Sheffield Forgemasters wins landmark offshore contract

Published: 6 July 2017

Sheffield Forgemasters has won a 5.5 million GBP contract with Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) for the first major offshore oil industry development in two years.

Sheffield Forgemasters' offshore oil & gas specialist, Vulcan SFM, secured the contract to supply 73 castings ranging from 0.5 tonnes to 19.5 tonnes, for a semi-submersible oil platform, the hull of which is being built in Korea by SHI for operation in a Gulf of Mexico oilfield.

Following a global cessation of offshore oil and gas developments in 2015 the project is the first major offshore development to be sanctioned and will see a second oil platform installed at an established oilfield, to increase overall production capacity.

Paul Mockford, Design Director at Vulcan SFM, said: “It is a testament to Sheffield Forgemasters' standing in the offshore oil and gas sector that we should win this contract for the first major offshore development since 2015.

“We have a long-standing relationship with SHI and our track record in delivering robust cast engineering solutions for use in offshore oil and gas developments is unparalleled.

“The contract is for a range of components, 20 of which are module support castings which allow the topside modules to sit on the hull of semi-submersible platform - the remaining castings are structural components within the hull.

“These hull castings are complex shapes and will reproduce the intersection of multiple plates of steel which would otherwise be welded together. Castings provide a more fatigue resistant solution in these highly loaded locations.

“One of the key benefits of using a cast solution for complex joints is that they can be designed to reduce the effect of fatigue loading. Thicker sections can be used in areas of high stress and smooth radii introduced to give reduced stress-concentration factors.”

Forgemasters will manufacture the castings to the client's design. Delivery of the components is expected to start in late 2017/early 2018, running through to mid 2018.

The new floating production platform will have the capacity to produce up to 140,000 gross barrels of crude oil per day from up to 14 production wells. Oil production is expected to begin in late 2021.

The platform will operate in the Green Canyon region of the Gulf of Mexico, roughly 200 miles (320km) south of New Orleans, Louisiana, US. It lies in approximately 5,100ft (1,550m) of water.


Forgemasters employs 650 staff across its 64-acre Brightside Lane site and serves industries including defence, civil nuclear power, materials processing, offshore and power generation.