Thursday, 24 September 2015



Major oil and gas players will emerge from the global downturn leaner and greener sparking a new boom for firms in the supporting industries, a respected industry CEO predicts.

Rune Fantoft said the number one priority coming across from operators was a desire to find and secure new efficiencies.

Extending the life of fields, working equipment and technology longer and smarter and delivering on environmental improvements, have all risen closer to top of the industry’s business agendas.

And far from generating further crisis, he believes restructuring will create new opportunity for the industry to strengthen for the future.

He said that was already delivering a wave of new interest for firms like his, Fjords Processing, from companies seeking to tap into their well of expertise in helping maximise returns.

“I see great opportunities for companies like Fjords Processing who are well positioned during the downturn”, he said.

“It is an attractive proposition to field operators at a time when they are particularly dealing with the pressures of curtailed capital spending and profits.”

Companies such as Fjords are among the few in the sector offering a full portfolio of services across both new field developments, but increasingly brownfield sites and production optimisation.

The big players are looking at such firms to help them generate new cash flows for low cost, while also filling potential skills gaps created during the recasting of business models and reduced investment.

But it is the ability of the service industry to respond rapidly and tailor solutions that will deliver returns so quickly that he says is seeing a huge lift in what is becoming an increasingly important sector.

By way of proof, Fjords has just signed a raft of three new Brownfield contracts in recent weeks including in central North Sea, Qatar, Australia worth over $35 million. That comes on top of previous announcements in July of a triple contract win for the Johan Sverdrup development, also in the North Sea.

Such confidence is further evidence that major companies are increasing turning to service providers to deliver end-to-end solutions for them, creating potentially huge new growth streams for the sector.

Mr Fantoft explained: “Operators want to produce more oil even though they don’t want to invest that much into production. Our competitors do not have our range of solution capabilities and consequently we will become a more dominant force in that part of the industry.

“Our capability to be a strategic partner on the full journey, from the drawing board right through the delivery of bespoke solutions to excellent aftercare services, puts us in a unique position.”

The on-going contract in the North Sea, in which Fjords has designed and supplied produced water treatment and sulphate removal unit (SRU) packages in a single module for a major operator, demonstrates its ability to package multiple technologies to save on footprint, weight and cost.

Having one firm taking end-to-end responsibility also increases the project’s efficiency and reduces risk for the client using a single interface rather than several.

That allows them to integrate their expertise, analytical facilities and technology and validate the results before implementing the required solution.

“In other words, we don’t just tell the client what they need to do, we do it and that’s something the customers appreciate in today’s economic climate.”

His comments come after the latest annual economic impact report from trade body Oil and Gas UK confirmed the trend of companies looking at ways of improving performance and efficiency.

Oil and Gas UK’s economic director Mike Tholen said firms were showing clear “commitment to improving cost and efficiency” during challenging times.

The latest ICAE/Grant Thornton UK Business Confidence Monitor (BCM), also predicted an increase in confidence and investment. It suggests further recovery in the oil and gas sector by 2017.

Fjords Processing was among more than 1,500 global suppliers attending the recent Offshore Europe 2015, the largest event of its kind in the region.

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