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Targeting Growth From West of Shetland Experience


Crondall Energy is hoping to leverage its experience on major projects for more work in the west of Shetland (WoS) region.


The area has played an important role over the last year for the floating production and subsea specialist, which has been providing engineering support for Hurricane Energy’s huge Lancaster development.


In October, it was also awarded planning work for Siccar Point’s Cambo development, including an evaluation of FPSO options.


Chief executive Duncan Peace described WoS as a “significant opportunity” for the consultancy, with more potential projects coming up.


He said: “I can think of a number of FPSO projects coming up there in the medium term and I think we can work to capitalise on our experience on the Lancaster project to help other companies developing projects in the same area.


It definitely represents a significant opportunity to us. It’s been great to be involved with Lancaster and with Siccar Point.


We have had a busy year in 2018. It’s been exciting and an opportunity to expand our knowledge and understanding of the challenges west of Shetland presents.”


Mr Peace added that it was good to see increasing levels of activity in the WoS, referencing Spirit Energy’s farm-in to Hurricane’s Greater Warwick Area and Equinor taking over operatorship of Rosebank.


However, speaking over the phone during a business trip to Corpus Christi in Texas, he highlighted that WoS is not the only region that Crondall wants to see growth.


The firm has this month opened an office in Houston, adding to other premises in London, Aberdeen and Singapore.


Mr Peace said the firm has ambitions to grow in all of those regions as the market shows signs of recovery.


I think there are definite signs that the market is picking up across all regions,” he said.


We certainly see an upturn in opportunities and activity in the UK, Norway and the US.


It’s not dramatic, we haven’t seen it bounce back to the levels we had in the early period of 2014.


The recovery is slow, those that are involved in the project planning stage are seeing the uptick. Companies, contractors and the supply chain generally who are involved later on may take some time to see that uptick.”


A FOCUS ON TECHNOLOGY


As well as its consultancy services, split between England and Aberdeen, Crondall has a dedicated technology development arm through its subsidiary, Buoyant Production Technologies (BPT).


Last year Crondall decided to split the business in the two sections, consultancy and tech, which allows Mr Peace to focus more on the latter side.


The decision was made thanks to a perceived “shift” in the offshore industry through discussions with clients – with improved use of technology needed in order to keep it competitive with other thriving sectors like the onshore shale.


Mr Peace said: “The change has been driven by what we see as a shift in the oil and gas sector offshore and the opportunity this new technology is bringing.


The context of that management decision goes back to our overall view of the sector and how we see it developing over the next few years. We see the need for the sector to remain economically competitive.


We need to maximise the benefits of technology to improve the life cycle of what we do offshore.


Our subsidiary BPT was born to take these ideas forward and mature them further, certainly within the context of the UK to help it reach its maximising economic recovery objectives.”


SMALL POOLS


To that end, Crondall is currently working with the Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) on a scheme to make it more economic to recover stranded reserves in “small pools”.


The facility of the future project aims cut operating costs by 50% through automated and reusable tech.


An estimated 3.5billion barrels of oil is trapped in these small pools in the North Sea alone, and 27billion barrels globally.


Mr Peace added: “It’s very important for us to be at the forefront of that process and explore the possibilities of what we can achieve”.

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