Brinker Technology will shortly be on the move across Aberdeen from Bridge of Don to new headquarters at Altens.
The firm’s CEO, Kevin Stewart, told Energy he was confident that Brinker was poised to grow very rapidly after years of struggling.
He said: “The firm’s been going for five years. Whilst Brinker had been profitable and growing, it was based on project sales and R&D specific.
“Since we’ve set about changing the company to focus on well remediation rather than pipeline repairs, we’ve made the equivalent of the first five years’ revenues in six months.
“This year we’re hoping to come in around the £8million turnover mark with a good profit margin.
“We’re projecting moderate growth … aiming for a target of £14million next year, climbing to £28million the year after that (2012). That growth will come from the North Sea and Middle and Far East.
Brinker, which is shortlisted for a World Oil award, currently employs 13; by the end of the year Stewart expects this to be up to 17. For 2011, he forecasts 25 in Aberdeen alone and 50 in 2013.
“Aberdeen will become the knowledge centre, training academy and R&D centre,” he said.
“We’re moving into new premises to accommodate that growth.
“However, we recognise that we will need people on the ground internationally and plan on adding five to 10 during the coming year.”
The company has long been regarded as highly promising because of its platelets-based sealing technology, which was initially designed for pipeline use but which is now applied to production wells requiring remediation.
It has switched from struggling bespoke to offering an apparently successful commoditised service.
“What we’ve managed to achieve over the last 18 months is to evolve the technology to a specific purpose and we’re absolutely focused on the well integrity business … fixing casing and tubing leaks,” said Stewart.
“One of the big milestones was bringing in our WellGel technology and evolving the platelets to function in a downhole environment, which meant moving away from the specialised R&D projects and pipelines, which is where Brinker started.
“Since we’ve done that we haven’t failed on any well installation that we’ve done, so we’ve now positioned the company to carry out rigless through-wellhead workovers.
“This is about turning up at a well-site with zero infrastructure … two guys in a jeep with a small pump on the back and our plasma and platelets system … and fixing casing and tubing leaks. They can typically do two to three land wells a day.”
Stewart said Brinker can mobilise to a location at less than a day’s notice; whereas remediating wells using traditional techniques can take months of planning before doing the work.
“Pretty much every well we get to is fixed within four hours … that’s finding the problem and then fixing it. It is that value that customers are starting to buy into,” he said.
“Our technology is treated no differently to any other technology used to fixing well-related problems and will qualify to the relevant certifications as appropriate.
“We proved that marketplace in Alaska with tremendous help from ConocoPhillips, including the certification aspect.
“We’ve decided that NOCs (national oil companies) have taken the technology into the Middle East, where we’re now working with companies such as PDO-Oman. We’re expanding into Qatar, looking at Saudi Arabia and at Abu Dhabi where we have premises.
“We’re also dipping our toe into the Far East, with companies such as Petronas.”
Is it better than “band-aid”? Can Brinker make money in what boils down to a commodity market based on a large number of well fixes?
According to Stewart, the firm ticks both boxes.
“Moreover, our margins are very healthy … we need that so we can invest in further R&D.”