Bucking the trend
As challenging conditions continue to prevail in the oil industry, some north-east companies are bucking the trend and spreading their corporate wings at home and abroad.
Jobs in Scotland.com speaks to some of those who are growing their businesses against the odds
Fraser Well Management is a leading well project management company covering the full well lifecycle onshore and offshore from exploration drilling through to well plug and abandonment.
The recent addition of an Aberdeen office to work alongside existing operations in Great Yarmouth is seen as crucial in both broadening the UK base and assisting with future ambitions to expand activities beyond the North Sea. It is anticipated the move will lead to the creation of new Aberdeen-based well engineering and support positions.
Well engineering manager and head of the Aberdeen office Donald MacArthur said: “The opening of our Aberdeen office represents a new chapter in the ongoing growth of Fraser Well Management and is a recognition of the city’s important position in the global energy market.
“Aberdeen is a key location for us, not least because of ready access to a pool of skilled local talent. Our presence in the area also puts us within close proximity of existing and potential clients with the valuable opportunity to build relationships face-to-face.
“Good availability of suitable office accommodation enabled us to enter the market on our terms and improving technology such as better IT capabilities and internet speeds have permitted our Aberdeen and Great Yarmouth offices to operate as a single environment to increase efficiency.”
Looking further afield to grow their company footprint is Westhill-based service company ThinJack, who recently reached an agreement with a prominent Middle East oil and gas operating company in what could be the company’s largest-ever agreement in the region.
The agreement is for the removal of multiple well Christmas trees on surface platforms in the Gulf of Suez, Egypt. It follows the successful completion of emergency work to assist with the restoration of water injection, using innovative technical services, and a comprehensive tendering and contracting process.
ThinJack’s managing director, Guy Bromby, said: “We are privileged and delighted to have been selected to deliver efficient, technology-based services to help increase Egypt’s oil production and support their well integrity programme.
“We look forward to the well operations which will create new jobs and revenue in both Egypt and Scotland – indeed several five-figure sub contracts for equipment and services have already been placed with our supply companies in both countries, leading to the creation of two new full-time jobs.
“This contract demonstrates the strength of niche technology service companies such as ours working proactively with local partners and oil and gas operators to achieve significant cost savings.”
Whilst sweeping job cuts continue to threaten those working in the north-east’s energy industry, the recruitment of skilled personnel is often the last thing on businesses’ agendas.
It is against this backdrop that Kenny Dooley, an experienced oil and gas recruiter, has seized the initiative and launched a new specialist firm, Copius, to service the global market.
In the process, managing director Kenny is bucking the wider trend by securing significant orders – including successful technical and engineering contractor placements in the North Sea and further afield – in its first weeks of business.
He said: “The majority of people have been very supportive of my decision to leave a steady job in consultancy to set up an oil and gas recruitment business in the current market. This is not something I have taken lightly, particularly with a young family to support.
“We’re well aware of the challenges faced by the industry today but have confidence that our proactive approach and international focus will pay dividends in the short and long-term and leave us well positioned for the upturn when it does come.”