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DNV GL invest in new training facility at their testing and research centre in the UK

DNV GL is building a new conference centre and large-scale fire and explosion demonstration area at their unique major hazard testing and research centre in Cumbria, UK. The new training facility, which will greatly enhance experiential learning for the oil and gas, chemical and security industries is due to be completed in December 2015.

Large-scale explosion test, DNV GL Testing and Research Centre, UK
Gary Tomlin, VP Safety and Risk, DNV GL UK
The testing and research centre is the largest facility of its kind in the UK and features some of the world's most advanced destructive and non-destructive test facilities. Being remotely located within RAF Spadeadam Ministry of Defence land in the Cumbrian countryside, it is possible to carry out confidential large-scale major hazard tests, including flammable gas dispersion, fires, explosions, pipeline fracture tests, blast and product testing in a safe and secure environment.

Gary Tomlin, VP Safety and Risk DNV GL UK, said: “The location, infrastructure, breadth of work undertaken and knowledge and experience of the people, make it a truly unique facility, not available anywhere else. Those visiting the centre will be able to see, hear and feel the explosive and destructive reality of what happens when things go wrong, through real-world scenarios. They can learn the lessons of how to avoid such catastrophies through our highly specialised training courses”.

“The centre allows people from all industry sectors, to gain a valuable insight into the risks that our people, assets and the offshore environment face on a day to day basis. Although the oil and gas and other industries are facing challenging times, safety is one area which cannot be compromised and it is important that we provide an environment where research and training can be conducted safely, securely and confidentially.”

The centre was first developed in the 1950’s by the Ministry of Defence as part of the Blue Streak Rocket programme, for the development of a British medium-range ballistic missile. It is available for the use of the oil and gas, process and energy sectors, as well as to security and government agencies.

Spadeadam now offers extensive testing of products, equipment and processes especially relating to the energy and process industry operations, but also for engineering, construction and defence. There are more than fifteen separate test facilities that are maintained and constantly being developed to simulate most of the hazards that the oil and gas industries could experience. In addition, test rigs are purpose built for specific test requirements.

“Spadeadam puts theory and desktop modelling to the test to prove the limits, capabilities and behaviours of both small and large scale operations in real-world situations”, added Gary Tomlin. “When the new conference centre opens, it will be a centre of excellence for safety and reliability for the global oil and gas, chemical and security industries.”

A technical seminar on Spadeadam: A little talk on big research will take place on DNV GL’s stand (5B 51) at SPE Offshore Europe Conference and Exhibition in Aberdeen at 15.45 on Thursday 10 September. For more information, please visit

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