Many people say Aberdeen is built on oil and gas and it couldn’t be more true when it comes to the newly unveiled P&J Live.

The exciting £333 million development, which comprises 48,000 square metres of event space and replaces the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, boasts foundations made from oil and gas materials, which have been recycled and reprocessed into piling posts by our Tubulars division.

Now, as The Event Complex Aberdeen (TECA) gears up to host SPE Offshore Europe 2019, it is highly fitting that Europe’s biggest oil and gas conference will take place in a space built on the repurposed pipes from the industry itself.

Iain Laing, Director - John Lawrie Tubulars

Iain Laing, director of John Lawrie Tubulars, which processes more than one million metres of tubulars in the UK each year, said: “These steel pipes have been vital for the energy industry for decades, Aberdeen city will have seen hundreds of thousands travel in and out throughout its term as the European capital of oil and gas. “

Evidently, steel tubulars are not only key in oil and gas they are also key in construction and John Lawrie Group has been purchasing and supplying high quality new, used, unused and surplus casing to piling and micro-piling markets across the globe since the early 1990s. Now, the firm is one of the industry’s largest suppliers, providing more than 1,000,000 meters of steel tubulars each year for construction work across the UK, from construction to large-scale infrastructure projects.

Iain added: “Piling sets deep foundations for any form of construction work and gives essential support for any kind of structure. Broadly speaking, piles are used when the bearing capacity of the surface soil is insufficient to support the loads required from the structure. A pile is needed to transfer the load from the structure through the weak surface into the harder, more compact soil or rock.

“Foundations must be incredibly strong, so the choice of material is very important. Tubular steel boasts significant benefits over traditional piling methods – it is more supportive and secure on sand-based soil, which is prevalent in the north-east, for example. It is also extremely resistant to corrosion and is far stronger than other materials, such as plastic or concrete.

“When we received the contract for the TECA arena we realised the significance of using our tubulars in such a modern and iconic Aberdeen landmark. And what better way to conclude the project than with a stand set on our very own recycled and repurposed tubulars at a leading global event?”

For the project we supplied more than 2,000 tonnes of pipe, safely recycled from North Sea oil / Gas wells. The redundant materials were then reprocessed at the firm’s Montrose facility.

“You can, in theory, turn the pipe around within 24 hours,” explains Iain. “The tubulars arrive in our yard and go across the weighbridge. They are then visually inspected for any noticeable defects, oil-based mud or excessive wear and if they need cleaned, we use a high-pressure machine on-site. At this stage, the wall thickness of the tubulars is checked, and we investigate whether there is any chromium content in the chemical makeup of the steel; two important factors for our customers to know. After this, the tubulars go into storage bays ready for an order."

“At Montrose we employee 12 people in the yard and six in the office. In one way or another, everyone at the facility was involved in the processing of the pipe for the TECA project. We were then able to deliver 22,000 metres of previously used casing pipe, to Northern Piling Limited who developed the foundations for the new arena.”

Northern Piling Limited then installed approximately 1,750 piles throughout the duration of the six-month project. The pile lengths varied in size, between 12m to 19m for a combination of 244mm and 273mm casings.