Subsea engineering firm SengS nets £1.6million worth of contracts

A north-east engineering services firm, acquired by a private-equity backed manufacturer last year, has continued to build upon recent momentum with the announcement of new contracts worth £1.6million.

2016 07 16 151228SengS, part of the Pryme Group, will design, manufacture and install various test equipment for the onshore and offshore assets of several North Sea oil and gas operators and service companies.

Further afield, SengS has also been tasked with the completion of a subsea design project in Tunisia, North Africa – with all work to be carried out at the company’s Ellon facility.

These latest contract wins, secured in the past two months, follow repair and maintenance projects worth over £600,000 that were announced in May. This means that, within months of starting its new financial year, SengS has already won more than £2million of new business.

Having increased turnover from £1.7million in June 2016 to £2.1million for its March 2017 year-end, the business has revised its growth projections upwards and is now projecting turnover of over £3million by next March – nearly doubling turnover in less than two years.

SengS, which currently employs 21 people, expects to recruit further personnel, having already added four new employees since the turn of the year.

Murray Kerr, who founded SengS in 2012, recently took on the role of group strategic commercial director at Pryme Group, following the Dundee-based organisation’s acquisition of SengS in November 2016. Murray has been succeeded at SengS by new managing director, Peter Thomson.

Murray Kerr said: “With the support of our sister companies within the wider Pryme Group, we have been able to complement SengS’ existing engineering and testing knowledge and expertise with fabrication, machining, coating and painting capability to offer clients a genuine one-stop shop.

“This unique service offering has been a major contributing factor in our recent success and has allowed us to develop extremely cost-effective and innovative solutions that enable clients to stay on budget while still receiving a premium product.”

Angus Gray, CEO of Pryme Group, said: “These significant contract awards are testament to the hard work put in by all of the team at SengS over the past few years, with the business becoming increasingly well-known for completing larger, more complex projects for oil and gas operators and tier-one service companies.”

SengS provides engineering, testing, control and hydraulic systems and tooling to the energy industry. Since 2012, the company has successfully delivered nearly 500 projects across multiple disciplines for clients in the North Sea, Scandinavia, the Middle East and North Africa.

The business has invested £4.2million over the past three years in developing its 9,817 sq ft test facility. This included a £250,000 investment last year to enhance its existing pressure testing capability with the addition of a custom-built 60ft test rig and a 7.8m diameter by 5.8m high external water test tank.

About SengS

Based at the Balmacassie Commercial Park in Ellon, SengS provides engineering, testing, control and hydraulic systems and tooling to the energy industry.

In 2015, company founder Murray Kerr won a hat-trick of prestigious business awards: the Young Professional Award at the SPE Offshore Achievement Awards; the Emerging Entrepreneur (Scotland) accolade at the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards; and, the Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year honour at the 2015 Elevator Awards.

Murray was also named Emerging Industry Leader at the 2016 Press & Journal Gold Awards, while SengS won Business Success Under Three Years at the 2014 Elevator Awards.

For further information please visit

About Pryme Group

Pryme Group offers a one-stop, turnkey service for global contract manufacturing, combining high-quality machining with design capability, project management, hydraulic services, fabrication skills, assembly, and testing.

Pryme is majority-owned by Simmons and Company International’s private equity fund, which was established in 2008 to support the growth of small to medium-sized energy service businesses and currently has £160million under management.

For further information please visit


Decommissioning debate to take centre stage at SPE Offshore Europe 2017

Decommissioning will be a special focus at SPE Offshore Europe 2017 with a range of expert speakers announced as part of the plenary and new Decommissioning Zone technical programme. 

2017 08 07 095914Shell will host a keynote panel session with senior spokespeople from CNR, Chevron, Heerema Marine Contractors, Marine Scotland and the UK regulator BEIS. 

Supported by Decom North Sea, the new Decommissioning Zone will deliver an extensive line-up including presentations hosted by ITF, The Society for Underwater Technology, ImechE and Decom North Sea. Panellists offering expert insight throughout the three-day conference include Stephen Hall, CEO Society for Underwater Technology; Pieter voor de Poorte, Subsea Decommissioning Lead, Premier Oil and Bill Cattanach OBE, Head of Supply Chain, Oil & Gas Authority.

The zone is set to bring together thousands of highly targeted technical, business and government industry professionals with exhibitors including Diaquip, Integrated DECOM, EMAS Energy, Fairfield Energy, Petroplan Europe Ltd and Xodus Group among those signed up.

With more than 100 offshore platforms forecast for full or partial removal in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) and 1,800 wells to be plugged over the next decade, SPE recognised a need to place decommissioning high on the 2017 Offshore Europe agenda.

As several assets in the North Sea reach the end of their lifespan, the latest cost estimate from the Oil and Gas Authority has predicted the cost of decommissioning the UKCS oil and gas infrastructure is £59.7 billion with an ambitious goal of completing this work for less than £39 billion.

Roger Esson, Decom North Sea CEO said: “Operators and regulators are planning for the inescapable responsibility of decommissioning. The inaugural Decommissioning Zone at SPE Offshore Europe 2017 is an important step for the sector and wider industry to further discussions around planning, regulation, execution optimisation and technology.

“Not only will this zone showcase the innovative capabilities of its exhibitors, but its comprehensive programme of conference sessions will provide knowledge and insight into the opportunities and issues arising within the sector.”

Gareth Rapley, SPE Offshore Europe exhibition director, said: “We are looking forward to showcasing the latest advances in decommissioning and the theatre in the new zone will give a platform for debating and sharing lessons learned. We anticipate a lot of interest in the zone as the industry takes stock of the challenges and opportunities around dealing with assets reaching the end of production. ”

SPE Offshore Europe takes place 5 – 8 September in Aberdeen and will feature 1,000 exhibitors with 65 free to attend technical presentations and 11 keynote panel sessions combined with business breakfasts and topical lunches.

For full details of the SPE Offshore Europe 2017 Decommissioning Zone including how to become an exhibitor and the programme of events visit

SPE Offshore Europe is organised by The Offshore Europe Partnership, a joint venture between Reed Exhibitions Ltd and the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE).

Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading event organiser, with over 500 events in 40 countries. In 2013 Reed brought together over six million active event participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organised by 34 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events and is part of the Reed Elsevier Group, a world leading provider of professional information solutions.

The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) is a not-for-profit professional association whose members are engaged in energy resources development and production. SPE serves more than 164,000 members in 143 countries worldwide. SPE is a key resource for technical knowledge related to the oil and gas exploration and production industry and provides services through its publications, events, training courses, and online resources at


New Decommissioning Company Targets £200m Investment to Exploit Massive Market Opportunity

A major new entrant to North Sea decommissioning has been unveiled on (Friday 4th August).

Well-Safe Solutions, set up by a group of oil industry stalwarts - including Alasdair Locke, Mark Patterson, and Paul Warwick - will provide a ground-breaking approach to the safe and cost-efficient decommissioning of subsea wells. 

2017 08 07 095655The new start company, which aims to attract £200million in investment and create 400 new jobs, will offer a specialist well abandonment service that allows operators to meet the challenges and regulatory imperatives around decommissioning, while significantly reducing costs.

Well-Safe has secured funding from Scottish Enterprise, including investment from the Scottish Investment Bank and a regional selective assistance grant, in addition to the initial private funding provided by the major shareholders, which will enable the company to invest in assets and create jobs. 

Bringing together a wealth of subsea oil and gas expertise and experience with dedicated marine assets and equipment, Well-Safe will be the first-of-its-kind tier one company with a complete P&A (plug and abandonment) capability from front-end engineering and design to project execution.

Executive Director, Mark Patterson, explained: “The liability for late life, non-producing assets remains with the operator. This liability can be reduced via well P&A operations, but the timing on the decision to make these wells safe is heavily influenced by cost and the need for a new approach, working hand-in-hand with major operators.

“The market dynamics in oil and gas have changed significantly. Before the collapse in oil price, operators were focused on maximising production, costs were very high and assets scarce and, with no real regulatory imperative, decommissioning was pushed back. Cost and safety are still paramount but operators are now having to face up to the well abandonment challenge. They need to prioritise decommissioning activity and, with an increasing stock of “shut-in” wells, more incentives, low asset utilisation and therefore lower rates, the economics for P&A have become more compelling.”

Well-Safe aims to capitalise on this opportunity by offering an innovative funding model through a campaign-based approach that will enable sharing of knowledge across operating companies. Through a differentiated contracting strategy that will leverage economies of scale and challenge the “norm”, Well-Safe will manage projects efficiently and safely, while delivering clear savings.

Within a highly fragmented market, the new-start company will take away the need for contracts with multiple service providers and instead offer a “one-stop-shop” for operators’ P&A requirements.

“As the focal point of contact for the operator, we will take care of the planning, logistics and execution through our experienced personnel and our dedicated rigs or vessels via one, single contract,” explained Mr Patterson. “By combining competitive asset day rates with long-term service and support contracts at a fixed day rate, we will be able to offer higher efficiency and utilisation at lower cost.”

Well-Safe is looking to acquire high quality assets to carry out well abandonment work, including a semi-submersible rig, jack-up rig and light-weight intervention vessel.

“As owners of these assets, we can guarantee they will not be diverted to other drilling operations but used and mobilised exclusively for P&A activity. With this certainty over availability, we can secure long-term commitments from operators and have full control over scheduling of long-term well P&A campaigns,” added Mr Patterson

Alasdair Locke, who co-founded Abbot Group in 1992 and served as its chief executive officer is a major investor and will take up the role of non-executive chairman of Well-Safe.

He said: “The industry has been desperately seeking much more cost-efficient ways to tackle late-life activity and I strongly believe Well-Safe’s business model provides the solution. It will however require collaboration from operators and government, but if we think smarter and work hand-in-hand with stakeholders we can revolutionise how we deliver subsea well decommissioning.

“Well-Safe Solutions is committed to providing a world-class offering and has the skills, tools and experience to become the market leaders in this exciting, yet challenging phase of our industry. I am honoured to be given the opportunity to re-engage with the sector at this pivotal time and support Well-Safe achieve what it has set out to do, alongside my fellow shareholders.”

Expenditure on well abandonment in the UK Continental Shelf is forecast to double to £1.1billion in 2017. Around 5,000 wells, of which 1,000 are subsea, require to be decommissioned in the North Sea. Well P&A activity accounts for around 60% of the overall costs associated with decommissioning.

Well-Safe will work closely with operators and industry bodies while navigating the complex regulatory process, driving change, transparency and ensuring tax efficiency.

Mr Patterson added: “We’ve already attracted some of the most experienced people in the industry with the relevant knowledge of subsea wells to create a centre of excellence in P&A. The next step will be to acquire some of the best-in-class drilling rigs, vessels and equipment that will be able to take on any P&A operation.

“This is absolutely the right time for a new entrant to invest in key assets and people to build a market-leading decommissioning company for the future.”

Mr Patterson and Alasdair Lock are the major shareholders. Among the other industry heavy-hitters is Paul Warwick, formerly executive director for Repsol SA, executive vice president for Talisman Energy Inc. and regional president of ConocoPhillips Inc.

Mr Warwick added: “From an operator’s perspective, Well-Safe’s offering will be highly compelling. There is no better time for a new entrant to invest in key assets and people to build a market-leading decommissioning company for the future. Well-Safe is responding to the industry’s needs by delivering a service which is long overdue. With a strong management team and solid investor backing, I am pleased to be supporting a company that has what it takes to solve one of the UK’s biggest industrial challenges.”

Kerry Sharp, Director of the Scottish Investment Bank from Scottish Enterprise, said: “To remain at the forefront of the global oil and gas sector, Scotland has to adopt new approaches and innovation and also be ready to make the most of the new opportunities when they appear. Well Safe is a good example of a company taking advantage of the current decommissioning market opportunity, by adopting new approaches, and it will support another area of growth within the oil and gas sector, with the potential to generate a material number of new jobs and  benefit from new international opportunities.”


Next Generation Given Reference Material to Avoid Accidents like Piper Alpha

New oil & gas industry resource gets seal of approval from Lord Cullen at official launch

Lord Cullen has welcomed the launch of a valuable oil and gas resource which will help prevent incidents offshore and provide valuable reference material for tomorrow’s industry leaders.

The author of the seminal Cullen Report, following the Piper Alpha tragedy, was speaking at today’s launch of Encompassing the Future: Offshore Oil and Gas Operations. This resource pulls together 40 years of inter-disciplinary knowledge and experience in environmental, health and safety and performance management in a format that is easy to use and share with current and future generations of oil and gas professionals.

2017 08 03 112053

Lord Cullen said: “Painful lessons were learnt from the tragic events on 6 July 1988. These lessons, like so many others in the industry, must never be forgotten.  They should be used to ensure the safety of the people who work in it, the protection of the environment and the overall economic health and sustainability of offshore operations. The ten volumes of this resource will be an essential knowledge bank to pass on lessons learnt to the next generation, making sure that the industry retains the full benefit of years of expertise and experience.

“More than ever such comprehensive reference material is required. A mature province with ageing infrastructure, challenging economics, demographics and technology that pushes new boundaries must welcome and make full use of such a resource.”

The launch, sponsored by Brodies, was attended by 80 industry leaders with over 100 future leaders attending the following forum which outlined the content of the resource and explained how it can be used.

Paul Wheelhouse, Scottish Government Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy said: “The oil and gas industry makes a huge contribution to the Scottish economy, and will continue to do so for decades to come. Ensuring that the highest safety standards are applied across the industry is, of course, a key priority for all of us, and it is also essential to North Sea sustainability in the long run. 

 “So I’m delighted to officially unveil this invaluable resource, which is the culmination of a collective effort by academics and industry experts, who have drawn upon nearly forty years of research and experience. This repository should represent the ‘gold standard’ for health and safety, and environmental management - not just for Scotland, but for the rest of the world. The Scottish Government, along with academia and industry partners, is very happy to have been able to help fund the repository and we strongly support it.”

An ICOE (International Centre for Oil and the Environment) initiative, this knowledge repository will help future leaders deal with the challenges of oil price volatility, technological innovation and the loss of experienced personnel.

William Cairns, executive chairman of ICOE and editor-in-chief of the resource, said: “Compiling such a comprehensive knowledge repository during one of the most challenging periods faced by the industry has been a mammoth task. However, with the support of industry and academic experts, this much-anticipated project distils, records and shares intellectual and operational expertise in a format for the digital age. Its value is inestimable not only in terms of accident prevention and avoidance of environmental damage, improving decision-making to ensure greater efficiency but also in exporting North Sea experience and expertise around the world.”

The launch, hosted by Sir Ian Diamond and held at Aberdeen University’s Kings College Conference Centre, boasted an eminent panel of speakers including Paul Warwick, Colette Cohen, Gunther Newcomb, Chris Bird and Professor Alex Kemp.

Guests were given an overview of the thinking behind the project, the challenges currently facing the sector and how this knowledge bank can help meet these through new thinking, the retention and transfer of expertise and the collaborative imperatives between industry and universities.


Emerson puts digital plant in palm of your hand with new mobile platform

New DeltaV™ Mobile leverages IoT technologies to bring real-time plant data to personnel – anytime, anywhere – for faster decision-making

Emerson (NYSE: EMR) is launching DeltaV™ Mobile, a new platform that leverages Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to empower the manufacturing engineer of the future with the most complete access to real-time data, trends and insight to make better-informed, critical operations decisions – securely from anywhere in the world.

Part of Emerson’s Plantweb™ digital ecosystem, DeltaV Mobile fuses smartphone technology with process control data to make operational intelligence available 24/7 for its customers – which include oil and gas operations, refineries, chemical plants, and life sciences facilities – for improved safety, reliability and operational performance.

2017 08 03 111200Emerson has introduced the new DeltaV™ Mobile platform.

The digital plant of the future uses DeltaV Mobile to remove the confines of the control room and enable the digital worker— managers, engineers, operators and subject matter experts – to monitor operations and see critical operational data when, how and where they want, without waiting for regular business hours, manual reports, or being tied to a computer.

By integrating seamlessly and securely with the DeltaV distributed control system, DeltaV Mobile delivers critical contextual data that is often left behind by other solutions. With added context, DeltaV Mobile users can make better decisions around operational events that could affect bottom-line business results. Incorporating Emerson’s Plantweb Secure First Mile™ technology, DeltaV Mobile provides safe, remote access to important plant data without impacting critical production systems.

“DeltaV Mobile is an important Industrial IoT tool to help companies make decisions faster and smarter,” says Jamie Froedge, president, Process Systems and Solutions, Emerson Automation Solutions. “Mobile intelligence will transform operational workflows and practices and drive collaboration across the enterprise, which helps customers reach Top Quartile performance.” Top Quartile is defined as achieving operations and capital performance in the top 25 percent of peer companies.

An Industrial IoT-ready infrastructure, DeltaV Mobile enables on-site teams to quickly and securely connect with off-site experts, extending organisation-wide expertise and collaboration beyond the plant. Intuitive mobile views and customisable filtering ensure that users see clear and relevant data and alerts about the safety and performance of facilities. It easily provides alarms, trends and data available on DeltaV operator workstations to iOS and Android mobile devices, as well as alarm alerts via push, SMS, or email notification.

DeltaV Mobile is a core platform solution in Emerson’s Always Mobile™ portfolio, which also includes Asset View for the AMS ARES asset management platform and Guardian™ Mobile. Always Mobile technologies deliver operational mobility solutions that improve productivity and collaboration. With secure, instant access to operational information in intuitive views, personnel at all levels of organisations can make effective, business-critical decisions.

For further details about DeltaV Mobile, please visit

About Emerson

Emerson (NYSE: EMR), headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), is a global technology and engineering company providing innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial, and residential markets. Our Emerson Automation Solutions business helps process, hybrid, and discrete manufacturers maximise production, protect personnel and the environment while optimising their energy and operating costs. Our Emerson Commercial and Residential Solutions business helps ensure human comfort and health, protect food quality and safety, advance energy efficiency, and create sustainable infrastructure. For more information visit