regions that we have not yet established a permanent base within.

“I am excited about the Middle East and Africa regions particularly; there is a real sense of adventure about that and we hope to have greater representation there soon. We will continue to work in the North Sea and are looking at working more closely with Norway too. On top of that we also plan to collaborate more with our sister companies, allowing us to offer a wider and more valuable service to our clients. It is definitely an exciting time to be part of 2H and the wider Acteon group,” Jeremy concludes.

2H Offshore
Services: Global engineering contractor