“A lot of people last year were talking about cautious optimism, but it’s beyond cautious optimism for us now”, said Steve Booth, managing director at Crondall Energy Subsea.
The firm, which has a base in Aberdeen, is planning an expansion with a new office in London.
Crondall is an independent energy consultancy, with the subsea branch in the north-east, as well as a floating production branch in England.
By the end of the year, the company is aiming to have its new office opened, adding around five people per year for the next three to four years to cover both sides of the business.
The company does a range of work including project reviews and field development strategies, and has “worked hard” to avoid any redundancies during the downturn.
Among recent contracts include work for the energy majors, as well as Hurricane Energy for its Lancaster field early production system west of Shetland.
Mr Booth thinks the market shows “no signs of slowing down”.
He said: “All of us that have gone through this downturn I think have had faith that things would get better. When things are really hot they aren’t going to stay that way.
“We had a belief that if we could keep the team together we could take advantage of the market when it turned. We worked hard on not laying anybody off.
“It now seems like a good time to take advantage of the market and there’s good people that we might have struggled to find five years ago.
“We’re quite small and we’re quite comfortable about getting a bit bigger. There’s not many independents like us in the area we work in.
“The way that the market is contracting is challenging, as these large organisations take more and more of the full projects but we’re optimistic that being independent is going to be of value.”
Mr Booth said the expansion, although modest, comes at the right time for the company, which currently employs around 15 people in its subsea branch and 40 in floating production.
“I think if ever there was a great time to find great people it is now. We like to work right at the front end. We also do a lot of work with the majors.
“The market shows no sign of slowing down. We’ve been doing field development strategies, we’re doing project reviews.
“We’re completely at capacity, it’s probably been four years since that has been the case. It’s all getting more positive.”