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Celebrating 20 years of insight and innovation

It’s hard to believe, but on 5th June 2020, Rawwater celebrated its twentieth birthday. We hoped to have been able to hold a small celebration at our UK HQ, but with social distancing measures in place, that idea has been parked… at least for the foreseeable future.

Back in 2000 when our managing director, Professor Bob Eden PhD, established the company with the late Tony Cousins, he wanted to create a more cost-effective, more secure and more environmentally friendly method of plugging oil and gas reservoirs than by using cement. The result was the world’s first downhole metal-to-metal seal plugging technology: the Rawwater Bismuth Plug.

Further development led to a suite of Rawwater alloys for onshore, offshore and subsea plugging & abandonment – and the development of the world’s first ‘anticipated’ 3,000-year-life underwater cast metal seal, with metallurgy certified by Bureau Veritas to V0, the highest rating of ISO14310.

2000 was also the year we officially launched DynamicTVS – an industry leading software modelling programme to determine if, when and to what extent an oilfield reservoir will sour. Then, in 2006, we opened what is widely regarded as the world’s largest and most advanced pressurised bioreactor research facility to study and evaluate microbiological souring in simulated reservoir conditions. To date, we have accumulated the equivalent of almost 500 bioreactor years’ worth of oilfield souring data – a priceless dataset containing information relevant to oil reservoirs around the globe.

Today, our work goes much further than oil and gas. For example, calling on the knowledge we gained in developing low melting point metal alloys for plugging & abandonment, we launched Molten Metal Manipulation (M3) – a range of specialist alloys and application techniques for use in nuclear decommissioning, for emergency, portable repairs to military vehicles and for humanitarian aid amongst other uses.

Finally, in a radical departure from our normal line of business, earlier this year – and in response to the COVID-19 epidemic – in fewer than 72 hours we created a unique, 3D-printed reusable visor for local frontline healthcare and key workers. This novel alternative to traditional PPE gained considerable interest and we are currently in the process of taking it to the next stage. So watch this space!

All in all, it’s been an incredibly exciting 20 years. And, whilst we can’t predict what the next 20-year period will bring, we anticipate it being at least as exciting as the first. So whether you’re a new Rawwater customer or you’ve been with us since day one, hold on tight and enjoy the ride!