Industry experts have been urged to step forward and voice their concerns over the challenges currently facing the sector as a result of the falling oil price. Subsea UK has made its last call for papers for its annual ROV conference. The event, which is now in its third year, will be held at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre during the final day of the Offshore Europe conference on Friday, September 11 and will debate key industry issues across the globe. Topics under the spotlight include deepwater construction, operational efficiencies, ROV development, and technological advancements.
Aberdeen firms X-Subsea UK and X-Subsea Atlantic are in administration, with 20 jobs axed, after a downturn in orders. They are subsidiaries of Granite City-based X-Subsea UK Holding (X-Subsea UKH), which is also in administration. Their parent, Norway’s Reef Subsea, went into liquidation in February after backers pulled support in the wake of falling oil prices. But X-Subsea operations in Houston in the US, Ciudad del Carmen in Mexico and Singapore are not in administration.
Subsea UK is looking to establish a regional hub in England which could bring together businesses across the subsea supply chain and help identify new opportunities within the sector. The Industry body will host its second event in Bristol tomorrow, where around 40 businesses are estimated to be involved in the sector, which is focused on underwater activity in relation to oil and gas, defence, oceanology and marine renewables. Neil Gordon, chief executive of Subsea UK said: “The south-west of England is home to a huge amount of innovation and expertise, particularly in the areas of oil and gas. As an organisation covering the whole of the UK, we want to help these companies exploit the potential to increase business at home and abroad.
Aberdeen-based technology group Cortez Subsea has boosted its chances of making a splash in the Malaysian oil and gas market by teaming up with a local engineering firm. The partnership with Oceancare Corporation (OCBS) essentially gives Cortez a base in the region from which it can sell its products, a move that will cut delivery times for potential clients. The pact could also help Cortez take advantage of a scheme for developing indigenous oil and gas manufacturing businesses in Malaysia. Petronas, an energy firm owned by the Malaysian Government, admitted 79 businesses to its so-called Vendor Development Program (VDP) between 2004 and late 2013, awarding contracts worth a total of more than £1.4billion.
An Aberdeen company specialising in subsea surveys has become the latest victim of turmoil caused by the slump in oil price. Specialist Subsea Services (S3) called in administrators yesterday, putting the jobs of an estimated 70 employees at risk. The company, which specialised in chartering remote operated vehicles (ROVs), is owned by Reef Subsea AS, which was which was put into liquidation by its Norwegian owners along with its subsidiary, Technocean Subsea, earlier this month.
Administrators for Highland firm MacKellar Sub-Sea and its subsidiaries report plenty of interest in the businesses. Grantown-based MacKellar collapsed last week, leaving nearly 100 workers facing an uncertain future after the bosses called in administrators. The group employs 97 full and part-time staff, of which 86 are employed at the main Grantown site – a five-acre purpose-built fabrication and assembly facility. A further 11 people work for MacKellar subsidiary Tritech Nairn, a grit-blasting and painting operation at premises on the former RAF base in Kinloss. It is the second business failure in 10 years for the MacKellar family, following the collapse of 30-year-old company MacKellar Engineering in 2005.
Ian McCabe, technology project team leader with ITF, spoke to Energy Voice following his presentation at Subsea Expo 2015. Now in its final day, the exhibition has been attended by thousands of delegates from around the globe.
Nearly a dozen marine technology firms will each have 10 minutes to show off their latest gadgets and gizmos before a panel of subsea bigwigs in Aberdeen today. The Spotlight on Technology showcase, whose format is reminiscent of hit BBC TV series the Dragons’ Den, is being tried out for the first time at the annual Subsea Expo 2015, the largest offshore energy event in Europe. Subsea Expo, which is being held at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, closes today. The quick-fire presentations are a chance for firms to promote new equipment that can help operators locate and produce oil and gas with greater efficiency and at a lower cost, but without skimping on safety.
Focus turned to the international market today at Subsea Expo. Infield unveiled the detailed findings of their latest report into global subsea activity – underlining the tough times ahead but with a more promising outlook from 2017 onwards. The conference session on global markets, along with UKTI’s programme of one-to-one meetings matching UK expertise with demand from regions including Africa, Australia, Brazil and Mexico. The maturity and challenges of the North Sea make it even more crucial for UK subsea companies to increase their overseas business if they are to sustain their growth in the long-term.
Europe’s largest annual subsea conference and exhibition, which showcases the expertise and technology of a UK industry generating about £9billion in revenue annually, opened yesterday. More than 6,000 people registered to attend the event, organised by trade body Subsea UK, which takes place at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre till Friday.
Forum Energy Technologies unveiled its latest generation subsea robotic system on the first day of Subsea Expo 2015. Graham Adair, vice-president of sales and marketing at Forum, spoke to Energy Voice about Subsea Expo and the challenges ahead for the industry.
A subsea business controlled by a Norwegian venture capital firm has been put into liquidation just months after changing hands in a £17million deal. Reef Subsea AS, along with its subsidiary Technocean Subsea, has filed for bankruptcy in what is considered to be one of the first major casualties in the North Sea due to new low oil prices. The firm’s sister company, Reef Subsea UK, is not in administration it has been confirmed. The UK division, which is owned by the same venture capital firm, Hitechvision, is based in Thornaby, Stockton-on-Tees and has an Aberdeen-based operation at Altens.
Companies with technologies that can cut the cost of oil and gas production will be highlighted in a new showcase at the subsea industry’s leading event this year. In an effort to demonstrate how recent innovations can help operators and oil services firms reduce costs, Subsea Expo will provide a platform for organisations to introduce, discuss and demonstrate their latest innovations. Chaired by Dr Gordon Drummond, project director for the National Subsea Research Initiative (NSRI), the session will give a dozen companies ten minutes in the spotlight to outline their innovation and potential applications.
Marine Platforms has taken delivery of a new subsea support vessel, the African Inspiration, from Norwegian shipbuilder Havyard. The firm, based in Aberdeen and Nigeria, said the vessel will service deepwater market locations offshore Nigeria. The African Inspiration is currently berthed in Aberdeen to have two ROV systems installed as well as other project equipment before she leaves for the Gulf of Guinea.
A selection of the country’s most successful subsea businesses have made it on to the shortlist for the industry’s annual awards gala. Fisher Offshore, Proserv and ROVOP are all in contention for the annual Subsea UK Awards event’s top honour, the subsea company of the year award. Express Engineering Oil & Gas, Flowline Specialists and Tekmar Energy have been short-listed in the Global Exports Award category, while ToolTec, Ocean Installer and Cambla are vying for the New Enterprise award.
FMC Technologies has received an order from Star Deep Water Petroleum Limited to provide subsea equipment for operations in Nigerian waters. The Agbami field is located 70 miles off the coast of the central Niger Delta region, at a water depth of approximately 4,800 feet.
Subsea demand is strong and getting stronger, with a backlog for orders at the highest level in more than four years for FMC Technologies.
Power systems company Rolls-Royce has been awarded a £24million subsea contract for work in Norway. It will supply a module handling system to the subsea construction vessel Aker Wayfarer, which was built in 2010.
A newly-designed subsea power grid will be ready for testing by next summer, with final preparations for the system currently underway. Siemens has invested in the power solution, which aims to provide energy at a lower cost.
Energy consultancy Xodus Group has signed a partnership deal with Saipem of Italy and Chiyoda of Japan to launch a subsea engineering company. Xodus subsea will provide studies, engineering and consultancy services which will focus mainly on the early phase of the projects, such as front end engineering, coneptual studies and basic design.
Subsea 7 has been awarded a contract in West Africa by CNR International (CNRI) to support development of its Baobab Field Phase III development. The contract has already begun for the work in the Ivory Coast with the scope of work covering the installation of spools and umbilical’s.
Subsea engineering and training firm Jee Ltd has been awarded a contract from Scottish Enterprise to develop electrical array cable solutions for tidal energy installations. The £2.4 million contract is part of a pioneering study for the marine energy industry in Scotland and the company will be involved in developing solutions for locating, securing, protecting and recovering cables.