Sterling Thermal Technology carried out a survey of the UK’s largest offshore natural gas storage facility, Rough.

Sterling Thermal Technology (Sterling TT) carried out a survey of the UK’s largest offshore  natural gas storage facility, Rough. Out of operation for almost 6 years, the survey was essential to understand if the heat exchanger equipment could still operate effectively, and what repairs or replacements might be required.

Rough was closed in 2017 by Centrica Storage Ltd due to maintenance costs. In August 2022, The North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) granted the required approvals and consents to restart its use. Rough has a storage capacity of 100bn cubic feet of gas. This is almost double the total capacity of the UK’s operational facilities in 2021.

Rough is an offshore platform. This presents a variety of challenges, both in the increased likelihood of saltwater corrosion to the equipment, and the safety of engineers conducting the surveys. Staff must have certifications including BOSIET (Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training) with CA-EBS (Compressed Air Emergency Breathing System) & Escape Chute Training; Offshore Survival & Firefighting; and MIST (Minimum Industry Safety Training) Further.

Chris Webb At Rough, Industry Today
Chris Webb at Rough

Chris Webb, Senior Design & Applications Engineer – Product Specialist at Sterling TT, conducted the survey last week: “I carried out an initial external visual inspection to correctly identify the oil coolers against the original drawings. I looked for any physical damage or environmental corrosion that may have occurred during the 37 years in operation and the 5 to 6 years of downtime.”

He also completed a dimensional survey to confirm the original critical dimensions of the coolers for a like-for-like replacement within the existing footprint.

Sterling TT’s client reported that they were impressed with the company’s ability to mobilise personnel at short notice to conduct this important site visit. The client remarked on the importance of replacing the heat exchanger within the existing footprint. “The structural modification cost and time saved as a result is priceless.”

“It has been a pleasure helping our client reinstate the Rough platform to support the UK energy crisis,” Chris Webb said.

Sterling TT has decades of experience providing heat exchangers to the oil and gas industry, as well as conduction repairs and replacements on existing products. For more information, visit:

Contact information:
Sterling Thermal Technology
Aylesbury Head Office
Brunel Road, Rabans Lane
Buckinghamshire, HP19 8TD

Enquiries contact: +441217 488 400
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