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John Crane Asset Management Solutions signs three-year North Sea contract

John Crane Asset Management Solutions has secured a three-year £3million contract to provide condition based maintenance services with a major operator in the UK North Sea.

The work covers rotating equipment across 12 assets and infrastructure sites and includes deployment of a specialist engineer to the operator’s UK offices to support reliability improvement.

The agreement, which follows a competitive re-tender, extends the contract which John Crane Asset Management Solutions has held for the past eight years.

2017 07 10 095341John Crane Asset Management Solutions will provide condition based maintenance services to a major operator in the UK North Sea.

In October 2015, John Crane announced it had acquired XPD8 Solutions, an Aberdeen independent asset management business. All employees from both firms who were based in Aberdeen have now transferred to one site, which includes offices and workshops, at Centurion Court on North Esplanade West.

The latest contract, which is for an initial three years plus two one-year options, will enable the strengthened John Crane Asset Management Solutions team to use their expertise to fully meet the customer needs and further increase asset performance.   

Rod Mackenzie, UK Reliability Engineering Manager at John Crane Asset Management Solutions, said: “We will be supporting the client in transitioning from a mostly time-based maintenance programme to a condition based maintenance and reliability centred programme. This approach allows full ownership of each plant, with all data captured and used to ensure assets are working efficiently with any issues identified before they reach the stage of a breakdown.

“Key factors in securing the contract included our existing close business relationship and track record of success with the client, along with the experience in taking a holistic approach to maintenance.”

The contract involves John Crane Asset Management Solutions engineers mentoring their onshore and offshore compatriots with the client. This will include data collection training to minimise costs associated with sending specialists offshore.

Discussing the integration of XPD8 Solutions staff into John Crane Asset Management Solutions, John Morrison, Managing Director at John Crane Asset Management Solutions, said: “A lot of hard work has gone into integrating what were separate teams into one business stream. This joined up approach links the rapid response and nimble attitude XPD8 was recognised for with the experience and knowledge of John Crane’s staff and worldwide sales and service footprint.”

John Crane Asset Management Solutions is a trading name of XPD8 Solutions Limited, which is part of John Crane, itself a division of the global technology company Smiths Group Plc.

John Crane (www.johncrane.com) is a global leader in rotating equipment solutions, supplying engineered technologies and services to process industries. The company designs and manufactures a variety of products including mechanical seals and systems, couplings, bearings, filtration systems and predictive digital monitoring technologies. John Crane customer service is accessed through a global network of more than 200 sales and service facilities in over 50 countries. Fiscal year 2016 revenue was greater than 1 Billion USD (£830m). John Crane is part of Smiths Group (www.smiths.com), a global leader in applying advanced technologies for markets in threat and contraband detection, energy, medical devices, communications, and engineered components.

John Crane Asset Management Solutions (www.johncrane.com/services/asset-management) provide maintenance reliability and condition monitoring services to process industry customers. Services include Computerised Maintenance Management System (CMMS) build and optimization, spare parts review and analysis and condition monitoring programme implementation. Following John Crane’s acquisition of XPD8 Solutions in October 2015, the team of experts in Aberdeen were combined into one business unit, under the John Crane Asset Management Solutions name.  

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New CTO Boosts Rovco’s Senior Management Team

UK-based subsea company Rovco has strengthened its senior management team with the appointment of Dr Iain Wallace as chief technology officer (CTO).

The move reinforces the firm’s strategic vision to deliver subsea services that increase value and reduce risk through the use of innovative technologies.

A former technical lead for the European Space Agency, Wallace will drive the development of a real-time 3D vision system for ROVs and AUVs. He will also explore how artificial intelligence can be used to solve asset integrity issues by extracting actionable information from traditional video survey data.

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As CTO, he will enhance Rovco’s state-of-the-art underwater photogrammetric 3D modelling capabilities utilising the latest simultaneous location and mapping (SLAM) techniques for complex underwater inspections.

Wallace joins Rovco from SCISYS, a leading computer software and services company, where he was an autonomy and robotics analyst, focussed on developing innovative robotic navigation and scene understanding technology for the UK and European Space Agencies. Prior to this he was a research associate at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, where his work included the implementation of an indoor localisation system.

With more than 15 years’ experience in the robotics, computer science and software engineering space, Wallace also worked on the European Space Agency’s Master project and the UK Space Agency’s Chameleon field trial. During this time, he developed an autonomous exploration rover to detect targets of interest and survey the geological characteristics of an area while in transit.

Commenting on his new role, Wallace said: “The space and subsea sectors are very similar in many ways. Outer space and underwater are the two frontiers of discovery, which have both benefitted from mapping and exploration technology to unearth what lies beneath and beyond. Both are accustomed to harsh environments, extremely remote operations and are constantly on the lookout for technologies which will make operations simpler, safer and increase the return on investment, be it science discovery or accurate survey outputs.

“I am looking forward to exchanging my knowledge and experience across these sectors, while working for a company that is pushing the boundaries to develop technology that supports future offshore operations.”

Wallace will also assist the Bristol-based firm in attracting and securing future equity as the company looks to grow its UKCS position and gears up for further overseas expansion.

Brian Allen, CEO of Rovco, added: “Our aim is to be at the forefront of technological innovation in our industry. We are investing in the development and deployment of systems and services that deliver real value to our customers. Iain will be instrumental in driving this strategy forward while also developing our ROV 3D visualisation offerings and AUV capability. He understands the complexities of our business and brings an impressive set of technical and engineering skills. We are pleased to welcome him to the team.”

With an expanding fleet of ROVs, sized from micro to large inspection vehicles, Rovco has the resources required to provide inshore/offshore services and inspections anywhere in the world. Offering a unique approach to technical subsea challenges, Rovco has the expertise to deliver a high quality, cost effective solution for underwater hydrographic survey and inspection services, using high resolution state-of-the-art cameras, scanning sonars, multibeam echosounders and various leading edge survey technologies.

For more information about Rovco, visit www.rovco.com

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Caspian success sees ATR unveil new facilities and staff in Kazakhstan

ATR, a Centurion company, has opened a new base in Kazakhstan as the company looks to capitalise on recent business growth in the region. The business will initially employ 12 new personnel, 10 of which are local content, with plans to double the team over the next 12 months.

The purpose-built facilities at Aktau include offices, workshops and a yard area with the location selected to enable the company to support clients operating in the Caspian region.

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The decision to increase its presence in the country comes after ATR secured business to supply lifting equipment and regulatory inspection and maintenance services to support projects for some of the world’s leading energy services companies.

ATR, which merged with Centurion Group last year, is the largest rental fleet management company to the UK’s oil and gas industry. Now operating with the Group’s combined capabilities, it will be able to further support campaigns globally including those for operators, drilling companies, fabric maintenance contractors, engineering firms, and across shutdowns and marine projects.

Findlay Moir, ATR divisional director, said: “Our base in Kazakhstan is important strategically as it allows us to support all of Centurion’s companies throughout the region. We will be able to provide the full range of our services in country, all equipment and staff are there and ready to go to work.

“The locally based workforce will operate closely with our Baku business supported from our Aberdeen headquarters. Initially we will employ 12 people in country; however we expect this to more than double over the coming year.”

The facilities in Kazakhstan cover almost 2,000 square metres in size and are similar in size and capabilities to those the company has in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Centurion Group comprises nine companies - ATR, Conserve Oilfield Services, Jack Winches, Mining Camps Australia, RentAir Offshore, Safety & Technical Hydraulics Ltd, Seanic Ocean Systems, UES and Tristar Water Solutions.

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Schlumberger Introduces Complete Cased Hole Formation Evaluation and Reservoir Monitoring from a Single Tool

Pulsar service delivers rigless formation evaluation and monitoring for any reservoir to improve drilling efficiency and well productivity

Schlumberger has just introduced the Pulsar* multifunction spectroscopy service at the SPWLA 58th Annual Symposium. The new service provides the industry’s first complete cased hole formation evaluation and reservoir saturation monitoring with openhole logging quality.

This next generation in pulsed neutron logging features multiple detectors and a high-output pulsed neutron generator to significantly improve acquisition accuracy and increase both logging speed and measurement precision. The Pulsar service measurements are complemented by powerful algorithms delivering robust answers that compensate for variations in the borehole fluids and completions to make reservoir monitoring in complex conditions a reality.

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“Understanding both the formation lithology and fluid content is critical for making timely, informed completions decisions, particularly in complex reservoirs,” said Karin Hoeing, president, Wireline, Schlumberger. “In cost-driven markets, the Pulsar service makes it possible to perform a complete rigless formation evaluation that does not disrupt drilling schedules.”

The Pulsar service simultaneously obtains self-compensated traditional cased hole measurements, an expanded suite of elements including total organic carbon (TOC) and the new fast neutron cross section (FNXS) measurement. Directly sensitive to the volume of gas in the formation, the FNXS measurement differentiates and quantifies gas-filled porosity from liquid-filled and tight zones without requiring any openhole data input.

The service has been run to successfully guide completions designs in more than 60 wells in all the major shale plays in North America. Worldwide, nearly 500 wells have been logged by the Pulsar service for reservoir monitoring and bypassed pay identification.

In a Niobrara Shale well, a single run paired the Pulsar service with the ThruBit Dipole* through-the-bit acoustic service. The integration of a complete formation evaluation with geomechanical properties measured by the ThruBit Dipole service identified marl beds within the clay volume and related faults that were not possible to distinguish with measurement-while-drilling data, enabling the customer to optimize the staged frac completions.

For more information on the Pulsar service, visit www.slb.com/pulsar.

About Schlumberger

Schlumberger is the world's leading provider of technology for reservoir characterization, drilling, production, and processing to the oil and gas industry. Working in more than 85 countries and employing approximately 100,000 people who represent over 140 nationalities, Schlumberger supplies the industry's most comprehensive range of products and services, from exploration through production, and integrated pore-to-pipeline solutions that optimize hydrocarbon recovery to deliver reservoir performance.

Schlumberger Limited has principal offices in Paris, Houston, London and The Hague, and reported revenues of $27.81 billion in 2016. For more information, visit www.slb.com.

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United States Supreme Court Denies Petition for Review by Lawyer Behind Fraudulent Chevron Ecuador Lawsuit

The United States Supreme Court has denied a certiorari petition seeking review of a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirming extensive district court findings that a $9.5 billion Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron Corporation was the product of fraud and racketeering activity, and unenforceable in the United States.

2014 09 04 201222 chevronIn 2014, Steven Donziger, an American lawyer behind a fraudulent lawsuit against Chevron Corporation in Ecuador, was found by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to have violated the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), committing extortion, money laundering, wire fraud, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, witness tampering and obstruction of justice in obtaining the Ecuadorian judgment and in trying to cover up the criminal conduct by him and his associates. The court detailed its findings of fact in a nearly 500-page decision. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit unanimously affirmed the lower court's decision in August 2016.

"The facts of the Ecuadorian judicial extortion scheme and the illegality of the plaintiffs' lawyer misconduct have been finally and conclusively affirmed by the legal system of the United States," said R. Hewitt Pate, Chevron vice president and general counsel. "Today's decision is an important step toward bringing this illegal scheme to a final conclusion."

Chevron has never operated in Ecuador. Texaco Petroleum (TexPet), which became a subsidiary of Chevron in 2001, was a minority partner in an oil-production consortium in Ecuador along with the state-owned oil company, Petroecuador, from 1964 to 1992. After TexPet turned its remaining share of the oil operations over to Petroecuador in 1992, pursuant to an agreement with Ecuador, TexPet agreed to conduct a remediation of selected production sites while Petroecuador remained responsible to perform any remaining cleanup. The government of Ecuador oversaw and certified the successful completion of TexPet's remediation and fully released TexPet from further environmental liability. Petroecuador, however, failed to conduct the cleanup it promised and has continued to operate and expand oil operations in the former concession over the past 20 years.

Since the extent of the fraud was revealed, more than a dozen former insiders and allies have abandoned Donziger and his scheme, including his former co-counselenvironmental consultantsfundersinvestors, employees and Ecuadorian collaborators.

Donziger's attempts to enforce the fraudulent judgment in other jurisdictions have also been met with resistance. In January 2017, a Canadian court rejected an attempt to enforce the Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron's subsidiary, Chevron Canada Limited. The court found that Chevron Canada Limited is a separate entity from Chevron Corporation, not a party to the Ecuadorian lawsuit and not a debtor to the judgment.

Public prosecutors in Argentina and Brazil issued opinions in April 2016 and May 2015, respectively, to their courts recommending against the recognition of the Ecuadorian judgment. Brazil's Deputy Prosecutor General stated it was "issued in an irregular manner, especially under deplorable acts of corruption."

In December 2015, the Supreme Court of Gibraltar issued a judgment against Amazonia Recovery Ltd., a Gibraltar-based company set up by Donziger and his associates to receive and distribute funds resulting from the fraudulent Ecuadorian judgment. The court awarded Chevron $28 million in damages and issued a permanent injunction against Amazonia, preventing the company from assisting or supporting the case against Chevron in any way.

Chevron Corporation is one of the world's leading integrated energy companies. Through its subsidiaries that conduct business worldwide, the company is involved in virtually every facet of the energy industry. Chevron explores for, produces and transports crude oil and natural gas; refines, markets and distributes transportation fuels and lubricants; manufactures and sells petrochemicals and additives; generates power; and develops and deploys technologies that enhance business value in every aspect of the company's operations. Chevron is based in San Ramon, Calif. More information about Chevron is available at www.chevron.com.