Cylinder and storage vessel maker Chesterfield Special Cylinders Limited has reported exceptional oil industry demand for its products.

In its first full trading year since a management buy-out of the firm, the overall order book has nearly trebled and the export proportion of the business has more than doubled.

The British-owned company, which is based in Sheffield, supplies ultra-large high-pressure gas cylinders - some up to 12 metres long and 2600 litres water capacity - used as key energy absorption components of heavy compensation and riser-tensioning systems on exploration and production rigs. Typical working pressures are 3-5,000 psi (200-350 bar).

Chesterfield has orders for more than 700 of these giant pressure vessels, mostly placed by European equipment designers and engineers, for rigs being constructed in China, Korea, Singapore and elsewhere, for eventual positioning in waters around the globe. This represents almost a year's production and the all-time highest demand experienced for this type of precision engineered, quality-critical product, which is forged from special alloy steel tube.

Demand is expected to be sustained for several years to come. Chesterfield believes that this is partly due to the greater and greater storage capacities demanded by specifiers, driven by the need to position rigs in deeper and deeper waters. Another recent trend has seen the increasing request by Chesterfield's customers for them to source ancillary packages - perhaps comprising a variety of valves, other end fittings and even manifolds - on their behalf. These are fitted by Chesterfield to the cylinders before despatch direct to the rig constructors.