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Billingham-based Tracerco Scoops Innovation Award

Billingham-based Tracerco Scoops Innovation Award

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09 July 2015

Tracerco, based in Billingham, have received an Innovation Award from the Institute of Physics (IOP) for developing Discovery™, an instrument that has revolutionised the oil and gas industry by being able to non-intrusively inspect complex sub-sea structures. Before the invention of Discovery™, it was incredibly difficult to inspect subsea pipelines and determine the cause of a blockage without the need to stop production or remove protective coatings. 
Discovery operates at depths of up to 3000 m, under immense pressures and harsh offshore conditions and uses gamma ray tomography to produce high resolution images, allowing customers to make informed decisions regarding issues such as blockages, build-up and corrosion of pipes.

Discovery has generated sales of over £3 m and created more than 30 jobs to grow the R&D product team. Two Discovery instruments are currently in operation and four more are being manufactured this year to meet growing demand. This is the second Innovation Award for Tracerco, who first won an award 2013 for a product called Optimus™, a gamma radiation-based thickness measurement system that significantly increased efficiency in the petrochemical industry.

Frances Saunders, president of the IOP, said: "Tracerco found an innovative solution to a recurrent problem in the oil and gas industry. Congratulations to the team for this very successful application of physics and on their second Innovation Award.”

Andy Hurst, Tracerco’s Managing Director, said:  "We are delighted to receive the Institute of Physics Innovation Award for Discovery, which is perhaps the most exciting technology innovation in Tracerco’s 60 year history. Discovery is a truly ground breaking subsea scanning device, giving oil and gas producers high resolution computerised tomographic imaging of subsea pipelines for integrity  inspection and flow assurance purposes, previously not possible. This in turn allows our customers to continue produce oil and gas in a sustainable manner, safeguarding the marine environment and producing hydrocarbons more cost effectively.  I am immensely proud that the IOP has chosen to recognise the work of our exceptional team of talented physicists and engineers, whose hard work and scientific endeavour made this possible.”

The IOP Innovation Awards are a unique celebration of commercial success built on physics.

Tracerco will be showcasing their innovation at a parliamentary reception on 28 October and will also be attending an awards ceremony in London on 5 November.