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OPUS Named as Best Service Supplier


Specialist UK oil and gas firm OPUS has won an award from its peers in the industry for its innovative services to offshore operations across the world.

Opus, which operates from Orkney in northern Scotland and Surrey in southern England, has been recognised for a world-leading breakthrough in green technology that is revolutionising international clean sea standards for the offshore oil and gas sector.

The company’s ‘Compact Flotation Technology’ purifies produced water – a by-product of the crude oil extraction process – allowing the clean water to be safely returned to the sea.

Opus’s ingenuity and technical expertise have won it the Best Service Supplier award – across industry sectors including oil, gas, nuclear and renewables – from the industry organisation Energy North, whose hundreds of members operate in these fields across the globe.

Each Compact Flotation Unit (CFU) has to be purpose-designed by Opus to suit particular offshore project needs, and the latest demonstration of its superiority came in 2011, at a massive oilfield off Brazil.

Once installed and commissioned on the Maersk FPSO (floating production, storage and off-take vessel) which serves the two platforms at Statoil’s vast Peregrino oilfield near Rio de Janeiro, an Opus Compact Flotation Unit (CFU) achieved output purity levels of less than eight parts of oil per million (8ppm) – several times better than the contracted target of 28ppm.

Opus – whose motto is ‘Results Delivered’ – developed and commissioned the device against a tight timescale before its operation was optimised aboard the FPSO, which has an oil production capacity of 100,000 barrels a day.

Director of Strategic Operations, Glen McLellan, said: “This award from our industry peers adds to our clients’ feedback, in recognising that we not only deliver results but also continuously develop our technologies and services to stay ahead of the field and respond to clients’ needs. It is a particular recognition for our skilled and dedicated workforce.”

The award was presented to Mr McLellan by Scottish Government Energy Minister Fergus Ewing at the 2012 Energy North Awards dinner.

The Opus compact flotation technology has been perfected over many years at its ‘real conditions’ research and development facility on Orkney’s oil-hub island of Flotta, with design, project management and process optimisation run from its Guildford, Surrey, facility.

Its performance is further improved when coupled with another Opus innovation, the ‘Mare’sTail’ which uses a non-chemical fibre process to catch and combine oil droplets. Oil droplets and other compounds that are too small for traditional gravity-based separation methods are effectively removed to take produced water quality well above and beyond the progressive demands of offshore regulations, industry norms and client requirements.

The CFU combines three separation techniques, using gas flotation (in which oil droplets attach to minute bubbles), droplet coalescence (pulling tiny droplets together into removable accumulations), and cyclonic separation (use of a vortex to force oil and gas components into a stream for ejection).

Opus separation technologies have been installed internationally on fixed and floating installations by companies including BP, Hess, Total, Statoil and Maersk.

In addition to the compact flotation separation technology, Opus provides research, testing and solutions to a range of process and environmental needs for oil and gas producers, including fluids analysis, process upgrades and marine ecotoxicity testing. It also participates in joint industry projects with oil and gas operators, universities and other institutions.

Opus has plans to recruit another ten specialist staff across its Surrey and Orkney locations, to maintain its growth momentum, and has created a network of agents in target countries.

OPUS Named as Best Service Supplier