Longer-term contracts could be a game-changer for North Sea operators and service firms, according to the boss of Aberdeenshire-based pump and rotating equipment specialist Sulzer Wood.
Operators are no longer looking for contractors to come in and do one job, but instead service companies will need to look at the bigger picture, Sulzer Wood general manager Murray Wilson told the Press & Journal.
He said the firm, which this year celebrates its 20th birthday, was moving towards offering operators “health plan” contracts which aim to be pro-active rather than reactive to problems with pump and rotating equipment.
“In the past, the business was very much a responsive repair business, and we are now becoming a lot more proactive in terms of adding value and improving equipment,” said Mr Wilson.
“We are trying to move away from fixing it every time it breaks, to adding value in making the pump last longer.”
One such contract has already been awarded by a major North Sea player for a new floating production unit – this includes training the operator’s staff to identify any problems with the equipment.
He says this type of contract will both reduce costs for operators and help improve the production efficiency of offshore assets.
Ellon-based Sulzer Wood – a joint venture between the Switzerland-based Sulzer Pumps and Wood Group – employs 95 people and achieved turnover of £30million in 2012.
Mr Wilson says he hopes to reach £40million turnover in the next five years, driven by growth in the firm’s retrofit service.
The work, which involves removing and adjusting elements of pump equipment to meet different flow rates – is mainly taken up by operators experiencing lower oil production flow rates in end of life fields. Ageing assets and the flows that the fields are producing now are dropping which tends to make pumping equipment more unreliable,” said Mr Miller. His calls for a different approach to service contracting follow Stork Technical Services’ UK chief’s plea for more collaborative working in the energy services sector.
The firm’s senior vice-president for the UK & Africa, Erik-Jan Bijvank, yesterday said energy firms needed to find new ways of working together to offer integrated solutions to operators. This follows the publication of Sir Ian Wood’s review of UK oil and gas last week, which called for greater collaboration in the industry.