Oil services company Swellfix said yesterday it was poised for further strong growth after ploughing around £250,000 into its Aberdeen headquarters.
Swellfix relocated its global HQ from the Netherlands to the Granite City a year ago, but has just celebrated the move having spent months redeveloping the new site to meet its operating requirements.
In that time, the workforce in Aberdeen has swelled from just six to 23 and several more new staff are expected to join the north-east operation over the next 12 months as the business continues to grow.
Worldwide, Swellfix employs around 50 people at regional offices in Brazil, Dubai, Malaysia and the US as well as sales operations in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Canada, France, Indonesia, the Netherlands, Nigeria and Russia.
The company produces both oil and water-activated swellable elastomers, which, when they come into contact with the appropriate liquid, swell up to fill out the available space.
Swellfix promotes its products as an ideal solution for zonal isolation and inflow control in horizontal and vertical wells.
The group has annual turnover of about £15million, but this is expected to show strong growth in line with increased demand for its technology.
Chief executive John Dewar said: “Our network of regional offices is expanding, so we need more staff to support that. As such, we expect employee numbers in Aberdeen to increase further.”
He added: “Relocating to the north-east was important for us as it gives access to the global decision-makers within many of the international oil companies.
“Moreover, it is perfectly placed to find the diversity of staff that enables us to continue with our creative research and development.”
The company’s HQ at Peterseat Drive, Altens, has recently been refurbished to provide a suite of laboratories and a new test facility.
John Swinney MSP, the Cabinet secretary for finance and sustainable growth, visited the site yesterday to mark the firm’s arrival in the north-east.
Mr Swinney said: “I’m delighted the company has chosen Aberdeen as its base.
“The oil and gas sector makes a vital contribution to Scotland’s economy. We welcome the contribution made by companies like Swellfix to the industry’s continued development, innovation and growth.”
Swellfix started life as a Royal Dutch Shell research project in Rijswijk in the Netherlands and is now owned by investors including Kenda Capital, the independently-owned manager of the Shell Technology Ventures Fund.
The group now boasts a record of more than 4,500 downhole installations of its elastomer technology without any failures.
Mr Dewar said: “Our products suit all mature oil provinces where oil in water is expected.”