Magma Global, Airborne to compete in piping develo

Engineering firms Magma Global and Airborne are competing to develop piping in the challenging environments such as in Brazil and the Gulf of Mexico with regard to heat and corrosion.
For years, steel piping has dominated oil and gas market but with projects in Brazil’s pre-salt going beyond 2,000m under the sea and corrosive enhanced oil recovery techniques now used widely, companies are looking for more flexible and durable materials.

British engineering company Magma Global and Dutch counterpart Airborne are pioneering composite pipes made from a fusion of high end fibres and plastics which are up to 90% lighter than steel pipes and do not corrode. That could bring them head to head with France’s Technip and NKT Flexibles, majority owned by Danish group NKT Holdings, which use layered steel with a stainless steel or plastic lining and make the main offshore pipes. The UK and Dutch private companies have caught the attention of the oil majors and have contracts with companies such as Shell, Total, BP and Exxon.

Mr Mike Sibson investor at the Business Growth Fund (BGF) an initiative to finance small firms backed by a number of British banks said that “What you’re really doing is taking world class composites engineering expertise and applying it to the oil and gas market.” BGF invested GBP 8.8M in Magma earlier this year for a manufacturing facility in Southampton. Sibson added “All the commercial attraction is for difficult applications where their technology really has an edge.”

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