Relocation heralds expansion

AGR will soon be on the move to a new Aberdeen home. The company has outgrown the current premises at Queens Terrace, where it started life as Peak Well Services some years prior to being acquired mid-2006 by Norwegian group AGR.

The company is relocating to a new office block currently being completed at Union Plaza, on Union Row. There, it has taken the entire 17,000sq ft third floor on a lease for 15 years and expectation is that the transfer will take place in late summer – ahead of the Offshore Northern Seas conference in Stavanger, if possible.

Union Plaza will provide space for up to 160 or so people, sufficient to allow a measure of local consolidation, plus bring specialists into Aberdeen from elsewhere within the group, and enable new recruits to be added.

The current complement at AGR Petroleum Services is 70. They will move, together with 10 or so from field operations and subsea offices currently at Bridge of Don and where warehousing requirements are not an issue.

Ian Burdis, VP well management at AGR Petroleum Services, told Energy that, besides the Queens Terrace and Bridge of Don personnel in Aberdeen, 25 or so geoscience and reservoir specialists from elsewhere in the group would also be brought in, perhaps from Norway and Kazakhstan, to reinforce the skill sets offered out of Europe’s Energy Capital.

This, in turn, is about preparing AGR in Aberdeen for a significant international role, especially exporting the North Sea well-management model to other offshore provinces.

Burdis said of Union Plaza: “This is somewhere that will allows us to expand and grow.

“We’re planning to use the UK as an international springboard and we’ll be relying more on the people we have here rather than farming the work out.

“We’re looking to do a lot more work in West Africa, for example. There’s a huge level of demand down there.”

Burdis said the original business model for the North Sea had worked well for AGR, much of it with independents.

A number of these same companies are now internationalising and, while some are based in Aberdeen, many are headquartered elsewhere, especially London.

With this in mind, Burdis said AGR was also strengthening its presence in the UK capital by directly leasing offices large enough for up to 20 people. In its early days, AGR had just two people in London, then four, and six – and now the decks are clear for a sizeable expansion.