Oil and Gas

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ISSUE 2 | www.bus-ex.com

PZS Stabilization -SNCA Products:

Initiating a revolution How SGA-1 is set to revolutionize the hydraulic fracturing process

SPECIAL report: south african focus




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business excellence editorial

Martin Ashcroft

Will Daynes

John O’Hanlon

Editor In Chief



Martin has edited business magazines for 15 years and has been editor-in-chief since Business Excellence began. mashcroft@bus-ex.com

Will has been a business writer for three years. He joined the Business Excellence team in September 2012. wdaynes@bus-ex.com

John has contributed to Business Excellence since its inception: he joined the in-house editorial team in February 2013. johanlon@bus-ex.com



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Chief Executive

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Issue No.2


americas: 6 PZS Stabilization -SNCA Products Initiating a revolution

President of PZS Stabilization, Bruce Coulthard discusses the creation of the company’s SNCA Products’ SGA-1.

14 Excelerate Energy Floating assets

Developing the technological expertise to become a world leader in liquid natural gas projects.

26 Saxon Energy Services INC Management to match

Discover the Saxon Management System, lean and six sigma, and a new Oracle ERP platform.

26 38

Asia & Pacific: 38 Saxon Energy Services

Drilling deep down under

Standing out in the competitive drilling industry has required the provision of customised rigs, and an ability to meet local regulatory and safety standards.

europe: 48 Progetti Europa & Global Straight and true

An engineering company that has made a name for itself in the Middle Eastern oil business by playing it straight.

4 | Be oil & gas



middle east: 54 RASGAS


Ras Laffan-based RasGas has helped Qatar achieve the largest LNG production capacity in the world.

62 State Company for Oil Products (Iraq) All about oil

SCOP shows how complex engineering projects can be delivered in a challenging environment.

Africa: 74 Petrolube Ltd / Fuchs Tanzania Liquid gold


Gold prices have presented this lubricants specialist with unique opportunities, seized upon by its founder.

84 special report:

south african focus Exploring the oil & gas industry in south africa

Be oil & gas | 5

Initiating a revolution

President of PZS Stabilization, Bruce Coulthard discusses the creation of the company’s SNCA Products’ SGA-1 and how it is set to revolutionize the oil and gas industry’s hydraulic fracturing process to extract oil and gas

written by: Will Daynes research by: Robbie Hodgson

6 | be oil & gas

PZS Stabilization-SNCA Products

be oil & gas | 7

SGA-1 has no adverse environmental impact

PZS Stabilization-SNCA Products


his move into the oil and gas hydraulic fracturing market is something that’s new and exciting for our company,” enthuses Bruce Coulthard, President of PZS Stabilization LLC. The move in question has come as a result of forming a manufacturing company, SNCA Products LLC, and including exclusive rights to distribute a revolutionary new line of products globally. One of those products, SGA-1, is formulated specifically for the hydraulic fracturing process of oil and gas extraction -also called “fracing”. Until now, the lack of an alternative product has resulted in the oil and gas industry using millions of gallons of hydrochloric acid and other toxic chemicals in the fracing process. A semi-noncorrosive acid in the company’s SNCA Product line, SGA-1 has been specifically designed to replace hydrochloric acid with hydronium. Unlike hydrochloric acid, SGA-1 has no adverse environmental impact. The basis for this revolutionary scientific technology is a patented stabilization and production process related to the H9O4 molecule. The proprietary system enables isolation of hydronium, the ion that determines the pH of acids. “This is a product,” Coulthard continues, “that you can literally hold safely in your hands, swipe across your lips and use down the hole of a well. It’s really that safe to use. The seeming contradiction though is that it’s powerful enough to dissolve rock in much the same way as hydrochloric acid without creating the same ground water contamination, worker safety and fume problems.”

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A stable acid that does not decompose under normal conditions, SGA-1 completely dissolves calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium and mild-steel and is readily biodegradable, breaking down into water and oxygen. Confirmed by independent testing, the product has a dermal toxicity similar to water and has been awarded a Hazardous Materials Identification System rating of zero. “Perhaps the greatest benefit of this formulation is that its base components are food grade.” Lab tests on SGA-1, conducted using FDA Antimicrobial Effectiveness techniques have been nothing short of striking. The product passed the test with 100 percent kill rates for E.Coli, Staph aureus and other bacteria and virus remain even from 1-14 days. Tests on Phytophora Ramorum have the recorded the same results. The task of spreading word of the product is already well underway with the company making strong use of social media and with Coulthard himself deep in discussion with as many as nine of the largest players in the oil and gas market. “Early reports have been astoundingly positive and there is a growing buzz in the industry,” he highlights. “More and more companies are starting to understand that use of this product has political, environmental and economic

advantages and that discarding old methods is simply the right thing to do.” Strictly from an economic perspective, one of SGA-1’s core benefits is that it may allow the oil and gas industry to get far more oil or gas to the surface and increase daily production. Looking forward, however, when it comes to how this revolutionary

“A semi-noncorrosive acid in the company’s SNCA Product line, SGA-1 has been specifically designed to replace hydrochloric acid with hydronium” 10 | be oil & gas

PZS Stabilization-SNCA Products

Bruce Coulthard, President of PZS Stabilization

product will shape the future not a start-up venture. But, of oil and gas operations, while one can’t realistically Coulthard is convinced that say that within six months it will be intertwined with every oil and gas company greater field use. “In a way, will be putting this product the oil and gas industry down their drilling holes, The length of time spent researching and will effectively become our it has not stopped us developing the product partner going forward. Our from strategically planning technical staff is getting for rapid expansion and them started, but in turn, putting new manufacturing their engineers will give us feedback so we facilities in key regions across the globe.” may focus on the manufacturing options we Having firmly established itself within many have available. It will help us develop the industries including the mining sector with its work on stabilizing soils and controlling next generation of products.” “Where we are today is a result of eight dust, PZS Stabilization’s foray into the oil and years of research and development. This is gas industry is very much seen within the

8 years

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“we have proven our commitment to sell environmentally-responsible products that actually work” business as being a natural progression. For his part, Coulthard’s focus in the short term is to create a financially stable business model that is environmentally-sound as well. “By selling first our PennzSuppress dust control product and now our SNCA Products, we have proven our commitment to sell environmentally-responsible products that actually work,” Coulthard

12 | be oil & gas

proudly states. “I think it’s fair to say that with a product as powerful as this, we can make a difference. Chemically, it speaks for itself,” Coulthard says. “It really is amazing what this product is capable of doing in so many differing industries. It will control TCA, the cause of cork taint in the wine industry, as well as other microbial problems in the horticultural

PZS Stabilization-SNCA Products

SGA-1 has multiple uses across other sectors such as the horticulture, healthcare and wine industries

sector while also being useful in treating burn victims in war zones and burn centers throughout the world,” Coulthard says. “The oil and gas industry has started taking it seriously because it’s a resource that can solve all manner of operational issues while increasing its ability to be even more proactive on justifiable environmental concerns.” In advance of what the company sees as the expected demand for the product, PZS Stabilization has made efforts to automate the production process so that it could conceivably produce 100,000 gallons of SGA-1 per day per facility with only a few people overseeing the automated plant. It’s even possible that larger oil and gas companies will want an onsite manufacturing unit to potentially reduce costs.

As Coulthard himself concedes, the truth is that there are still multiple manufacturing and use possibilities at this stage in the game. “While we can’t be one-hundred percent certain what the years will bring, it hasn’t stopped us from looking at the future of SNCA Products broadly. We’ve mastered making a new, important product. Our job right now is to get it out to as many people as possible so they can see for themselves just how revolutionary it is. For more information about PZS Stabilization-SNCA Products visit: www.pzsstabilization.com

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14 | Be oil & gas

Excelerate Energy



In less than ten years Excelerate Energy has developed the technological expertise to become a world leader in liquid natural gas projects, pioneering ship-to-ship transfers and winning awards along the way

written by: john O’Hanlon research by: dan finn

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Excelerate’s Energy Bridge Regasification Vessels (EBRVs) are specially built LNG vessels equipped with onboard regasification capabilities

Excelerate Energy


he great advantage of liquid natural gas (LNG) is that when it is cooled to minus 259 degrees Fahrenheit, its volume is reduced to around 1/600th of its natural vapor volume, making it feasible to transport LNG by ship to the US from producing countries around the word. Excelerate Energy was founded in July 2003 to satisfy a need to bring more natural gas into North America. At the time, demand was outstripping domestic supply, and the marketplace was not well equipped to import large quantities of the fuel, which is used for heating and cooling homes and businesses as well as powering electric generation plants and industrial facilities. Headquartered in The Woodlands, Texas, Excelerate is now established as a leading developer of LNG transportation and regasification infrastructure, a provider of LNG storage and regasification services and an importer of LNG. The company leads the industry in the development of innovative, f lexible and less capital intensive f loating LNG importation projects, based on its dockside (GasPort) and offshore (Gateway) Energy Bridge shipboard regasification technology. In 2005 Excelerate completed the Gulf Gateway project, an offshore terminal located 116 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico discharging natural gas directly into interstate and intrastate pipelines. The first deepwater LNG import facility in the world, Gulf Gateway provided the means for establishing the technical and commercial viability of Excelerate’s Energy

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px group



improving performance through...

...professional engineering ...operational excellence ...creative energy management px has been providing professional management solutions for high risk, hazardous and strategic asset operations for 20 years. For more information please call our business development team on + 44 (0) 1642 623 000 or email enquiry@pxlimited.com

px group | operational excellence - it’s our people that make the difference

Excelerate Energy Br idge Regasi f icat ion PX Group Vessels (EBRVs), specially With credibility and experience built up over the past 20 built LNG vessels equipped years, the PX Group provides professional management with onboard regasification solutions to high risk, high hazard and strategic asset capabilities. operations across a diverse range of industries including oil Two years later, the & gas, power, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and biofuels. Core service delivery in operations & maintenance, engineering company commissioned and and energy management mean that there is a constant focus built the Teesside GasPort in on improving asset performance on behalf of our clients. the United Kingdom, a landExcelerate Energy approached PX in 2005 with the based receiving terminal idea of delivering regasified LNG onto the UK National and the world’s first Transmission System (NTS). PX developed and project dockside LNG vaporization managed the land based elements of the installation and natural gas receiving completing the facility in a staggeringly short timescale. All operational and maintenance requirements of the high facility, using the Energy pressure gas and blending system are now managed and Bridge technology. That maintained by PX. project was brought into www.pxlimited.com service just 12 months after the site was chosen at a fraction of the cost of a traditional landbased terminal. In 2008, Excelerate was again building offshore assets, this time constructing the Northeast Gateway 13 miles offshore from the town of Gloucester, Massachusetts and 18 miles from Boston. Excelerate Energy implemented the world’s first commercial ship-to-ship (STS) transfer of LNG on 25 August 2006 between the vessels Excelsior and Excalibur, transferring LNG while underway in the Gulf of Mexico. STS transfers have since been commercially accepted and proven in a wide range of environments including open ocean locations and protected bodies of water at locations between the LNG load ports and the market delivery points. In May 2010 Excelerate achieved another first while completing its 42nd EBRVs can function as both a STS operation, by using its Energy Bridge traditional LNGC and an FSRU

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Delivering excellence in the gas and oil industries Developing engineered solutions for safe loading and unloading of compressed and liquefied gas.

Houston, USA t. +1 281 856-1300

Kirchhain, Germany t. +49 6422 84-0

assist@emcowheaton.com | www.emcowheaton.com

Excelerate Energy

2003 Year Excelerate Energy was founded

Regasification Vessel (EBRV) Express to complete the gassing-up and cooling down of the new build EBRV Expedient, with an STS transfer operation off Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Gassing-up and cooling down typically takes place at a conventional LNG terminal as a ship comes out of dry dock or ship yard in preparation for receiving a cargo. This operation is often an expensive and time consuming procedure. Excelerate Energy’s specialized LNG carriers (LNGCs) are equipped with an

Excelerate at the commissioning of Northeast Gateway

onboard regasification system as well as normal LNG discharge capability, enabling the vessels to offload at conventional LNG terminals, at Excelerate’s own facilities and also via STS transfer. The company Emco Wheaton pioneered commercial LNG Delivering Excellence transshipment with STS, Marine Loading Arms from Emco Wheaton have been which uses flexible cryogenic engineered to operate at pressures of up to 150 bar to hoses, ‘dry-break’ emergency ensure that compressed and liquefied natural gas can be release couplings and other safely unloaded from ocean going gas tankers to storage control systems which vessels on shore. replicate, in all respects, the In-built safety features allow for tanker movement during conventional LNGC-LNG the loading and unloading processes, supported by a range of advanced components developed for easy coupling under Terminal cargo transfer. extreme pressure, supported by sophisticated emergency In March 2 011 systems for rapid disconnection if needed. Excelerate completed its In addition to natural and liquefied gas, Emco Wheaton is also 100t h STS operation, a world leader in the development of loading arm technology when the regasification for the safe and efficient transfer of all types of fluids. vessel Exquisite received a www.emcowheaton.com transfer of 126,881 cubic

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We congratulate the Shareholders, Board of Directors, Management and Staff for their foresight and success in developing and growing Excelerate Energy into a company that enjoys the mark of excellence throughout the world.

Tel USA 619 308 5156\858 755 5450 Fax USA 760 565 1782 E-mail nosco@aol.com

We are a group of professional consultants that have successfully provided services to the marine, oil and gas industries since the early 1970’s. Our services include working with international business leaders, senior government officials, their agencies, providing product and project development, marketing and sales.

Excelerate Energy

Excelerate pioneered ship-to-ship transfers

meters of LNG in Kuwait at the Mina its Gulf Gateway Energy Bridge Deepwater Al-Ahmadi GasPort. Port in the Gulf of Mexico. The company So rapid has been the company’s growth will now continue to import LNG into the that its 200th commercial ship-to-ship United States through the previously transfer of LNG occurred less than nine mentioned Northeast Gateway Deepwater months later, on 27 November 2011 in Port facility offshore Boston. Escobar, Argentina at the GNL Escobar LNG Gulf Gateway had been effectively import facility. Using Excelerate Energy’s delivering natural gas to the Gulf Coast regasification vessel Exemplar and the region through two separate offshore conventional LNG carrier Excel, 58,230 pipeline systems. However, in September 2008 Hurricane Ike caused cubic meters of LNG were transferred using the doublesignificant damage to both banked LNG transfer system. pipelines. Although Gulf In April last year, Gateway was unaffected responding to the changing by the hurricane, neither market for LNG imports pipeline has since been Achieved on 27 into the US Gulf Coast, able to return to its prior November 2011 Excelerate decided to retire level of service.

200th STS

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“Gulf Gateway has served us well, and was instrumental in confirming the viability of floating LNG regasification – turning an innovative concept into an accepted industry solution,” said Rob Bryngelson, president and CEO. “As Excelerate Energy looks to expand its operations and deliver flexible and efficient regasification solutions around the world, we are focused on markets with the greatest need. This focus, coupled with the surge in LNG importation capacity in the United States Gulf Coast in recent years, has reduced the need for Gulf Gateway and confirmed that its retirement is the most financially prudent course of action for us.” More recently, in August last year Excelerate Energy contracted with Petrobras to provide an advanced floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU), designated by Petrobras as VT3, to deliver 20 million cubic meters per day of natural gas to the southeast region of Brazil. The VT3 design is based on Excelerate Energy’s existing fleet and Petrobras requirements, and will have a storage capacity of 173,400 m3, making it the largest FSRU in the industry. Capable of operation as both an FSRU and a fully tradable LNG carrier, this vessel is expected to enter into service in May of 2014. In December 2011, the company executed an agreement with the Puerto Rico Electric

Power Authority (PREPA) to undertake the development and permitting of a floating offshore LNG regasification facility off the southern coast of Puerto Rico. The facility, named Aguirre GasPort, will provide fuel to the Central Aguirre Power Plant and is a step forward in the island’s strategy to convert power generation from high-cost, high-emissions imported oil to cost-effective, cleaner-burning natural gas.

“We have always been committed to growing the industry through innovation and it is a great honor to have our contribution recognized by our peers” 24 | Be oil & gas

Excelerate Energy

The Energy Bridge Regasification Vessel Excelsior

PREPA recognizes the urgent need to reduce the dependence on oil and increase the use of natural gas to stimulate economic development, attract industries, improve quality of life and create more jobs on the island. “If we want to be competitive at the global level, we must substantially reduce dependence on oil,” a PREPA representative stated. “The construction of the Aguirre GasPort facility will allow us to reduce that dependency.” Construction of the Aguirre GasPort will be Excelerate Energy’s seventh floating LNG import facility - more than any company in the industry. The facility is expected to be in service in 2014. On 19 November 2011, Excelerate Energy was recognized by the CWC World

LNG Summit for its contribution to the industry by being awarded the 2011 CWC LNG Technological Innovation Award for its pioneering efforts in STS transfers of LNG. “We are profoundly pleased to be the recipient of the LNG Technological Innovation Award for having developed and implemented the first ship-to-ship transfer system. We have always been committed to growing the industry through innovation and it is a great honor to have our contribution recognized by our peers,” said Bryngelson. For more information about Excelerate Energy visit: www.excelerateenergy.com

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Management to match 26 | Be oil & gas

Saxon Energy Services Inc. (CANADA)

Supply chain director Shaun Anderson talks about implementing the Saxon Management System, lean and six sigma, and a new Oracle ERP platform

written by: Gay Sutton research by: Jeff Abbott Be oil & gas | 27

Australia catwalk

Saxon Energy Services Inc.


he oil and gas industry is renowned for going through intensive periods of growth; and it’s all too easy for small companies to overextend and destabilise as they struggle to manage a growing portfolio of projects, staff and capital equipment with processes designed for a much smaller footprint. With a period of significant growth under its belt, Calgary-based Saxon Energy Services is now embarking upon a two-year strategy to build a corporate infrastructure not only capable of supporting the current international enterprise, but creating a stable base for expansion in the future. Launched in 2005 as a small contract drilling and well services business with nine rigs in Ecuador, the company has grown both organically and through acquisition, and now owns and operates 98 rigs in 13 countries with a workforce of some 2,700 people. The most rapid period of growth has taken place over the past year during which time the workforce has grown by 58 percent and the rig fleet by 38 percent. “In December last year we completed the acquisition of Schlumberger’s Rig Management Group (RMG) through which we acquired 1,000 new employees and 14 additional rigs, operating on contracts in Oman, Venezuela and Pakistan,” explains supply chain director Shaun Anderson. “We have also significantly expanded our Australian operations, and have invested in 13 additional rigs to operate in the Queensland area for QGC and Santos.” With growth of this order, the company’s

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PROVEN PERFORMANCE Products and Services  Top Drives  Aftermarket Sales & Service  Tubular Services  Cementing Solutions  Deepwater Completions

24-Hour Parts and Services TESCO offers 24-hour service and support through our global network of highly trained top drive technicians. TESCO top drives have a proven performance of 99.7% uptime with our onsite technicians.

North America 1-877-TESCO-77 International 1-713-359-7295

marketing@tescocorp.com © 2012 Tesco Corporation. All right reserved.

Saxon focus for the next few years is to Tesco Corporation continue growing organically, Tesco Corporation is a global leader in the design, and to build a corporate commercialization, and service of technology based management framework to solutions for the upstream oil and gas industry. We create support the company going value by reducing drilling costs and non-productive time forward. “The idea is to (NPT) by changing the way people drill wells and install / create a global structure that cement casing. Our top drive systems and tubular services span the globe with the industry’s largest fleet of both will enable us to manage rental top drives and automated casing running tools. our growing international TESCO’s commitment to engineering and service excellence organisation as one team, enables drilling contractors the ability to increase and run it both efficiently operational efficiency and safety. and effectively—not just now www.tescocorp.com but 10 or more years into the future,” Anderson says. From a high level perspective, Saxon is currently developing what it calls the Saxon Management System (SMS), which will define business standards and processes and roll them out across the entire enterprise. Utilising the latest SharePoint technology from Microsoft, SMS will enable the entire organisation to share information and communicate effectively around the globe, and it is being structured around eight integrated elements. These are: commitment, leadership and accountability; policies and objectives; organisation and resources; contractor and supplier management; risk management; business processes; performance monitoring and improvement;

98 rigs Operated by Saxon in 13 countries Topdrive system

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ENERGY Saxon EnergySAXON Services Inc. tempor incididunt ut labore Saxon feature and audits Energy and reviews. individuals from each text....Lorem et dolorewithin magna Ut Saxon has ipsum takendolor the function thealiqua. company sit amet, enim ad minimtoveniam, were trained green already provenconsectetur and highly adipisicing elit, sed do quis nostrud exercitation belt certification during successful Schlumberger ullamco laboris nisi ut eiusmod tempor November and December m a n a g e me nt incididunt s y s te m aliquip commodo ut et dolore and magna last year,exin ea order to lead as labore a benchmark, is consequat. Duisrolling aute irure aliqua. Ut enim ad minim the lean effort, it out ‘Saxonizing’ it: identifying dolor inthe reprehenderit in veniam, quispolicies nostrud and developing and through company. voluptate velitthe esse cillum exercitationthat ullamco standards willlaboris drive In addition company dolore eu afugiat nulla nisi utof aliquip ex eaintegrated commodo each the eight is running profitability pariatur. Excepteur sint consequat.Implementation Duis aute irure elements. of en ha ncement prog ra m cupidatat eac non dolor in reprehenderit in This is a caption this is a caption (occaecat the system began during the PE P), whereby h voluptate velit esse cillum first quarter of 2013. fproident, u nc t ion sunt a l in g r culpa oup qui is dolore eu fugiat Excepteur identifying officia deserunt mollit animthe id normal est laborum. Alongside thisnulla high pariatur. level management areas outside daysint occaecatthe cupidatat nonisproident, sunt Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur responsibilities of the business framework, company planning to to-day adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod can tempor in culpa quisix officia deserunt mollit anim id where implement sigma and lean to increase company performance be est laborum. efficiency Lorem ipsum sit amet, improved. incididunt ut labore dolore magna aliqua. operational anddolor to eliminate Some of et the projects can then consectetur adipisicing do eiusmod Ut used enim to adlaunch minimsix veniam, nostrud unnecessary activities elit, andsed waste. Select be sigma quis and lean.

DP-MASTER DP-Master, a privately owned company founded in 2004, has emerged as a global player in the manufacture of drilling products. The strategic vision of the management has enabled the company to become a global brand which is recognised in all segments of the drilling products market. Our focus on R&D to develop products suited to the more extreme environments, the creation of the international sales, marketing & technical support group and our unflinching commitment to quality are the drivers for the success of DP-Master. Our products are performing the job they were meant to do, successfully, across all continents. With international offices in Singapore and Dubai offering sales, logistics, technical support

and licensee support, DP-Master will ensure that customer service is always a priority. R&D investment in recent years has resulted in DPMaster being able to offer a range of products capable of meeting the most challenging drilling conditions. These include DPM-DS connections, DPM-MT connections, DPM-140 grade, DPM150 grade, sour service grades and customised large bore drill strings. DP-Master recognises that it must remain very competitive and yet deliver top quality products. DP-Master has an excellent supply chain for raw materials; combined with our own ongoing process improvement, we ensure we will maintain our competitive edge.


OCTOBER 2012| |332 Be oil & gas

Supplying the Oilfield Worldwide since 1986. Recognized as a Reputable Supplier of a comprehensive range of equipment and spare parts for the Petroleum Industry.


www.bhansen.com Tel: (281) 859-5112 | Fax: (281) 859-5212 | Email: sales@bhansen.com


Heard Tell us about your company and we’ll tell everyone else www.bus-ex.com

Saxon Energy Services Inc. The third pillar of the Saxon improvement B. Hansen Inc. was established in 1986 during the worst programme is another oilfield industry downturn in history. The risk to expand into major undertaking. As other service related markets was borne of the realization Saxon has reached its that the oilfield supply industry was faltering. Boots Hansen, current size through a world renowned for his service in fighting oil related fires, combination of acquisition responded to this need through the formation of B. Hansen Inc. The company was to adopt the same dedication, and organic growth, it commitment, and timely response as the founder but focus operates with a variety of on the supply of equipment, spare parts and service. ERP platforms at different www.bhansen.com locations. To bring the entire organisation together under one operating system, the company is in the process of rolling out Oracle Enterprise Business Suite across the business. Currently all operations in Canada, the US, Mexico, Australia and Colombia have migrated to the new platform with operations in Oman, Pakistan and Venezuela following suit. These three major initiatives each have their challenges, but the rewards are likely to mark Saxon out from its competitors, enabling it to continue responding quickly and flexibly to its customers’ needs even as the size of the organisation grows. The supply chain element of the company is playing a key role in each of these initiatives, defining supply chain standards and processes and rolling them out across The workforce has grown 58 percent in the last year the enterprise, as well as defining areas

b. hansen, inc.

“I want to make Saxon’s supply chain best-in-class, an operation that others in the oil and gas industry will measure themselves by” Be oil & gas | 35

Saxon now owns and operates 98 rigs in 13 countries

36 | Be oil & gas

for improvement. Anderson has a very clear ambition for the future. “I want to make Saxon’s supply chain best-in-class, an operation that others in the oil and gas industry will measure themselves by.” To achieve this aim he has set clearly defined targets for the next two years. “This year we are working to make sure that we have key strategic supply chain partnerships and the right system functionality in place to support growth. We have also realigned our supply chain organisation to better support operations regionally.” One key partnership, for example, is with top drive supplier of choice Tesco Corporation, with whom Saxon has had a strong relationship for many years. TESCO helped support Saxon’s entry into new markets such as Australia and has been influential in improving performance in existing markets. Saxon Supply Chain Management is organised into three operational regions each with a regional manager. North America (NAM) comprises Canada, the US and Mexico, while South America (SAM) includes Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. The Eastern hemisphere includes Oman, Pakistan and Australia. The company is managed as a matrix organisation: the global supply chain support team comprises over 50 people spread across the regions, tasked with both tactical and strategic responsibilities. They have direct reporting lines through their country managers as well as functional reporting lines stretching back to Anderson at corporate headquarters. “This year,” he continues, “as we continue rolling out our new Oracle ERP platform we

Saxon Energy Services Inc.

Saxon employs some 2,700 people

will begin putting cost modelling processes in place using data collected globally from all sites, and we will begin centralizing procurement. This will then enable us to achieve much better internal efficiency and improve our leveraged position with our suppliers.� Another big project for Anderson’s team, which is part of SMS and scheduled for 2013, is to introduce the concepts of risk management into supply chain management. Anderson describes this as moving away from reacting to and managing issues that have arisen, and focusing instead on proactively identifying and analysing potential supply chain risks. By identifying risks that could have a high impact and high probability of occurrence, and developing containment

and mitigation plans, business continuity can be much more reliably assured. T hese programmes represent a considerable amount of change for Saxon, but change that will transform the company into a strong, flexible and responsive global player. It is perhaps appropriate that the company’s core values are articulated in the acronym STRIVE. Standing for safety, teamwork, respect, integrity, value and empowerment, they are all about creating a high value organisation that is striving to do better. For more information about Saxon Energy Services Inc. visit: www.saxonservices.com

Be oil & gas | 37

Saxon Energy Services (Australia)

Drilling deep

down under Founded in 2005 in Canada by a group of experienced drilling rig experts, Saxon Energy Services is now majority owned by oilfield services specialist Schlumberger and the largest private equity provider in the business, First Reserve

written by: John O’Hanlon research by: Jeff Abbott

Be oil & gas | 39

Saxon rig in Mexico

Saxon Energy Services


axon started life in Ecuador, supplying just nine rigs there; since then, it has transformed itself into a genuinely international drilling company with a fleet of about 100 rigs and a workforce of nearly 3,000 working in 13 countries. It came into this market on the back of the need in Australia to modernise and increase the number of the available rig fleet in country, and the expansion into the coal seam gas (CSG) market, says country manager for Australia, Daniel Marcano, a Venezuelan formerly responsible for the operation of Schlumberger’s rig operations in his native country and throughout Latin America. The CSG industry has expanded dramatically over the last decade and is likely to continue to expand as demand in the domestic and export markets increases. CSG has attracted a lot of commercial interest because of its purity and nontoxicity. Historically, the gas was aired out as it was the cause of many mining explosions; however following increased global awareness of CSG capability as a viable energy resource in its own right as well as the development of more efficient technology for its extraction, the commercial utility of CSG is now being fully exploited. The Saxon mantra is ‘Fit For Project’, and its latest Advanced Technology rigs, the ATD (Advance Technology Double) and ATS (Advance Technology Single) were found ideal for the conditions found in the Cooper Basin and the Queensland coalfields. Nevertheless this is a competitive market, and even these advanced technologies

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Telephone: 07 46352660 | Facsimile: 07 46352004 E: john@oztecman.net.au

• We service industry from farming to mining • We custom design and build machines that exceed customer expectations • We focus on machine reliability

OZZIE innovation

OZZIE engineered

OZZIE built


Saxon Energy Services are widely available. What Oztec Manufacturing makes Saxon different Oztec Manufacturing of Toowoomba (Queensland, from its competition, says Australia) congratulates Saxon Drilling Services Australia Marcano, is the way it takes on the expansion of its operations into the coal seam the burden from its clients, gas (CSG) industry of south-east Queensland. Oztec not only in terms of designing Manufacturing is proud to have been part of this expansion, the right rigs for the job, but supplying specialty support skids for the 13 Saxon rigs being rigged up in Toowoomba. meeting the local regulatory “We enjoy the working relationship we have with the constraints and above all the people at Saxon. Working together, Oztec has been able required safety standards to supply custom design and build equipment that exceeds to operate in Australia. Saxon’s expectations.” “The key to delivering Fit Oztec Manufacturing supplies equipment to industry For Project solutions is to across Australia. adapt the rig itself, and all john@oztecman.net.au the different components around the central package to provide something that is suited to the type of wells that have to be drilled, the characteristics of the field in terms of rig moving, and the specifics of whether you want to drill several wells from the same location (on the same pad) or not.” Many companies, he adds, will provide an off-the-shelf type of rig—from China or Europe perhaps—but without adding Saxon’s capacity for customisation for the specific task to be perfromed. Saxon’s rigs are built in the US or Canada; and during 2012 alone, Saxon brought into Australia equipment with a total value of more than

3,000 Approximate size of Saxon’s workforce Saxon rig

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UNILIFT Equipment and Sales has become one of the fastest growing rigging and lifting supply companies in Australia with product knowledge, outstanding service and customer satisfaction, supplying goods and services to mining, offshore, oil and gas, shipping, construction, engineering and energy markets throughout the country. UNILIFT Equipment and Sales is dedicated to supply quality products to their client’s, with a diverse product range or wire and synthetic rope, lifting chains, rigging accessories, material handling, load restraint, height safety and hoisting products which are sourced from Australia and around the world from quality assured manufacturers. Service has become a key factor to our success. UNILIFT Equipment and Sales has the capability to deliver. We can offer our customers rigging equipment inspections and testing, manufacture, spooling machines, lifting beam design, rope splicing and heavy lift consultation. Our experienced and dedicated staff including our engineering department to our inspection and testing team are available to discuss any aspect of your needs. We invite you to consider UNILIFT Equipment and Sales for all you’re lifting and rigging requirements with your next major project and you will find that using UNILIFT Equipment and Sales will bring confidence and rewarding experience to your business.

No 1 for Quality Lifting, Rigging & Height Safety Equipment (Head office Address) 9 Astill Drive Orange N.S.W 2800 Ph: +61 2 6360 3311 / Fax: +61 2 6361 9903

(Perth Address) 6 Ambrose Street Rockingham W.A 6168 Ph: +61 8 9528 5862 / Fax: 1800 193 968

Email: sales@uniliftequipment.com.au | Web: www.uniliftequipment.com.au

Saxon Energy Services

13 Countries where Saxon operates $100 million—not the cheapest, but in terms of delivering value to the client by far the most cost effective way to conduct a drilling programme. Last year Saxon brought in three sophisticated ATD rigs to drill 9,800-foot gas wells for Santos, which has been providing Australia with natural gas from the remote outback for more than 40 years, and today is one of the largest producers of natural gas for the Australian domestic market. The rigs operating in the remote Cooper Basin incorporate energy efficient AC-VFD (variable frequency drive) technology and a good deal of automation as well, says Marcano. “The automation is there to reduce the amount of manual interaction between the rig crews and the elements of the drill string. We try to eliminate manual work as much as possible to minimise the need for large crews, and the consequent potential exposure to hazards and incidents. For Santos, safety is a very high priority, and that’s another main reason why it wanted to invest in rigs that have a certain level of automation.” The rigs are designed to be moved from one well to another using the available oilfield winch trucks and without the need to bring in cranes. At a single stroke, the cost of moving the rigs from well to well in

Saxon rig in Cooper Basin, Australia

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this inaccessible part of Australia is reduced, the proportion of productive drilling is increased, and the risk of personal injury while disassembling and reassembling the rigs is brought down. The biggest single contract to date is to provide nine rigs for Queensland Gas Corporation (QGC), a division of BG. These rigs are five completion rigs and four ATS 150 rigs designed for shallow depths that are being introduced in Australia and that the company hopes will bring about a step change in rig design for the shallow CSG drilling market. Three of these rigs are already working on the Bowen Basin coalfield in Eastern Queensland, he says, as a key part of QGC’s LNG project which will take the gas through a 540 kilometre pipeline to a natural gas liquefaction plant now under construction on Curtis Island, near Gladstone. Once again, mobility is an important design element. The ATS rigs for QGC are trailer mounted and therefore very highly mobile, with remote monitoring, advanced instrumentation for data acquisition, and a pipe-handling system designed to reduce crew contact and promote safety and efficiency throughout the operation, explains Marcano. “Rig mobility is a key

element of this operation. The focus on these rigs is to make them as light as possible and also to meet the Queensland road regulations, so they can be moved freely on the public roads without causing disturbances to the local communities. The wells that QGC needs to drill are comparatively shallow and short, so the time between wells becomes an important

“We try to eliminate manual work as much as possible to minimise the need for large crews” 46 | Be oil & gas

Saxon Energy Services

Aerial view of Saxon rig

factor. If you take three days to drill a well then three days to move it, most of the time is spent moving not drilling. The rig design maximises the drilling time by averaging less than a day-and-a-half between wells.” Another measure of Saxon Australia’s success is its headcount. From 100 employees at the beginning of 2012, the figure had risen to more than 450 by the end of the year. “We came to Australia with the primary objective of eventually using it as a foothold for expansion into Asia. However, at this moment, our primary focus is to address any and every opportunity to bring Fit For Project equipment into long-term CSG projects here in Australia. The main goal for the year 2012 was to get our initial

contracts started in a safe and efficient way: we are bringing 13 rigs into the country, of which six are already here and three are already working; and we still have seven more to come. “It’s quite a challenge for the organisation to support an operation of this size, and also a challenge to find enough skilled people to operate these rigs because the boom in the Australian industry is putting a real strain on available resources,” Marcano concludes. For more information about Saxon Energy Services visit: www.saxonservices.com

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Progetti Europa & Global (PEG)

Founder and president Paolo Trocca talks about how Progetti made a name for itself in the Middle Eastern oil business by playing it straight

written by: Alan Swaby research by: Jon Bradley

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here is an oil and gas industry in gas sectors involves the engineering, supply Italy – but not much of one. In and commissioning of specific modules and 2008, the BP Statistical Energy in some cases their installation as well. Survey estimated oil production “When units such as sulphur recovery units, there at an average of 121,000 ammine plants, etc, are included in the scope barrels of crude oil per day or 0.15 percent of work we do not create something new,” says Trocca. “In these cases we can buy the basic of the world’s total. On the other hand, though, Italian design from the holders of the technological engineering companies do have a real presence intellectual property and build the equipment in the oil and gas world, where the six legged according to the plans we receive. Having dog logo of ENI is particularly well known said that, on our metering systems, although throughout Northern Africa and even as far we do use proprietary components, we have afield as the US and China. developed our own exclusive On a more modest level is software which controls how Progetti Europa & Global these components work.” (PEG), a Rome based, family R at her t ha n new owned engineering company technology, what PEG does that has been doing like to offer is old fashioned business in the Middle professionalism. “We like to remain absolutely straight East and Northern Africa for 40 years. and always work to the Contract to build a new “There are two distinct highest standards,” says pumping station at Al sides to our company,” says Trocca, “doing our best to Habaneya founder and president Paolo meet the agreed delivery dates.” Trocca. “We do a lot of front end engineering design and PMC (project Another official pat on the back occurred at management consultancy) for infrastructure the start of the year when PEG was awarded projects but the majority of the time we the first EPC project issued by SCOP (State are involved with engineering and supply Company for Oil Projects) in Iraq, since the of GOSP (gas oil separation plants) for the 2003 war. The €72 million contract to build upstream oil and gas process.” a new pumping station at Al Habaneya, not PEG’s first contribution to the oil business far to the west of Baghdad is also at the upper was concerned with providing engineering end of projects ever tackled by PEG and due services, but when many years ago it was to be completed by the end of February 2014. Interestingly, PEG has opted to take on asked to design and build a complete oil metering package, the company took the work involving fabrication without its own opportunity and never looked back. These manufacturing facilities. In Trocca’s eyes, this days, almost all the work done for the oil and gives the company the maximum operational



50 | Be oil & gas

Progetti Europa & Global (PEG)

Site survey during construction works

180 km Super-highway between the Tunisia/ Libya border and Egypt

Crude oil stripping column

52 | Be oil & gas

flexibility possible while at the same time removing the need to made heavy investments in plant and equipment and the responsibility of keeping a factory fully occupied. “We do like to subcontract fabrication to Italian companies,” he says, “but we don’t have any regular arrangements with particular businesses and in any case, fabrication in Italy is not always possible or practical. Sometimes, clients want to increase the local content of a contract and then we find suitable fabricators closer to the project site. At other times, the cost of transporting especially large modules outweighs the value of the equipment, so again it makes sense to manufacture near the site. This business model gives us great agility but it does place considerable responsibility on our inspection teams to make sure that things are done as they should be.” Coming back to the different types of activities PEG runs, it’s not easy to compare the contribution to the company from the two sides of the business. Certainly, the oil and gas sector brings in the majority of revenue earned as it contains a considerable element of materials and capital equipment, while the management and engineering services purely reflect manpower used. The latter is useful, however, as it provides Italian based income,

Progetti Europa & Global (PEG)

Dehydration and desalting unit

but as expenditure on infrastructure has been hit by austerity measures there, looking outward is much more rewarding. Trocca is anticipating the time when three members of his family who are in their forties, will take over full control of how the business is run. “We know,” he says, “that to lift our company from the €40 million bracket, where we are at the moment, to an €80 million level, we shall have to broaden our horizons both geographically and in the scope of work we handle.” No doubt PEG will be hoping for more contracts like the recently announced superhighway between the Tunisia/Libya border and Egypt – an 1800km three lane road across the top of North Africa for which Progetti as part of an Italian consortium has won the PMC contract.

The company has already identified gas treatment as a growth sector as nuclear energy is scaled back and replaced by gas powered power plants. Trocca envisages that the same professionalism that built PEG’s reputation with state and private oil companies will serve it well in taking on tier 2 projects for key modules of the plant involved with gas production. “Thirty years ago, it was the relatively modest work we were doing on oil metering systems that got the business recognised and opened the door to bigger things and we will be working towards the same scenario again in the coming decades.” For more information about Progetti Europa & Global (PEG) visit: www.progettieuropa.it

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Qatar now has the largest LNG production capacity in the world, and one company that has helped propel the country to this leading position is Ras Laffan-based RasGas

written by: becky done research by: Robert Hodgson

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stablished in 2001 by Qatar comprising conventional, Q-Flex and Petroleum and ExxonMobil, Q-Max ships, delivers LNG to terminals RasGas operates from the major across the world. RasGas has added to its production LNG hub that is Ras Laffan City on Qatar’s north-east coast. One capacity by building two new facilities: the of the foremost integrated LNG enterprises in Barzan Gas Project, designed to supply two the world, RasGas oversees and manages all billion standard cubic feet of sales gas per operations associated with seven LNG trains, day to the local Qatari market; and the Ras two sales gas production facilities, helium Laffan Helium Project, designed to produce production facilities, shipping contracts and 17.3 tonnes per day of pure helium. commercial partnerships. RasGas is also The Barzan Gas Project will play a managing construction of the Barzan Gas significant role in meeting Qatar’s rising Project which will support Qatar’s rising domestic gas demand. RasGas is managing domestic gas demand in line with the Qatar the construction of the new plant and will operate it once complete. National Vision 2030. The drilling platform to In December 2010, Qatar celebrated the achievement supply the plant will be of reaching a production located 80 kilometres capacity of 77 million north-east of Ras Laffan Industrial City, with onshore tonnes per annum of LNG. Year RasGas was and offshore facilities to Qatar now has the largest established be completed by JGC of production capacity in the Japan and Hyundai Heavy world of this strategically important energy source. Industries of South Korea respectively. RasGas has developed world-class offshore The project itself will be developed in and onshore facilities for the extraction, two phases: Train 1 will come on-stream processing and storage of gas from Qatar’s in 2014, with Train 2 following in 2015. North Field. Its primary products are LNG Together they will supply around 1.4 for overseas export—mainly to Europe and billion standard cubic feet per day of sales Asia—for which it has a total production gas. When Barzan Gas Trains 1 and 2 are capacity of approximately 37 million tonnes operational, the total offshore production per annum; and the sale of gas to the local from all RasGas-operated facilities will Qatari market with a total production reach around 11 billion standard cubic feet capacity of approximately 2,000 standard per day (equivalent to almost two million cubic feet per day. barrels of oil), making RasGas the largest RasGas operates a dedicated fleet of gas producer in Qatar. 27 LNG carriers under long-term charter Ras Laffan Helium is a joint venture owned agreements with ship owners. The fleet, by RL, RL (II) and Qatargas, and operated


56 | Be oil & gas

RasGas operates a dedicated fleet of 27 LNG carriers

by RasGas. Its first plant was announced in 2003 and came on-stream two years later. Its second plant, for which contracts were awarded in 2010, will be completed in 2013. One of the world’s leading helium producers, RasGas currently supplies around 10 per cent of the world’s total helium production, a figure that is expected to rise to 25 per cent in 2013. The Al Khaleej Gas Project maximises the use of the liquids extracted from the North Field. Initiated by ExxonMobil Middle East Gas Marketing Limited, the project is operated by RasGas. The plant, at Ras Laffan Industrial City, is adjacent to RasGas Trains 3 and 4. Together, the project’s two trains are meeting 65 per cent of Qatar’s domestic demand.

58 | Be oil & gas


Gas demand is rising in Qatar

The nature of RasGas’ business means that safety, health and environmental risk controls are paramount. To this end, the company implements a comprehensive and integrated management system—the RasGas Elements for Excellence (RGEE). This system provides a framework of policies, procedures and continuous improvement processes that enables RasGas to maximise the safety and welfare of its people and property, and the environment. In 2004, RasGas became one of the

first Qatari companies to develop vapour recovery systems on all its liquid loading berths, which were designed to significantly reduce vented and flared emissions. The company has also implemented acid gas injection on three production trains, which will considerably reduce sulphur dioxide and carbon dioxide emissions. The Al Khaleej Gas project has brought environmental benefits to Qatar by replacing some of the oil currently used in electricity generation and other applications. To

“RasGas operates a dedicated fleet of 27 LNG carriers under long-term charter agreements with ship owners” Be oil & gas | 59

“RasGas has developed its own Qatarization programme to recruit and retain quality Qataris” minimise the environmental impact of the project itself, the major waste streams from processing the gas (acid gas and produced water) are both re-injected into sub-surface reservoirs. RasGas has also been instrumental in setting up Ras Laffan Industrial City’s (RLIC) Waste Management Facility and, together with RLIC and Qatargas, it has established the Ras Laffan Environmental Association (RLEA). RasGas also initiated

60 | Be oil & gas

ozone modelling for RLIC and the Qatar Airshed Management Association (QAMA) A significant proportion of Qatar’s energy deposits lie in the shallow waters near the coastline. With this in mind RasGas has formed an alliance with the University of Qatar to develop special conservation measures to ensure that all coastal disturbances are both minimal and temporary. RasGas is also a key supporter of the Al Dhakhira Park project, in collaboration with


Qatar has the largest LNG production capacity in the world

the Scientific and Applied Research Centre at the University of Qatar. Naturalists working on the project have developed a park at Al Dhakhira on the north-eastern coast of Qatar, filled with indigenous flora and fauna, including some threatened species. RasGas is also deeply committed to the development of its workforce and in particular, to the government’s plan, which was unveiled in early 2000, to Qatarize 50 per cent of the country’s booming oil, gas and petrochemical industries. The aim of the Qatarization programme is to gradually increase the proportion of Qatari nationals in sectors of the economy that have previously relied heavily on expatriates to fulfil their recruitment needs.

Qatarization is a vital component of the state’s strategic development plan, enabling Qatari men and women to hold key positions to support the state’s business requirements. The programme takes the form of a clearly structured system of recruitment, training, coaching and career development. RasGas is fully committed to this initiative and has developed its own Qatarization programme to recruit and retain quality Qataris and to meet the targets set by the Qatar Petroleum strategic Qatarization plan. For more information about RasGas visit: www.rasgas.com

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All about oil SCOP shows how complex engineering projects can be delivered in a challenging environment through innovative contracting and creative partnership models

written by: John O’Hanlon research by: Jon Bradley

62 | Be oil & gas

State Company for Oil Projects (Iraq)

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Iraq is planning to double its refinery capacity by 2017

State Company for Oil Projects (Iraq)


hatever the truth about and export targets. According to the World the conflict in Iraq Bank an additional $1 billion per year would being driven by the need to be invested just to maintain current US’ desire to secure production. Long-term reconstruction costs its interest in the in Iraq could reach $100 billion or higher, of country’s oil reserves, in the era following which more than a third will go to the oil, gas the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003 and electricity sectors. Another challenge to its story without doubt has been ‘all about Iraq’s development of the oil sector is that oil’. Though the data are still unreliable resources are not evenly divided across (official statistics have not been revised sectarian lines. Most known resources are in since 2001 and are largely based on two the Shia areas of the south and the Kurdish dimensional seismic data dating back to north, with few resources in control of the the 1970s), the current government thinks Sunni population in the centre. International investment is therefore that Iraq’s oil reserves are the largest in the world, amounting to upward crucial to boost the Iraqi of 350 billion barrels. Even economy. At present there the independently confirmed are three major Iraqi oil levels of 143 billion barrels refineries, the Baijia and put Iraq at third place in the Doura refineries in Baghdad and one at Basra in the south. world league. This is a country that The total capacity of these has maintained itself on oil refineries is approximately Barrels of oil reserves throughout its unfortunate 720,000 barrels per day estimated by Iraqi recent history. Through (bpd); however, at present government they are all working at below two Gulf wars and its illtheir capacity, producing advised invasion of Kuwait and a long period of sanctions that led up something in the region of 500,000 bpd. to the invasion of 2003, oil has accounted Iraq is now planning to double its refinery for something in the region of 95 percent capacity by 2017 and a vast number of oilfield of its foreign exchange earnings. Even now service, development and extraction projects nobody seems certain how much oil and gas need to be put out to tender. This is the job of remains to be discovered. the State Company for Oil Projects (SCOP), Following its virtual destruction, Iraq’s oil which as an entity within the Ministry of Oil infrastructure needs to be modernised, and implements petroleum and gas projects. The that will take a great deal of investment. company employs international methods A large reconstruction programme and standards in preparing basic and notwithstanding, the Iraqi oil industry has detailed designs, materials and machinery not been able to meet oil and gas production supply, site project execution, testing and



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“Our Customers Power Partner to Success”

NKA are specialist suppliers of engineering equipment to the Oil and Gas industry.

Our capabilities include: • Trucks and Machinery • Power Generators • Pumps • Vales • Drilling

NKA Engineering Cyprus Ltd.

11 Ag.Georgiou ST. Engomi, 2411 Nicosia, Cyprus T: 00357-22875790 E: awadalla@cytanet.com.cy

State Company for Oil Projects (Iraq)

nka engineering cyprus ltd. NKA Engineering Cyprus Ltd specialises in supplying engineering equipment for the oil and gas industry such as heavy machinery, earth moving vehicles, pumps, valves, and pipes. NKA was one of the first companies to cooperate with and contract for the Iraqi Oil Ministry companies (the State Company for Oil Projects; the Oil Exploration Company; the Oil Pipelines Company; and the South Oil Company). NKA assures the highest technical specifications of its products, competitive prices, on-time delivery, installation and training for engineering staff, genuine spare parts from original manufacturers. This is to ensure our customers’ satisfaction and to achieve our goal of being ‘Our Customers’ Power Partner to Success’. NKA has successfully introduced and marketed products of leading European and American companies in the world, working with them to provide the best service for our clients. These companies include: Michael Byrne Manufacturing; URACA; SPM Weir; FFG Flensburg; MKGExport; Reed Hycalog Middle East; FG Wilson; Cummins; and ITP Group. We supply pumps (filling pumps, hydrostatic pumps and high pressure test pumps); valves (relief valves, check valves, plug valves, swivel joints, steel hose loops and pipe, hummer unions, manifolds

and butterfly valves); drilling machines (horizontal drilling boring machines and horizontal directional drilling machines); trucks and machinery (lorries with cranes, low loaders, dumpers, vacuum and jetting vehicles, service vehicles and mobile workshops); generators; other oil and gas equipment (wellhead control systems, gas dehydration packages, oil and gas filtration and separation systems, and heaters and exchangers). Our projects in the Republic of Iraq have included with SCOP: lorry with crane, FG Wilson generators, URACA triplex test pumps, agriculture tractors, and MKG tippers; with OPC/SCOP: FFG slit emptying tanker, and MKG lorry with crane; with SOC: Cummins generators, mobile workshop, SPM flang and Ckisan pipe, Reed Hycalog drilling bits, FFG vacuum vehicle (VACHAVL), and ITP well head test separators. E. awadalla@cytanet.com.cy

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We have your solution on land and sea

Drilling, Production and Construction Equipment Exporter Phone: +1-281-821-3737 | Fax: +1-281-821-3758 | www.tradequipsm.com

Weekly Because a month is a long time to wait... Your weekly digest of business news and views www.bus-ex.com

State Company for Oil Projects (Iraq) engineering inspection Tradequip Services and Marine, Inc for pipelines and tanks Tradequip Services and Marine, Inc. is a worldwide exporter and welding works, to of drilling, production, and construction equipment ensure p e r f or m a nc e supporting our clients’ oil and gas activity. TSM works of projec t s du r i ng closely with clients to help specify, procure, and deliver commissioning and test-run. the highest quality equipment and components quickly to Each project has its own prevent operational downtime. Our worldwide locations allow us to work closely with budget and SCOP works OEMs stationed around the globe to inspect, package, and with its approved contractors coordinate delivery. to specify a schedule for www.tradequipsm.com completion. It also prepares basic designs for each project, inviting tenders whether for the whole job or in parts. Once proposals have been approved, SCOP moves on to detailed design, including preparation of bills of materials, equipment requirements, tender documents, contracts, and moves on to oversee the execution of the project right up to the hand-over point. One of the biggest projects to be completed was the new refinery built at Kirkuk, in Kurdish northeast Iraq. The Kirkuk oilfield discovered in the 1920s is the hub of northern Iraqi oil production. SCOP offered the construction of the Kirkuk oil refinery to international companies on a build, operate and own (BOO) basis in December 2012. Under a BOO contract, a private company is granted the right to develop, finance, design, build, own, operate, and maintain a project. The private sector partner owns the project The Iraqi oil industry has not been able to meet oil outright and retains the operating revenue and gas production and export targets

“One of the biggest projects is the new refinery at Kirkuk, in Kurdish northeast Iraq” Be oil & gas | 69

ENGINEERS & CONTRACTORS FOR THE IRAQI OIL & GAS DEVELOPMENT SINCE 1980 Progetti Europa & Global is an Engineering & Contracting Company, that operates on behalf of Private and Public Companies in the design and implementation of Oil & Gas Plants and Infra‐ structures since 1970, both in Italy and abroad. PEG is active in the field of Oil & Gas facilities, petrochemical and energy production plants, for EPC contracts. The experience acquired during more than thirty years working for the Ministry of Oil (MOO) in Iraq , has allowed PEG to participate, supporting IOC in the ongoing Rehabilitation and Develop‐ ment Programs for the Oil Fields in South Iraq . MAIN AREAS OF SPECIALIZATION ● Process Units for upstream plants ● Utilities & Offsite Facilities ● Liquid metering and filtering stations ● Oil & Gas Transportation Facilities (pumping, metering and valves stations, etc.) ● Pre‐assembled modularized units (skid mounted) SKILLS ● EP & EPC contracts ● Pre – investments studies ● Basic design and Front End Engineering design (FEED) ● Detailed Engineering design ● Procurement services ● Project management ● Construction ● Commissioning & Start ‐ up Phone + 3 9 0 6 . 8 8 . 1 7 . 4 1 global@progettieuropa.it www.progettieuropa.it

State Company for Oil Projects (Iraq)

Iraq plans to build four refineries across the country to meet increasing domestic demand

risk and all of the surplus operating revenue day of oil.” Companies from the US, China, in perpetuity – this is an increasingly Korea, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have popular way for governments to fast track expressed their interest in bidding for the major infrastructure projects since it shifts project and construction is expected to be the risk to the contractor, in exchange for completed by the end of 2016, he said. very considerable upside potential. The Kirkuk refinery project is part of the oil As Salar Ameen, deputy chairman of ministry’s plan to build four refineries across Iraq’s National Investment Commission the country to meet increasing domestic demand. These refineries, (NIC) has commented: located in Maissan, Karbala, “Feasibility studies are and Nassiriyah as well as ongoing with two Italian and American advisers. The Kirkuk will have a total Iraqi oil ministry will make capacity of 740,000 bpd of public the specifications oil at an estimated cost of before the end of the year. $20 billion and are being The refinery will cost planned purely to satisfy domestic demand. However approximately $6 billion Value of refineries as Dr Ali Hussain, one of the with a capacity of more planned across Iraq Middle East’s most respected than 150,000 barrels per



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independent oil consultants has commented: “There is a need to build a further refinery with the sole purpose of exporting oil products. This would need to be a large facility with a capacity of at least 500 million barrels, and if located in Basra near the Gulf, the refinery would be in a prime location to export its products.” The opportunities for overseas engineering firms and O&G equipment suppliers used to working within large EPC projects are manifold, and among the international firms which have already secured contracts or expressed interest are Foster Wheeler, the Shaw Group, Technip, Saipem, KBR and Penspen. As an example, in August 2012 the UK oil and gas engineering group Penspen signed an agreement with Siemens to provide engineering and procurement services for a new simple cycle power plant in Southern Iraq. Siemens had agreed a base scope with SCOP to work on the engineering and supply of the power plant and had in turn contracted Penspen to provide engineering and procurement services for the balance of plant. Under the terms of the agreement, Siemens is to provide the engineering and supply of the power island on the Al Fao peninsula, and Penspen will provide the remaining engineering and supply of the balance of plant (BOP) equipment/ materials. Work began in August and is

SCOP will offer contracts

expected to go on until 5 October 2013. There is also potential for a further additional scope of works to be agreed. Senior project manager Eduard Ilie said that this would be an important project as it would provide a solid basis for the further development of the company’s presence in Iraq and throughout the Gulf Region. While SCOP and its energetic directorgeneral Ms Nihad Ahmad Moosa will be fully stretched to deliver such ambitious refinery targets, SCOP has the advantage of having

“There is a need to build a further refinery with the sole purpose of exporting oil products” 72 | Be oil & gas

State Company for Oil Projects (Iraq)

s for the Kirkuk oil refinery to international companies on a build, operate and own (BOO) basis in December 2012

formed excellent working relationships with its multinational partners. The global engineering and construction company and power equipment supplier Foster Wheeler has worked closely with SCOP to develop strategically important projects like its ongoing FEED (front end engineering and design) contract for the new 300,000 barrels per stream day (bpsd) grassroots refinery at Nassiriya. The proposed world-scale refinery is being designed to be capable of processing 300,000 bpsd of indigenous crude oil to produce LPG, regular, premium and super grade gasoline, aviation turbine kerosene, kerosene, light gas oil, heavy diesel oil, fuel oil and asphalt, all meeting international product quality specifications.

SCOP has another key objective beyond simply getting the infrastructure built – it wants to acquire world class designs and practices. Accordingly Foster Wheeler is helping to train 35 Iraqi nationals in state-ofthe-art study and FEED projects. In February this year the contractor provided in-depth training in successful feasibility studies to a group of five chemical engineers from SCOP, South Refineries Company and the Iraqi Ministry of Oil – merely a first step in a much larger technology transfer programme, claims the company. For more information about State Company for Oil Projects (Iraq) visit: www.scop.gov.iq

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Fuchs Petrolube Tanzania

Liquid gold

Petrolube, an affiliated member of the global lubricants group Fuchs Group, was established in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, more than a decade ago. Now, exponential growth in the mining of gold and other minerals has presented it with unique opportunities

written by: john o’hanlon research by: Vincent Kielty

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Blending plant

Fuchs Petrolube Tanzania


hough Tanzania’s manufacturing sector is comparatively small, accounting for perhaps six per cent of GDI, it is growing rapidly thanks to the privatisation of companies in the sector and a government policy that has changed to attract international players. The involvement of SABMiller in the breweries industry, Holderbank and Heidelberg in cement production, and the Japanese Tobacco Company in local cigarette manufacturing are examples of growing levels of foreign direct investment (FDI). This is where Fuchs Lubricants comes in. Fuchs as a brand may not be as well known as Castrol or Esso but that’s because these companies focus on the consumer, so every motorist knows them. Founded in 1931, Fuchs is a specialist in industrial and specialised lubricants—and though it operates in more than 100 countries on five continents and employs nearly 4,000 people, it is still very much a family firm, ranking number one among the world’s independent lubricant providers. Fuchs is acknowledged as the world’s largest independent lubricants manufacturer, supplying quality lubricants from 50 state-ofthe-art ISO accredited plants worldwide, of which Fuchs Petrolube Tanzania is one. Of the total employees working worldwide, about 10 per cent are engaged in R&D, delivering a combination of German technology and a worldwide team of specialists to create the most advanced and industry-specific lubrication systems. Seventy per cent of all sales come from products developed

Be oil & gas | 77

in the last five years in partnership with leading American, European and Asian original equipment manufacturers who have approved Fuchs products for use in a huge range of machinery, equipment and components. In 2011 the company achieved record earnings for the third successive year, despite the global downturn. Naturally enough the contribution of Africa to this growth was small, but the consumption of specialist lubricants is in proportion to the growth of mechanised industry. And it is no secret that the Chinese in particular have cottoned on to the fact that Africa is going to join the BRIC group of economies as its potential in terms of human capital is realised, together with the mineral resources that China in common with its trading partners around the world is going to need. In 1999 Tanzania had yet to show much sign of this level of overseas interest and the country was chiefly known for being among the poorest in terms of per capita income. But the opportunity presented by a market which could only go upward was spotted by entrepreneur Feroz Kassam. Kassam set up Petrolube, at that time a small company trading in lubricating oils, greases and coolants. He quickly formed an alliance with

Fuchs, was appointed sole distributor for the region and started to grow a customer base among the process industries located in Tanzania’s principal cities like Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Mwanza, Mbeya and new business complexes specifically designed to facilitate further investment, such as the recently completed Bagamoyo Industrial Park. Engineering, assembly and process industries all rely on specialist lubricants,

“When we started, the market was dominated by oil products imported from the Middle East: most of what was available was not fit for purpose� 78 | Be oil & gas

Fuchs Petrolube Tanzania

Barrels containing lubricants

cutting agents, hydraulic to specify the lubricants that liquids and high performance had been tried and tested in oils. These are needed other parts of the world, and generally that meant Fuchs to prolong the life of equipment, lower the cost of products. However that Number of Fuchs production, and have been had long been the position employees worldwide developed by Fuchs over of the companies set up to exploit Tanzania’s resources 80 years of research and of gold and other minerals. innovation—they are highvalue, high-margin products. To look for Fuchs Petrolube invested $16 million in lower cost substitutes is a false economy, the construction of a blending plant in the says Kassam. “When we started, the market Chang’ombe area to the south of Dar es was dominated by oil products imported Salaam, at Port Access Road, close to the from the Middle East: most of what was oil refineries and storage facilities. available was not fit for purpose.” The 8,000 square metre plant is a state-ofAs best practices were introduced, and the-art facility that makes use of computerised local enterprises were joined by multinational automated batch blending (ABB) systems partners, many of the major industries started based on sophisticated supervisory control


Be oil & gas | 79

and data acquisition (SCADA). This ensures control and monitoring of the process in real time. The local company has thus been able to introduce a level of quality to the Tanzanian market that was not available before. “Frankly the distributors that were importing products into Tanzania were dumping low-grade lubricants: at best the customers were getting a product that was not tailor-made to their applications,” says Kassam. The blending plant was designed to Fuchs Petrolube AG specifications and built by Petroserv, the specialist Dubai engineering company. All its equipment conforms to the highest industry API 650 standards. The facility includes a base oil tank farm with 2,200 metric tons storage capacity and can

80 | Be oil & gas

process 22,000 tons of lubricants and 2,000 tons of greases per annum. To support quality assurance for the manufacturing facility and provide after-sales support to customers, it also has a fully equipped testing laboratory—one of the best in East Africa. “We have all the required testing facilities for lubricants conforming to ASTM International standards including high-end apparatus, like a cold cranking simulator, Fourier transform infra-red spectrophotometer, and inductively coupled plasma spectrophotometer, among others.” Back to FDI—the global manufacturing companies moving into Africa demand the same level of support from the lubricants suppliers as they enjoy in the US or Europe,

Fuchs Petrolube Tanzania

Employee handling barrels

“The mining sector is by far our biggest customer: our products help keep all their crushers and processing plants running at optimum efficiency” and in Tanzania only Fuchs Petrolube can provide this. The improvement in Tanzania’s ability to attract FDI has made it, at least potentially, something of a tiger economy. It is now high among African economies in terms of FDI and at the very top of the list in terms of non-oil countries. However, according to the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) the major single reason for Tanzania’s

sustained high performance in recent years has been the massive new inflows of capital for investment in the mining sector. Driven by the high gold price, gold mining projects like AngloGold Ashanti’s Geita mine and Barrick’s North Mara, Bugwazi and Bunyanhulu projects are key to further development. In 1999 when Kassam founded Petrolube, gold production was on a par with the country’s main export crops: tea, coffee,

Be oil & gas | 81

Site in Dar es Salaam

Fuchs Petrolube Tanzania cotton, tobacco and cashews. Each category generated less than $50 million a year. By 2008, while coffee, tea and tobacco had grown to just over $100 million, gold exports were nudging $900 million. In the year to October 2011, though, Tanzania’s gold exports jumped by a third to reach $2 billion, making it the third largest gold producer in Africa after South Africa and Ghana. “The mining sector is by far our biggest customer: our products help keep all their crushers and processing plants running at optimum efficiency,” says Kassam. Fuchs is renowned for its specialist products for the mining industry. Its Powergear lubricants, for example, offer unique protection from conditions found in mining, such as water and dirt contamination, high temperatures and shock loading. Cepplatyyn is a multi-service open gear lubricant for protection of open gearing and dipper sticks in shovels and draglines, designed to exceed the tough requirements of OEMs such as Bucyrus and P&H. Currently, Fuchs Petrolube Tanzania is a completely indigenous enterprise with all its shares held by Kassam. In the coming year, Fuchs AG will exercise its option to acquire a percentage of the equity. Investment and expansion will continue, with new depots opening in provincial centres as well as other resource-rich African countries such as DRC and Rwanda. For more information about Fuchs Petrolube Tanzania visit: www.fuchs-tz.com

Be oil & gas | 83

south african oil & gas focu

special report

n us

produced by:

special report: South african focus 88 South africa at a glance

the vital statistics

Some key facts and figures about the Oil & Gas industry in South Afrcia.


90 Petro SA

Inspiring national pride

By embracing change and innovation, PetroSA is opening up new horizons for South Africa’s energy sector.

102 South African Oil & Gas Alliance Waiting in the wings

South Africa is ideally placed to play a key role in the next big expansion of Africa’s oil and gas production.

110 Hesper Engineering


A reputation earned

How Hesper are looking to expand into the oil and gas sector.

118 Sturrock Shipping The know-how people

Nothing would ever get done in oil and gas production without the support of experienced service providers.

128 ChemSystems Daring to diversify

How he company is making a name for itself in the oil and gas sector.

86 | special report



138 One Eighty Engineering Solutions Passing the test

Providing local specialised services to South Africa’s oil and gas sector.

148 Filcon Filters An ambitious target

This South Africa-based company has set an ambitious target of 25 percent annual growth over the next three years.

156 SEADOG Commercial Diving School

Educating the next generation

The provision of commercial diver training is contributing towards South Africa’s development as a hub for oil and gas activities.

156 164

164 Wings Travel Management The sky’s the limit

With the oil and gas industry stretching across the globe, companies like Wings Travel Management have never been more important to their customers.


Global ambitions

Specialists in non-destructive testing and heat treatment, the company is beginning to diversify into the oil and gas sector.

special report | 87

the vital statistics Area 1,221,037 km2 Population 51,7 million (2011, src World Bank)

currency rand (zar)

1 2 3


Capital 1. Pretoria (executive) 2. Bloemfontein (judicial) 3. Cape Town (legislative)


petroleum exploration and production activities 1. tullow oil 2. PETROSA 3. FOREST INTERNATIONAL 4. BHP BILLITON 5. ANADARKO 6-10. petrosa 11. CANADIAN NATURAL RESOURCES 12. IMPACT AFRICA 13. eskom

88 | special report


10 5


6 7 8



south africa at a glance Did you know...


Approximate number of people employed by the industry


250 million


Total refining capacity in barrels per year



15 million Estimated oil reserves in barrels

485 trillion ft

major oil companies operating in south africa


Estimated shale gas reserves

400 million

South Africa’s annual shortfall based on consumption in gallons

special report | 89

Inspiring national prid By embracing change and innovation, PetroSA is opening up new horizons for South Africa’s energy sector

written by: Will Daynes research by: Robert Hodgson

90 | Special report



Special report | 91



s the leading economic power in Africa, it’s no surprise that South Africa is a key player in the African oil industry. Liquid fuels are an important component of its energy sector, with the 2012 BP Statistical Energy Survey revealing that, in 2011, South Africa consumed an average of 547,250 barrels of oil per day. The history of the oil industry in South Africa can be traced back to 1884, when the first oil company was established in Cape Town with the purpose of importing refined products. In the years since, the industry has evolved greatly to the point where today the country is responsible for processing approximately 20 million tonnes of crude oil per annum. Formed in 2002, upon the merger of Soekor E and P Limited, Mossgas Limited and parts of the Strategic Fuel Fund, the Petroleum Oil and Gas Corporation of South Africa (PetroSA) is the national oil company. A subsidiary of the state-owned Central Energy Fund, the company holds various assets that span the petroleum value chain. In addition to operating the FA-EM, South Coast gas fields, and the Oribi and Oryx oil fields, PetroSA is also responsible for the exploration and production of oil and natural gas from the ORCA oil rig and the production of synthetic fuels from offshore gas at what is one of the world’s largest gas-to-liquid (GTL) refineries in Mossel Bay. PetroSA’s GTL refinery produces ultraclean, low-sulphur, low-aromatic synthetic fuels and other high-value products that are converted from natural methane-rich gas. This gas then condensates via the use of the

Special report | 93

PETRO SA petrosa GIJIMA Gijima is a proudly empowered South African Information Technology (IT) company listed on the JSE. It has gained recognition as the complete IT partner to a considerable client base of large technology users in both the public and private sectors. As one of the leading IT companies in southern Africa its intellectual capacity, business model and extended geographic footprint is unparalleled in the local market and provides clients with sophisticated and diverse service delivery options in the infrastructure, solutions, system integration and networking arenas. The ethos by which it operates is to constantly seek to set the pace when it comes to industry thought leadership. Gijima’s eagerness to learn and commitment to make a difference allows its clients to unequivocally regard them as their partner of choice. Their innovative and entrepreneurial abilities enable them to consistently develop solutions to business problems – shifting boundaries that have established them as a leader in their chosen markets. At the recent Microsoft Partner Network awards, Gijima walked away with no fewer than six top achiever awards in separate categories. These awards are a testament to the skill and vision of their people in customising various vendor technologies to the benefit of their clients. These awards coupled with the release of mobileIT, Gijima’s homegrown integrated all-in-one platform for the development, implementation and full life cycle management of mobile applications, mobile users and mobile devices, positions them as the preferred partner to their clients. Gijima strives to be a magnet for talent, enthusiastic, loyal and energised staff; always developing, always growing, reaping the rewards

of the company they helped create. Gijima strives to deliver a blend of sophistication, passion and a graciousness of spirit for one another, and for PetroSA in support of their vision to become a fully integrated, commercially competitive national oil company, supplying at least 25 percent of South Africa’s liquid fuel needs by 2020 - a legacy that they can both be proud of. info@gijima.com www.gijima.com

NOVEMBER 2012| |952 Special report

Steeltest was formed in 1989 and is involved exclusively in hi tech non-destructive testing. The company is based in South Africa, but operates throughout Africa, The Middle East and South-East Asia.With the introduction of innovative technology and the continuous improvement of service delivery and our policy on training our aim is to become the premier supplier of specialised non- destructive testing globally. TUBE INSPECTION of Ferrous and Non-Ferrous tubing in heat exchangers using the following methods: Eddy Current, Remote Field, IRIS, Laser Internal inspection & Visual.

EMAT FOR PIPELINES A very reliable method for: 100% rapid scanning of pipelines (up to 1km / day). Highly sensitive system particularly suited for evaluating corrosion under supports. Scans in both longitudinal & circumferential directions.

SPECIALIZED REQUIERMENTS FOR ECONOMIZERS & BOILERS using IRIS to produce visual computerized 3D models of your unit, for more informative representation of inspection data. Can be cross cut in all axes, printed & with data filters customizable to clients requierments.

GUIDED WAVE PIPE SCREENING also known as Long Range Ultrasonic Testing. The Guided Wave technology screens 100% of the volume of the piping inspected for metal loss features such as corrosion and erosion at distances up to 100m in either direction from a single location. In the case of insulated lines only 300mm of insulation needs to be removed to inspect long lengths of pipe. Can be used on pipe racks, insulated pipe, road crossings, submerged pipes, buried pipes & restricted access pipelines.

TUBE MICRO BLASTING This is a particularly effective means of cleaning tubes and is used especially in the case of IRIS and laser inspections where the tubes need to be cleaned down to bare metal. EMAT (Electomagnetic Acoustic Testing) For Boiler Walls provides rapid screening of ferrous tubing (up to 1km / 12 hour shift.) The temateÂŽ TG-IS(B) is designed for detecting wall loss, hydrogen damage and caustic gauging in boiler tubes. Ultrasonic EMAT technique provides accurate thickness readings with minimum preparation of tube surface.

HANDY SCAN By combining state of the art laser scanner technology with existing NDT techniques it is now possible to provide accurate and detailed 3D images of equipment using advanced 3D modelling software. Features such as pitting and corrosion can be accurately mapped, analysed and saved for comparison during follow-up inspections. Applications include wear of moving components, tip errosion of turbine blades, external corrosion on pipelines etc.

STEELTEST INSPECTION SPECIALISTS – OUR PREFORMANCE IS YOUR STRENGTH Phone: +27 16 422 4930 Fax: +27 16 422 4933 Web: www.steeltest.co.za Email: Steeltest@cyberserv.co.za

PETRO SA petrosa








Based in South Africa but operating throughout Africa, the Middle East and South-East Asia, Steel Test provides its customers with global expertise combined with localised personal service. Steel Test has a dedicated professional staff of 74 people committed to satisfying the demanding requirements of its diverse client base. Our clients are largely in oil, gas and power generation but we also carry out inspections in the sugar, pulp and paper, chemical and mining industries. With an initial emphasis on tube inspection, more recently we have extended our services to both tanks and pipelines. Using a combination of cutting edge technology, Steel Test offers a number of inspection techniques, including pipe, tube and tank inspections, shut down based inspections, in-service evaluation, acid management and condition assessment. Steel Test prides itself on its technical capabilities, and aspires to become the preferred specialised global non-destructive testing company. www.steeltest.co.za

NOVEMBER 2012| |972 Special report

OTI EasyFuel Homebase Solution The OTI EasyFuel Homebase Solution is a complete automated refuelling system that controls and manages the dispensing of fuel at homebase sites. Technology and systems that have been available to fully fledged service stations and fuelling points is now available to homebase depots - along with our commitment to ensure you derive the full benefits and savings the solution has to offer. Reduce operating costs, fraud and theft with this affordable offer from OTI Africa ! OTI Africa is pleased to announce that our complete EasyFuel Homebase Solution has been commissioned for PetroSA at their strategic refinery in Mossel Bay and OTI Africa is providing a wide range of monitoring, reporting and account management services to PetroSA. www.otiglobal.com

Charlotte Hambly-Nuss or Mark Levin can be contacted for more information on +27 21 526 9100 or info@oti-africa.co.za

Show the world what your company has to offer with our tailored packages

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heavily in new processes refinery’s unique GTL Fischer TrÜpsch technology. and technologies, signing PetroSA is recognised in a sponsorship agreement the industry as a pioneer when in 2010 with the University it comes to petrochemical of the Western Cape research and development. (UWC). This agreement With the support of external led to the establishment Oil consumed by South partners from around the of the PetroSA Synthetic Africa per day in 2011 world, its specialists have Fuels Research Centre at built a reputation based on the UWC. It also resulted their innovative thinking, technical expertise in the company relocating its conversion and proven ability to execute development of olefins to distillates (COD) pilot plant projects. Upon its opening in 1992, the Mossel from Mossel Bay to the university where it Bay refinery was the first in the world to use stands today in a custom-built laboratory. COD technology is beginning to attract GTL technology on a commercial scale and since then, only seven other GTL refineries significant attention within the industry for its have been commissioned in the world. ability to produce some of the cleanest fuels The company continues to invest available, using an environmentally friendly

547,250 barrels

Special report | 99

process. As the profile of this technology rises, so too does that of PetroSA by being the operator of the only COD plant in the world. The actual COD process involves synthesising petrol and diesel by adding short-chain, unsaturated carbons in order to form longer chain hydrocarbons in the petrol and diesel boiling range. This is carried out at relatively high temperatures and pressures over a catalyst. Today, COD is recognised as being a rapidly emerging fuel technology of the future. This comes at a time during which rising oil prices are intensifying the demand for cheaper raw materials and more efficient, cost-effective processes. At the same time, global trends show an accelerating demand for high quality diesel and diesel produced using COD technology is regarded as being of exceptional quality. Among its many important strengths, COD produces relatively pure fuels that are low in sulphur and aromatics, while at the same time meeting the most stringent of international specifications. These fuels possess much better exhaust emission properties than conventionally produced equivalents and this makes them particularly suitable as blend materials for conventional and bioderived fuels. Furthermore, COD fuels have excellent cold flow properties, making them

highly effective when used in countries that experience cold winters. With the future in mind, PetroSA has reached an agreement with the UWC that will allow it to achieve two key objectives. The first is to further develop COD and its associated technologies, while the second is to help develop South Africa’s human capital. Among the core strategic functions of the company are to make it possible for

“PetroSA’s GTL refinery produces ultra-clean, high-value products that are converted from natural methane-rich gas” 100 | Special report


the government of South to achieve this. These include Africa to improve the supply sustaining the Mossel Bay of fuel, oil and gas to the GTL refinery as a profitable country, mitigate the impact operation and using it as of oil price variations, drive a platform to sustain the PetroSA established transformation initiatives, company. In addition, the manage the country’s company will continue to ensure all of its operations and contingency crude reserves and strategic petroleum assets, and access activities are carried out in line with the highest upstream petroleum assets. health, safety, quality and environmental In addition to these functions, the company standards as it grows its business into a also boasts a strategic objective it calls Our significant industry player that can guarantee Vision 2020. The ultimate aim of this is to the security of South Africa’s energy supply. become a fully integrated, commercially competitive national oil company, supplying For more information about at least 25 percent of South Africa’s liquid PetroSA visit: fuel needs by 2020. www.petrosa.co.za There are several ways that PetroSA plans


Special report | 101

Waiting in the wings The next big expansion of Africa’s oil and gas production will be on the east, and South Africa is ideally placed to play a key role in its support and development

written by: Alan Swaby research by: James Boyle

102 | Special report

South African Oil & Gas Alliance

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Oil rig in the ocean bay of Cape Town, South Africa



or all South Africa’s undoubted bounties in terms of minable minerals, the same can’t be said for its oil & gas resources—at least not yet. “Take a look at the map of exploration leases,” says Warwick Blyth, executive director of the South African Oil & Gas Alliance (SAOGA), “and you will see that there is little or nothing left to be bagged by exploration companies, which is a considerable change over a year ago. Nevertheless, while South Africa’s most significant production area in Mossel Bay is winding down, the rest of the country essentially remains in the early exploration stage. There is a lot of activity but tangible results are some years away.” That doesn’t mean, though, that the industry is in hiatus. Oil & gas projects are going full steam ahead in neighbouring countries and SAOGA is deeply involved in ensuring that South African companies get a share of the action. SAOGA is a non-profit organisation representing the interests of South Africabased suppliers of upstream products and services to the oil and gas industry. It currently has a membership of around 170, many of which are local operations of foreign companies. “We are realistic enough,” says Blyth, “to realise that although the country has some very capable engineering and manufacturing companies, they don’t have the experience, resources or clout to be considered as tier one suppliers. Therefore we need the involvement of overseas specialist suppliers and that’s why SAOGA is open to any business which has a base here.”

Special report | 105

Show the world what your company has to offer with our tailored packages

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SAOGA is working on a definitive directory of local companies suitable for potential oil & gas projects

With signed-off projects in Mozambique In this respect, SAOGA is taking a proactive and Tanzania, the race is on to get geared role by talking to its opposite numbers in up. “These projects are located in totally the UK, US and Norway, actively working undeveloped regions of Africa,” says Blyth. towards alliances of one kind or another. “There is literally nothing there. Everything “The aim is not to provide takeover targets,” will have to be built in order to make the says Blyth, “but rather to bring together projects work—harbours, road and rail links, overseas operations which complement local offices, warehouses. We might not be eligible businesses and then it is up to the parties to supply the most critical equipment needed involved to decide how that partnership on production platforms or might be formed.” To facilitate this meeting LPG plants but there is an enormous amount of support of minds, SAOGA is working on a definitive directory work that we can do.” The last 12 months has also of local companies with seen a spate of acquisitions the capabilities suitable for Member companies as overseas specialists seek potential oil & gas projects. of SAOGA to gain an African foothold. In this respect, the value


Special report | 107

chain is much longer than might initially be considered. “The whole process starts with the acquisition of licences, which calls for legal and business consultancy services familiar with the way different African governments and their licensing authorities work. Then there are all the services related to exploration which cover the full spectrum from seismic vessels to food provision and security. Boats and equipment need to be repaired and maintained. The list is endless and anyone serious about being in the oil & gas business should be represented in our directory.” The most advanced of the Mozambique projects is the Anadarko LPG project which could become one of the half dozen largest fields anywhere in the world. Although construction is at least 12 months away, Blyth is conscious that there is plenty to do preparing the land and sea for the eventual extraction process and is keen that his members play a part. The other great initiative occupying SAOGA, and which is inextricably linked to any oil & gas developments whether in South Africa or further afield, is the creation of a “free zone” based around the Western Cape port of Saldanha Bay. “It remains to be fully worked out,” says Blyth, “exactly what constitutes a free zone but at the very least there will be a customs free area where the flow of material and equipment can take place with

as little paperwork as possible and without the payment of duty or VAT. This will then become the hub for work related to oil & gas exploration and production.” Prior to the selection and the study that has just been completed there, the debate was whether or not a hub on the east side of South Africa might have been better, bearing in mind that the focus of attention was on East Africa. However, Blyth is sure that Saldanha Bay is the best option. “It’s a natural deep water harbour,” he says,

“Anyone serious about being in the oil & gas business should be represented in our directory” 108 | Special report


Established road, rail, sea and air routes make South Africa makes an ideal logistics base

“which lends itself to a floating dry dock and has plenty of room for development. It also has the advantage of being within easy access to Cape Town and all the city has to offer.” And, of course, if the exploration taking place on the west coast and development of Namibia’s Kudu gas field comes to fruition, then Saldanha Bay will be ideally situated. In summary, then, SAOGA is being both realistically practical and optimistic about South Africa’s role in the development of southern African oil & gas projects. The security and stability there must come as a welcome alternative to the chaos in Nigeria. The established road, rail, sea and air routes that already exist in South Africa makes it the ideal logistics base.

It has experienced engineers and factories of every size and level of sophistication, offering a broad base of suppliers. At government level, there are already good relationships with neighbouring countries and although the wheels of government might be just as slow as in other African nations, within South Africa there are plenty of advisers with experience of getting things done in the most productive way. For newcomers to South Africa, all of this information and more is available via the SAOGA directory. For more information about South African Oil & Gas Alliance visit: www.saoga.org.za

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hesper engineering

A reputation

earned With more than 40 years of ship repair experience, this SAOGA member is looking to expand into the oil and gas sector. General manager James Wrensch explains

written by: Will Daynes research by: James Boyle

Special report | 111

Hesper Engineering Rigging of repaired thruster onto barge


natural bay overlooked by Cape Town and stretching south to the Cape of Good Hope, Table Bay is home to the iconic Table Mountain. For centuries it has been recognised as a haven for ships and today provides the perfect location for the operations of Hesper Engineering. With more than 40 years of ship repair experience, the company is well placed to service its customers’ repair and modification needs. “What began life as a small engineering business that served the local fishing industry has since grown into a leading regional competitor offering a variety of core functions,” explains general manager, James Wrensch. “This enables Hesper Engineering to take on and deliver turnkey projects in all aspects of the marine engineering and fabrication industry.” Able to carry out work in Walvis Bay, Lüderitz, Saldanha Bay, Simonstown and Port Elizabeth, with mobile teams available to travel to any part of southern and West Africa to carry out specialised repairs, Hesper Engineering’s highly trained technical staff includes ex-marine and naval engineering officers and artisans. Each possessing outstanding shipping and general engineering expertise, key members of the company’s staff are also fluent in Spanish, Greek, Portuguese and German. Hesper Engineering has the ability to approach a project from multiple angles, and as part of the Novatech Group it can call on the support of other group members to subcontract as required. “While having the ability to cover the entire scope of a

Special report | 113

project is an invaluable quality,” Wrensch continues, “arguably the greatest strength of the company is its hands-on approach. From the management down, every employee of the company plays an active role in ensuring that the job at hand is done quickly and efficiently.” Hesper Engineering has therefore earned a reputation for service in the ship repair industry. “If a customer needs something done quickly and done well,” Wrensch says, “they know there is no better company to turn to than Hesper Engineering.” In 2009, the company took a first-ofits-kind project when it was tasked with constructing and fitting a new, 30 tonne rudder to the tanker M.T Biz to replace one lost in poor weather west of the Cape of Storms. The three-month project, carried out to the highest possible specifications, added greatly to the company’s experience. Other large-scale projects include the lengthening and converting of the M.V North Star to a mono hull design and the building of additional fuel tanks on behalf of Carrier Marine in 2009, and a multi-faceted project involving the Transnet National Port Authority’s Enseleni Harbour Tug in 2010. This latter job involved the stripping and removal of the starboard Voith rotor

from the vessel, repairing and modifying the sealing arrangement and the standard overhaul of the complete Voith unit. The company was able to complete work on the tug in just 26 days. More recently, the company has completed work on an accommodation barge belonging

“While having the ability to cover the entire scope of a project is an invaluable quality, the greatest strength of the company is its hands-on approach” 114 | Special report

Hesper Engineering

Rigging new rudder into position while vessel afloat

to Sea Trucks Group. Central As approved design to this contract was the and installation agents for overhaul of two 30 tonne Epocast 36 resin chocking retractable thrusters. As compound, the company is these were approximately 12 able to carry out main engine Years of ship repair metres each in length, the and machinery re-chocking experience scale of the comprehensive in-house, preventing delays ref urbish ment projec t to vessels trying to source foreign expertise. Hesper is presented an excellent opportunity for the engineers to add to also an approved Simplex Service Station their experience. for the supply, installation and bonding of Hesper Engineering is also servicing the Simplex Stern Tube Seals. offshore diamond mining sector, specifically Like some 170 other private sector DeBeers Marine in all its underwater work companies, Hesper Engineering is a when dry docking in Cape Town. member of the South Africa Oil and


Special report | 115

Refitting of Voith blades into new rotor

Re-chocking of the M

“If a customer needs something done quickly and done well they know there is no better company to turn to than Hesper Engineering” Gas Alliance (SAOGA). As it continues to grow, it plans to become increasingly involved with the Alliance, sharing the knowledge and experience it has gained over the years with others. “It is probably fair to say that the company has yet to take full advantage of the benefits that membership of SAOGA provides,” says

116 | Special report

Wrensch. “This will change as Hesper Engineering evolves further and gears itself more towards the oil and gas sector.” Committed to investing in its people, one of the benefits of SAOGA membership the company will no doubt look to capitalise on is the number of training programmes available. These will help

Hesper Engineering

Magsenger two man main engine

develop the skills required to service the needs of oil and gas customers. At the same time as it develops its employees’ capabilities, the company plans to expand its workshop facilities to cater for the contracts it will attract from the oil and gas sector, specifically those vessels that boast large propulsion units. “At the heart of the company’s expansion plans,” Wrensch explains, “is the building of a 400 square metre warehouse that will house a 30 tonne crane with a 14 metre lift underneath. This major project is expected to be carried out and completed during 2013.” As plans for this expansion steadily gain

Refitting of Voith rotor into Enseleni Habour tug

steam, the future looks bright for Hesper Engineering. “Oil and gas is definitely the sector to target, especially in growth areas like West Africa,” Wrensch concludes. “Clearly, the way we operate has worked out well so far and from that point of view there is not much that needs improving. The local reputation we have gained over the years is nothing short of excellent and we fully intend to maintain this as we move forward.” For more information about Hesper Engineering visit: www.hesper.co.za

Special report | 117

The know


118 | Special report

Sturrock Shipping

w-how people

While the excitement of oil and gas production centres around the wells themselves, nothing would ever get done without the support of experienced service providers

written by: Alan Swaby research by: James Boyle

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lsewhere in this publication there is an account of what the South African Oil and Gas Association (SAOGA) is doing to coordinate and encourage South African based businesses to be part of the overall development of Africa’s oil and gas industries. Here is a perfect example of what can be achieved by a business that has no interest or involvement with engineering or manufacturing and yet is still making money from oil and gas. Sturrock Shipping has been around for almost half a century. It’s not a shipping company as the name might suggest but rather a ship’s agency plus forwarding and logistics company. It’s the type of business you go to when you want someone to take responsibility for the full supply-chain of services related to sea transportation or the import and export of goods into and out of Africa. It does have links with the actual shipping process – its BEE (black economic empowerment) partner is Calulo who is involved in ship chartering around the African coast as well as bunker brokering, but Sturrock is essentially a facilitator – it gets things done on behalf of others. “We specialise in the oil tanker sector,” says ships agency director Clive James. “As such, there are very few of the larger names in oil that we don’t service with freight forwarding, landside logistics and a whole gamut of vessel and cargo requirements.” For many years, during the apartheid era, Sturrock’s expansion plans were hamstrung by poor relations between South Africa and the rest of the continent. However, when

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Sturrock Shipping

Sturrock Shipping the ANC government came to power and sanctions fell away, Sturrock had the green light to start its expansion plans. The first office was opened in Mombasa with Dar es Salaam following later, both bringing Sturrock into contact with a whole new range of clients, particularly in oil related businesses. “We decided to start on the east coast,” says James, “as there we shared the English language – something which would make life just a little easier while adapting to a new set of conditions and business habits.” It’s an easy trap for Europeans and Americans to fall into thinking that Africa is all the same. “The common features,” admits James, “are the high incidence of bureaucracy and the generally poor state of the infrastructure, but in each case, the fine print is different.” It wasn’t until they had gathered considerable experience in English speaking zones that they ventured south a little and

opened two offices in Mozambique. “We’re neighbouring countries,” says James, “but the fact that business is conducted in Portuguese creates a considerable gulf.” Now though, the network is extensive: eight offices throughout South Africa, three in Mozambique, three in Tanzania, five in Madagascar, plus offices in Angola, Kenya, Ghana and Sudan. “We try to understand local conditions and not be Eurocentric,”

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says James. “Instead, we try to find good partners to deal with who share our ideals of good service through reliability and then tailor a modus operandi around the specific conditions in each country.” Having someone reliable is exactly what clients want. Many of the above branches have been created at the behest of customers tired of sloppy service from agents working for their own best interests and not the

client’s. “Everything about the way Africa operates is improving,” says James, “the roads, phone system, broadband speeds and even bureaucracy. It means the barriers to entry are coming down and competition is increasing. But it’s not always improving fast enough for some of our clients based in Asia, Europe or the US. They have little tolerance for a lack of punctuality, promises that aren’t kept and poor quality work.

“The first thing that takes new clients by surprise is that we show them it is possible to have an answer within minutes”

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Sturrock Shipping

While we adhere to our own broader experience when ever improving quality combined becomes a potent standard, we strive to remain force.” ahead of the pack.” Sturrock then works on the basis that the most The services provided by Sturrock became corrosive element for good all ship’s agents are similar, ISO certified client relationships is poor if not identical, so Sturrock communication. “The first places the emphasis not on what is done but rather how thing that takes new clients it is done. “It’s all about relationships,” says by surprise is that we show them it is James. “First we need to work closely with possible to have an answer within minutes the appropriate authorities to make sure we rather than the hours or days that might understand what they want. Here it helps previously have been their experience.” for us to partner with strong local firms Another point of difference Sturrock which have demonstrated a high level of claims in its favour is the extent of its capability. Their inside knowledge and our health, safety, environmental and quality


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Sturrock Shipping management systems. SHEQ has traditionally not featured too prominently on the radar of many African countries, but as a result of Sturrock’s long track record dealing with the oil majors it has become a serious and necessary focus of its business today. “All the most important oil companies,” says James, “are fully aware of their social, health and environmental responsibilities and want their agents to be equally prepared and like-minded in their approach to these non-negotiable aspects of the business. Of course, every effort is made to avoid environmental damage but should something untoward occur, clients need to know that we are ready to deal with any situation. Sturrock has been ISO certified since 1996 and has experienced teams that it can deploy to assist with incidents at short notice. The amount of investment taking place in African oil and gas production is making the region an attractive target for some of the largest international agency names. But Sturrock remains confident that its focus on an African presence has numerous benefits for potential new clients. “We can demonstrate,” says James, “that the service we offer is equal to anywhere in the industrialised world but with a true understanding of what it is like to do business in Africa. And for multinational clients, we promise a consistent way of working regardless of the location.” For more information about Sturrock Shipping visit: www.sturrockshipping.com

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Daring to diversify ChemSystems has been a fixture of the chemicals industry for over five decades. Sales director, Laurence Davies, and business development manager, Charles Du Bois, discuss how the company is now making a name for itself in the oil and gas sector

written by: Will Daynes research by: Will Kirby

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Houghton BOP



key component of the and Constructichem (a division focusing on country’s industrial base, the construction sector). What ChemSystems South Africa’s chemical also possesses is three distinct models in industry is the largest of its which it does business, these being direct kind in Africa. Globally, the trading, manufacturing under license and chemical industry boasts an estimated value manufacturing its own IPM technologies. of more than $4 trillion and while Africa’s “One of the biggest contributing factors to contribution to this has been relatively small our success over the years,” Davies continues, to date, the chemicals sector is expected to “is that we have always employed individuals play an increasingly important role in African who are experts in the chosen fields in economies in the decades ahead. One of the which we operate. This has allowed us to factors that is expected to help drive this offer our customers high value-add technical demand for chemical products and solutions support. Such capabilities are all the more important when you consider the fact that, is the growth of the oil and gas sector. One company that has as a company, ChemSystems witnessed first-hand the doesn’t simply sell a product, dramatic industrial changes it sells solutions.” that have occurred in the Being a local manufacturer, region during its 50-plus year ChemSystems possesses a history is ChemSystems. A certain degree of flexibility that has allowed it to tailor $46 million company in its its offerings to customers own right, ChemSystems is The value of one of 13 chemical companies throughout the years as the ChemSystems belonging to the AECI Group market around it has evolved. (African Explosives and In addition to having a strong Chemical Industries), which is listed on the presence in its home market of South Africa, the company has also gained significant access Johannesburg Stock Exchange. “As one of the older companies within to sub-Saharan territory through various the AECI cluster,” explains sales director, technology and distribution partnerships, Laurence Davies, “we have a long history in giving it a large area of opportunity to pursue. the field of industrial products.” A diverse “While it is important to note that a large business, ChemSystems’ operations are split proportion of our market remains orientated into five, very different, divisions. These towards mining, indeed around 80 percent include Status Industrial Solutions, Capital of our African business does still stem from Polymer Additives (additives for polymer this sector,” Davies highlights, “what we industry), SA Silicones (silicone based have seen in more recent times is a spike in products for a wide range of industries), interest towards oil and gas following large Applied Solutions (the foundry industry) discoveries that have been made off the coasts



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$4 trillion The estimated value of the global chemicals industry

Molykote bolted connections

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of South Africa, Angola and Mozambique.” These events have in turn led to ChemSystems shifting its focus towards the oil and gas industry. By getting a better understanding for this market and the type of solutions it can provide potential customers, the company has been able to put together a suite of products that it is able to present to the offshore oil and gas sector. ChemSystems holds technology and manufacturing license agreements with a number of leading chemical and lubricant producers including the likes of Castrol and Houghton International. “Houghton International,” states business development manager, Charles Du Bois, “is one of only a handful of companies that supply offshore fluids that are used in sub-sea control units, compensator units and blow-out preventers (BOP). These are products that are of the highest quality, are used by drilling companies across the globe and we are very proud to be able to offer them to our customers.” In addition to the Houghton off-shore fluids, a comprehensive fluid test kit is available and fluid sample analysis programmes can be implemented to ensure that the fluid properties remain within specification. These analyses also allow


Molykote lubricants are extremely effective

it to investigate fluid deterioration and to implement the corrective measures. Systemcleaners are available from Houghton in case of fluid contamination whereby systems need to be flushed. Houghton also offers a full range of corrosion protection products for oil field tubular. Another series of products that are of particular importance to ChemSystems come under the name of Molykote. Created by the company Dow Corning, these products are used to lubricate threaded connections and flanges, and are commonly used to maintain rig equipment that operates in aggressive,

logistically challenging environments. “Dow Corning,” Du Bois says, “has had great success with these products in the North Sea, where the likes of Statoil and Shell have become users of Molykote. It is with this in mind that we see a great deal of potential for this brand throughout Southern Africa.” The Molykote lubricants are extremely effective on those applications where there is very low relative motion in conjunction with very high loads, for example splines, bolts or nuts, pins and bushes, and press fit applications. The use of these products significantly improves the workshop and on

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site safety during assembly and disassembly of equipment and components. For almost 30 years, ChemSystems has been involved in the fire fighting industry, manufacturing fire fighting foam concentrates, and today holds a technology partnership agreement with the German company Dr Sthamer. “As you can imagine,” Davies states, “fire is an ever present risk in the oil and gas sector, and as such companies

go out of their way to protect their assets accordingly. What we do is produce a range of globally approved fire fighting concentrates. These products are made under license in South Africa and meet all the global fire protection association standards.” In addition to the aforementioned products and solutions, the company also represents Chemetall, selling non-destructive testing penetrates into a number of industries, oil

“ChemSystems holds technology and manufacturing license agreements with a number of leading chemical and lubricant producers”

Fire is an ever present risk in the oil and gas sector

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ChemSystems produces a range of globally approved fire fighting concentrates

and gas included. These products are used to identify defects in vessels, pipelines and other items of equipment that need to undergo regular integrity checks. Then there are the products that ChemSystems develops itself using its own technology. These include its Marine range of solutions that include oil dispersants. The company also produces a selection of cleaning and maintenance products and microbiological treatments, a range of corrosion inhibitors and descalers and carbon removers. In its home market of South Africa, ChemSystems oil and gas related activities

continue to expand at an impressive rate. It is at times like this that a company such as ChemSystems, being a relatively new player in the market, benefits greatly from having other well entrenched players around it that it can draw knowledge from. One of the reasons that ChemSystems finds itself in such a position is through its membership of the South Africa Oil and Gas Association (SAOGA). “SAOGA,� Davies enthuses, “provides us with the ability to network with others in the industry, gain a better understanding of the market and establish potential future partnerships. It also provides us with an excellent

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opportunity to showcase our own products and services to the right people.” The success the company continues to have in South Africa by no means suggests that it doesn’t recognise that there are a host of opportunities further afield. Indeed, two particular parts of Africa are becoming of increasing interest to ChemSystems, those being Angola and Mozambique. “Angola,” Davies says, “is a country experiencing a great deal of activity at present. It is with this in mind that we are working hard to get a better understanding of this unique market. Charles himself recently spent some time in the country forging relationships with potential partners. Similarly, we are looking to identify logistics partners in order to make our product offering as price competitive as possible.” Research of this nature is also being undertaken as it relates to Mozambique, a market that is still very much in its infancy when it comes to oil and gas. “What we hope to do,” Du Bois says, “is take the lessons we have learnt, and will learn, in Angola, which is a market that is further ahead in terms of industry development, and apply them to Mozambique.” The sheer potential for Africa’s oil and gas sector to become one of the most important

in the world should be reason enough to believe that a very promising future lies ahead for ChemSystems. However, if any further proof were needed one only needs to look at the company’s ability to diversify itself over the years. “What we have,” Davies goes on to say, “is a level of flexibility that allows us to change our market focus and product offering fairly rapidly.

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ChemSystems has been shifting its focus towards the oil and gas industry

This makes us highly versatile and able to adapt accordingly as customer needs and business trends change. In truth, as recently as ten years ago we probably wouldn’t have predicted moving into the oil and gas sector, but as that market has expanded we have been able to respond in a way that allows us to concentrate more of our efforts on such industries that we see as having a longer lifecycle.” That is not to say that ChemSystems no longer wishes to be involved in a mixture of markets, but what it does highlight is that, as well as wanting to protect the strong position it already holds in these, the company will continue to seek out new growth opportunities as they arise. “Today,” Davies concludes, “ChemSystems

exists as a strong player within the South African chemicals sector and we want to build on that. We see a large part of our future being driven by our ability to spread out further across Africa. This won’t be a quick or easy process, and may require us to adapt our business model slightly in some regions, but it is one that we see as being of great benefit to us as we recognise that a large portion of our future is going to be intertwined with the future growth of Africa as a whole.” For more information about ChemSystems visit: www.chemsystems.co.za

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Pass the t

In the midst of South a centre of oil and gas of One Eighty Engine materials testing cen specialised

written by: research by:

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One Eighty Engineering Solutions

sing test

Africa’s emergence as s activity, the opening eering Solutions’ new ntre will provide local d services

Will Daynes James Boyle

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he most developed economy in sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa’s long history of excellence in sectors such as mining, resource extraction and maritime services is well documented. The industry, however, that has been undergoing rapid development in more recent years is oil and gas, in particular the upstream market. Today the country plays host to a significant supplier base, a capacity that is complemented further by the presence of a number of the world’s leading service companies. “It was in 2002, that I started up the company,” explains Janet Cotton, founder and director, “after recognising the industry’s need for metallurgical consultant work and materials testing capabilities.” In the years since its formation the company has gone on to develop a client base of over 300 organisations and businesses. Delivering creative, high value engineering solutions in the form of key information, One Eighty has come to be recognised as a leader in materials and metallurgical expertise. Today, One Eighty is undergoing something of a transition. Whereas in the past it would subcontract the testing work that was required as part of a consultation, a substantial investment and support from Allseas, a Swiss offshore contractor currently executing a pipe lay project for PetroSA, has provided it with the capital needed to construct a materials testing centre that will allow it to carry this out in-house. Expected to be up and running by the end of the year, the testing centre, with its state-of-the-art equipment will place One

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One Eighty Engineering Solutions

Founder and director, Janet Cotton

Eighty in the unique position of having capabilities that are otherwise unavailable in Cape Town. “While some companies do offer some materials testing,” research, development and design engineer, Suzanne Higgins says, “only we will have the ability to carry out a full study for a customer with all the equipment required to do so.” It is companies within the oil and gas sector that are showing an increasing interest in One Eighty’s materials testing capabilities, particularly as it relates to weld procedure qualifications. Before commencing work on a ship or a rig an operator has to ensure that they first qualify the weld procedure. This is done through a series of impact and hardness tests carried out to the necessary standards.

“With oil and gas activity expanding across the region,” Cotton continues, “this service is becoming more in demand and we have identified it as one of our biggest growth markets going forward.” Upon the opening of its materials testing facility, One Eighty will possess one of the very few laboratories in South Africa with the ability to offer weld procedure and performance qualification test. Any oil and gas related construction involving welds has to undergo these procedures and performance related tests before work can be commenced. The procedure tests relate to the type of welding and the performance tests refer to the welder or weld operator. At its new premises, the company will be

With experts in material science, mechanical engineering and chemistry, One Eighty works to bring engineering an

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One Eighty Engineering Solutions

“One Eighty has come to be recognised as a leader in materials and metallurgical expertise” able to conduct tensile, bend and impact tests, before providing its customers with a detailed report. These tests will not be limited to the oil and gas sector. Customers from various other industries will be able to make use of them. In addition to materials testing, One Eighty provides comprehensive failure investigation and material selection services.

nd science together

“What also makes us unique,” states quality assurance manager, Petra Gress, “is that, as a company, One Eighty actively works to bring engineering and science together. By having experts in fields such as material science, mechanical engineering and chemistry under one roof we are able to approach each project from multiple angles.” A recent example of the company’s materials testing capabilities being put to use involved the hull of a vessel failing whilst at sea and the subsequent tensile and burn testing of the hull material by One Eighty to determine the quality of the lay-up of the various components of the vessel. In addition to these tests a microstructural examination was conducted and it was this that identified that the crack that led to the failure of the vessel developed in the centre part of the laminate. It was further determined that this part of the laminate was indeed more prone to fracture than the outer layers as the volume fraction of fibres in this region is lower. There are numerous other case studies that highlight One Eighty’s expertise in the fields of failure investigation and material selection. One of its undertakings in the former saw it responding to a customer’s concerns when two electric motors used for cutting hot glass experienced catastrophic

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One Eighty identifies the cause of equipment failure

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failure. Estimated to have been in constant operation for three days prior to failure, in both cases the issue appeared to stem from a fracture adjacent to the bearing. Evidence collected by One Eighty identified that the drive shaft failed as a result of fatigue cracking, due to rotating bending. This implies that the applied stress had exceeded the fatigue strength of the material at the site of fracture, with the loose fit between the shaft and the fan being the most likely cause for failure. Stress analysis calculations confirmed that the fan wobble was sufficient to cause fatigue fracture within the reported operating hours. From a materials selection point of view, the analysis the company carried out on a hinge pin on a diving bell door also stands out. In this case the customer in question reported the pin showing severe galling over time, resulting in difficulty opening and closing the door. What One Eighty was able to recommend was that to reduce this galling, the surface finish, lubricant selection and material selection must be optimised. It also highlighted that using a lubricant containing a solid element would produce the best results, creating a barrier between surfaces and preventing the effects of cold welding. It was through the company’s membership status within The South African Oil and Gas Alliance (SAOGA) that it was able to ascertain whether there was in fact a need for a materials testing facility in the Western Cape of the country. “The feedback we received from fellow members,” Cotton says, “was overwhelmingly positive, with the consensus being that, in order for the

One Eighty Engineering Solutions

Metallurgical services remain highly specialised and are not widely available in South Africa

region to provide world-class services to large oil and gas players, a local test centre is essential.” Despite being a fundamental aspect of manufacturing, metallurgical services remain highly specialised and as such are not widely available in South Africa. What One Eighty is able to do as a member of SAOGA is use its expertise and knowledge to

educate people as to the importance of these services. The SAOGA can in turn distribute this to its members. “As oil and gas activities increase in South Africa,” Cotton says, “it becomes all the more important to have the right degree of materials testing knowledge and experience available locally to service this growth.” Without access to local facilities,

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The materials testing facility will create many new opportunities

One Eighty Engineering Solutions companies would otherwise be forced to continue sending work back to Europe. One Eighty’s facility will not only help eliminate the logistical and economic burden that comes from this, it will also provide the opportunity for customers to get a better understanding of the process and its results through closer, more direct interaction. Over the course of the next two years, the company is committed to its aim of taking its materials testing facility from zero percent capacity to at least 75 percent capacity and beyond. “With the opening of the new centre,” Higgins enthuses, “comes a great number of new opportunities. We know there is lots of work out there and this gives us all a great deal of excitement for what the future holds.” In the meantime, not only does One Eighty intend to expand its consultancy business internationally, its founder and director has her own personal goal that she wants to see come to fruition and that is for the company to branch out into product development. “This is something I am hoping to see became a much stronger theme for the business over the next five years,” Cotton concludes. “Whether it involves developing our own range of products or specific, bespoke items for a customer, I envision One Eighty’s business being balanced between consulting, materials testing and product development.” For more information about One Eighty Engineering Solutions visit: www.one-eighty-degrees.com

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An ambitious target South Africa-based Filcon Filters has set an ambitious target of 25 percent annual growth over the next three years. Directors Vernon Clarke, Tony Henfrey and George Canning talk about running a knowledge-based business

written by: Gay Sutton research by: Marcus Lewis

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Filcon Filters

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Trevor giving a piece of pipe the evil eye

Filcon Filters


anufacturing, water and waste water, oil and gas, food and beverage, petrochemical, paint—no matter what business you are in, continuity is essential. Downtime and quality issues cost money. So it’s small wonder that many companies prefer to stick with the brands and suppliers they know and trust. One company supplying top quality proprietary products, but also encouraging customers to break the cycle of inhibition when a custom-built product would be more effective, is Filcon Filters. Launched in 2000 by owners Tony Henfrey and Vernon Clarke, Filcon initially began trading as an importer and supplier of proprietary filtration products with a distribution licence for Hayward Filtration, now part of Eaton Filtration. From its base in Cape Town, the company quickly expanded and diversified, and today stocks a wide variety of products that include self-cleaning, back washing and centrifugal filters, market, basket and flushing strainers, filter cartridges and bags as well as filter media in the form of materials such as activated carbon. “We are still diversifying,” said sales director Vernon Clarke. “We’re always looking for new types of equipment and technology, and if a new product fits with us we will investigate it.” Vernon drives sales and Tony positions the Filcon brand through press releases and search engine optimisation. Filcon’s aim is to become South Africa’s leading filtration specialist. Over the past 13 years considerable progress has been made towards that goal. “Today, we provide not

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25% Annual growth target from 2012 to 2015

PS250 Auto with brush

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just products,” explained financial director Tony Henfrey, “but we also answer any questions our customers have on filtration, and we will even design filtration systems to solve specific application problems.” Through a combination of in-house technical expertise, reliability and integrity, the company has built a solid reputation for excellence. “Service levels are particularly important to us,” Clarke continued. “If we are able to service the customer to the level that meets with their satisfaction, price is not always the key. People will purchase from us because we have the stock levels, and we deliver on time.” As part of its strategy for growth, the company opened a second office in Johannesburg two years ago, close to South Africa’s industrial heartland. One of the key roles of the new technical centre is to diversify into a new gap in the market. “With the rand weakening against most currencies and imports therefore becoming far more expensive,” Henfrey said, “we realised that manufacturing our own range of products would give us an edge.” The manufacturing arm of Filcon is managed and run by design engineering director George Canning who brings some 30 years’ experience to the business.

Filcon Filters

200GTSSHP in duplex format

The economics of manufacturing custom products in South Africa are, he believes, very persuasive. “Because of the size of the market here and the sheer range of filters that are available on the global market, it’s impractical to hold stocks of them all. So if a customer requires a filter that is in any way non-standard, the freight costs of importing a one-off product are simply prohibitive,” he said. “In the past, plant engineers have had to modify their plant in order to accommodate a filter from the standard range. The service we’re offering means they don’t have to do

that. We will design non-standard filters from scratch to their specification. We then outsource the manufacture to one of three trusted fabricators here in Johannesburg.” With Filcon’s reputation for technical excellence, the service has proved very popular. It saves on freight costs, reduces the downtime, cost and risk associated with adapting production equipment. All Filcon filters are manufactured to ISO 9001:2008 quality standards, and the company retains control of the entire process by providing not only the detailed technical designs but also the raw materials and components.

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Since launching the new service, Canning has continuously been refining the design and manufacturing process to increase efficiency and reduce lead time, therefore making custom manufacture even more attractive. For example, where there are components and materials common to several products, the company always holds significant quantities in stock. Custom manufacturing has been very successful, and the unit has made a name for itself with some of its products. Among the more significant is the Dirt Gobbla, a centrifugal filter that is currently unique in South Africa. “We’re also known for our centrifugal strainer, our automatic purging strainer and back washing strainer,” Canning said. “And we’ve developed a popular line of locally manufactured in-line basket strainers.” As Filcon is a knowledge-based enterprise, ensuring business continuity has become a high priority. “This is something we’re very conscious of, and have been planning for,” Clarke said. There are currently two young graduates employed under Canning at the Johannesburg office, and one under Clarke at Cape Town. All three are undergoing a mixture of formal training and continuous in-house coaching where they are learning

skills and gaining experience of the industry, absorbing knowledge almost through a process of osmosis. “One is a young African lady who has a BSc in geology with a chemistry background which should be an aid in water treatment. It’s her first job out of graduation,” Henfrey explained. “She is showing tremendous potential and is probably one of the first black women to

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Filcon Filters

300GTSSLP Strainers

700mm Strainer 3

venture into the filtration industry, so we’re nurturing her.” Alongside this, the company has been working to improve its BEE (broadbased black economic empowerment) score, and has recently raised this to level 2, an achievement that delivers added benefits for the customer. With these achievements under its belt, Filcon has set a challenging target for growth. “We have set ourselves a target of increasing sales by 25 percent per annum from 2012 through to 2015, and we are on target to achieve that this year,” Henfrey continued. “Our next priority is to open an office in Durban as we believe there is a big market in South Africa that we have not yet tapped. But we are also looking into Africa as a whole.” The company has already begun to

make inroads into the wider African market through third party suppliers. “At this stage, we see mining as a real growth area, and we’re also looking at the oil and gas industry, particularly in Namibia, Mozambique and Tanzania. And of course with South Africa being the 20th most water deprived country in the world there is tremendous potential for recycling and reusing water.” With so many new opportunities in a rapidly expanding industry base, the target seems well within range. For more information about Filcon Filters visit: www.filconfilters.co.za

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SEADOG Commercial Diving School

Educating the next generation Managing director Bridget Thomson talks about how the provision of commercial diver training is contributing towards South Africa’s development as a hub for oil and gas activities

written by: Will Daynes research by: Marcus Lewis

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SEADOG Commercial Diving School


ver since the first commercial offshore saturation dive was performed in the Gulf of Mexico, back in March 1966, the work of offshore divers has proven invaluable to the exploration and production sectors of the oil and gas industry. For nearly 60 years these divers have been responsible for carrying out the maintenance and inspection of offshore oil platforms, as well as the building of underwater structures used in the production process. Without the efforts of these highly skilled individuals the oil and gas sector may very well have struggled to reach such prominence during the latter half of the 20th century. Established in January 2010 by managing director Bridget Thomson, SEADOG Commercial Diving School is a training centre for the oil and gas industry, specialising in such fields as commercial diving, supervision and diver medic training. Situated within Saldanha Bay, SEADOG’s unique location allows trainees to develop under realistic conditions where the quiet waters of the bay provide the perfect introduction to learner divers before they enter the open ocean. Committed to providing quality, progressive education, using outcomebased skills training, SEADOG promotes student-centred learning. This structure ensures that those individuals trained by the school demonstrate competency through a combination of knowledge, understanding and skills that encourage good performance and safe working practices. “Personally,” Thomson explains, “I

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have been involved in the medical and occupational health and safety sector of commercial diving since 2000. As a result of my own experiences I have been aware for quite some time that there is a strong level of demand for the services that SEADOG offers, particularly in light of South Africa’s growing importance within the oil and gas industry.” The role South Africa plays in today’s market is further highlighted by its being one of a handful of countries where its accredited diving schools award qualifications that are recognised by the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA). “What we quite often find with the clients we work with,” Thomson continues, “is that they will often select a team of people that they wish to train as commercial divers before then sending that group or team to us to receive the proper education.” While SEADOG Commercial Diving School is a relatively young business in its own right, the experience of its managing director and the trust she has gained throughout the industry have proven to be the catalysts behind what has become a successful, respected operation. “A number of the people that I have trained over the years are today working in key positions in many of the big oil and gas players in the

region,” Thomson says. “What I believe to be the key to SEADOG’s success is a combination of the trust these former trainees turned supervisors, superintendents and managers have in us, our ability to maintain longterm relationships and the way in which we are able to adapt as a business to meet

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SEADOG Commercial Diving School

SEADOG awards qualifications that are recognised by the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA)

changing industry needs.” “It is my belief,” Education, training Thomson states, “that and development are South African oil and developing themes across gas companies need to come together and make Southern Africa, with all Year of the first offshore a stand as a way of of its major industries saturation dive showcasing the products, being encouraged to training and services they embrace change and new have to offer. I think a lot ideas, rather than just maintaining traditional standards and of countries maybe see this part of the practices. One organisation providing a world as being a lot less advanced than it platform that will allow its members to move really is and bodies like the SAOGA can forward together is the South African Oil help change that perception. The SAOGA and Gas Alliance (SAOGA). certainly has the potential to achieve a


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“It is clear to anyone who visits SEADOG that it has developed a rock-solid programme” lot more in the years ahead and that will ultimately benefit everyone.” The progress made by SEADOG over the last two and a half years has certainly been impressive. In that time it has hosted representatives from the IMCA and from international businesses such as those based in Australia, each of whom have been highly complimentary of the school’s training and assessment methods and its quality assurance.

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“It is clear to anyone who visits us that we have developed a rock-solid programme here,” Thomson enthuses. “What we are doing now to further grow the business is to establish several cooperative agreements with other diving schools and professional bodies.” It is this approach that SEADOG hopes to extend internationally through the establishment of cross-border cooperatives. “Where we are in Saldanha Bay,” Thomson

SEADOG Commercial Diving School

SEADOG’s trainers have knowledge and experience in the technical, medical and supervisory fields

says, “you can see from the rigs that arrive on a regular basis and the on-going developments within the harbour areas that there is a good future ahead for the industry in this region. However, this potential is not just limited to South Africa. We are seeing it occurring in the Middle East and across Asia in countries that South Africa has strong ties and relations with.” Boasting a complement of trainers whose knowledge and experience encompass the technical, medical and supervisory fields, the medium-to-long term goal of SEADOG Commercial Diving School is to leverage this into being able to offer more specialist training courses. This would target other growth areas within the field

such as the work of dive technicians and medical technicians. Nevertheless, Thomson appears acutely aware that the success of the school is, at least in part, tied to the growth of the region as a hub of oil and gas activity. “South Africa truly does have the means and abilities to offer a quality service to the oil and gas industry. As we ourselves evolve and grow as a business, it is that message that we will look to convey on an international scale.” For more information about SEADOG Commercial Diving School visit: www.divingschool.co.za

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Thesky’s thelimit Chief executive officer Tony Sofianos explains how, with the oil and gas industry stretching across the globe more than ever before, companies like Wings Travel Management have never been more important to their customers

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Wings Travel Management

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Wings has expanded around the world

Wings Travel Management


ver the past two decades, the oil and gas industry has taken off at an incredible rate in many developing markets, helping establish nations such as Brazil, China and South Africa as modern centres of economic prosperity. The evolution has also allowed those companies that are best positioned to service these markets to grow and, more importantly, overcome many of the challenges posed in recent years by the financial crisis. Described as a “high tech, high touch” organisation, Wings Travel Management is a global travel management company (TMC) specialising in offshore, marine and corporate travel. Founded in 1992, and employing approximately 300 people in four regional hubs, Wings possesses an advanced and unique quality management system that is an integral part of its operating procedures. Having celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2012, the company has witnessed first-hand how the market has adapted and changed in that time. “There is no doubt,” explains chief executive officer Tony Sofianos, “that the last few years have been incredibly tough. Notwithstanding the economic environment, we have managed to position ourselves optimally so we can maximise the opportunities that exist as well as be better positioned to expand as economic conditions improve. In fact through the acquisition of a number of businesses around the globe in recent years and strong sustainable organic growth, we have been able to achieve strong double digit growth numbers throughout this recession.”

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Another way in which the company has weathered the economic storm is by actively taking an aggressive approach toward managing its costs, while retaining its commitment to investing in new technologies and its resources. “Being able to manage our costs effectively has been of huge benefit to the business,” Sofianos continues, “but so too has our ability to identify new revenue streams and increase our overall productivity.” Said revenue streams are increasingly coming from those aforementioned developing economies. “Two of the fastestgrowing markets in the oil and gas sector are Brazil and the continent of Africa, and having a strong presence in both has undoubtedly strengthened Wings as leaders in the energy sector,” Sofianos states. “This is particularly true when it comes to Brazil, which has come along by leaps and bounds over the past several years. The oil and gas industry in that part of the world is positively booming today, and we are extremely excited to be right at the heart of that.” In pursuit of further growth opportunities, Wings continues to scout for potential acquisitions and engage with different players in different parts of the world. Notwithstanding the fact that Wings corporate headquarters migrated to the UK a number of

years back, Wings is still committed to, and recognises the importance of continuing to invest in, South Africa and Africa as a whole, where it was originally founded 20 years ago. This recognition is exemplified by the fact that Wings can today be found in

“Wings possesses an advanced and unique quality management system that is an integral part of its operating procedures” 168 | Special report

Wings Travel Management

Wings is a “high tech, high touch” organisation

esteemed company within of course, it also provides the membership ranks of the e xcel lent net work i ng South African Oil and Gas opportunities with other players in the sector.” Association (SAOGA). “We are very unique, in that while Toward the end of The year the company SAOGA is primarily made up 2011, Deloitte carried out was founded of industry operators and a comprehensive business service providers, it is rare travel survey to calculate to find a third-party service what the percentage of provider like us within such an association,” business travellers would be in 2012. The Sofianos says. “Being a member of SAOGA results were eye opening, with 85 percent gives us a level of credibility in this region of those who travelled in 2011 saying they that is not easy to obtain, due to the selective expected to embark on as many journeys in nature of its membership structure, and, 2012, and 27 percent of 18 to 44-year-olds


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surveyed intending to travel more. What these figures highlighted was an ever-increasing need for business travel companies, and this remains the case to this day. “I think that while the global financial climate will remain challenging in the shortto-medium term, thus meaning companies will continue to drive down costs and margins, there are still going to be plenty of opportunities for companies like ours,

specifically in the energy sector. This will particularly be the case as the Asia-Pacific region comes online for Wings in the near future,” Sofianos says. In terms of Wings’ brand and value proposition, its business is to provide services to companies where business travel is a crucial part of their business model, like the oil and gas industry, which accounts for over 50 percent of Wings’ volumes. “As is most often the case

“Two of the fastest-growing markets in the oil & gas sector are Brazil and Africa. having a strong presence in both has undoubtedly strengthened Wings”

Business travel is a crucial part of the business model in the energy industry

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Wings Travel Management

Travellers expect a consistent, predictable service delivery

in the oil and gas industry,” Sofianos enthuses, “very little of what takes place today such as operations in the field, can be replicated by video conference and other technology. While some small elements of technology are beginning to creep into the industry, the movement of people on and off oil rigs, or between key assets, is not something that is going to change anytime soon, and that is what makes a company like Wings such an important part of our customers’ business.” While turbulent financial conditions continue to exist, Sofianos is very clear about what Wings needs to do in order to stay the course it is on. “What is important is being able to maintain a stable growth curve, by firstly retaining our customers and

also acquiring new strategic ones, and never taking your eye off what is important to our travellers—consistent predictable service delivery, irrespective of the environment. It is also vital that we continue to be leaders and experts when it comes to entering and prospering in emerging and tough markets such as Brazil, the Middle East, East and West Africa. It is in these locations that the industry will grow at its most significant rates and we will remain well positioned to capitalise on this.” For more information about Wings Travel Management visit: www.wings.travel

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Specialists in non-destructive the company is beginning to sector and looking for gro

written by: research by

172 | special report



e testing and heat treatment, diversify into the oil and gas owth outside South Africa

: Alan Swaby y: Will Kirby

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hat would you do if you won the lottery? In the case of Nelson Mahadeo, he went into business for himself. A win of a couple of million rand in 2003 enabled him to say au revoir to his employers and set up Associated Marine & Industrial Inspection Services. By hiring a good team, he was able to get the business up and running in a short time. AMIIS provides non-destructive testing (NDT) and heat treatment services – the two going hand in hand where any critical welding is being carried out. As the name implies, the original intention was to concentrate on the marine industry, in the company’s home city of Durban. The business has its main office in the harbour and a dry dock operates from there for ship repairs. Since then, though, the company has widened its scope of interests and diversified into the other main business activities in Kwazulu Natal – namely paper & pulp and petrochemical refining. It’s now a member of SAOGA and is gearing up for a greater involvement in the soon to be developed Mozambique and West African oil & gas fields. “The marine industry is still important for us,” says Raj Kistiah, national manager of the non-destructive testing wing of the business, “but the reality is that very few new boats are ever built in South Africa, which means that the marine business is all about repair work. To get a more stable business base, AMIIS decided to develop interests in other areas of industry.”

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MT Technician


On the face of it, heat treatment and NDT seem poles apart but traditionally they are often found together. They are both concerned with ensuring the integrity of joints and materials and the notion of AMIIS being a one stop shop is at the heart of its marketing approach. The company is a specialist in all conventional and high tech forms of NDT such as radiography, magnetic particle

inspection, penetrant testing, gamma rays and ultrasound, from which it selects the right procedure to satisfy the codes prescribed by clients. “On the heat treatment side,” says Kistiah, “we feel there is no single company that can outperform us in terms of speed and capacity. With all providers of these services essentially singing to the same hymn sheet, the points of difference centre not around the work itself but on how

“On the heat treatment side, we feel there is no single company that can outperform us in terms of speed and capacity” 176 | special report



quickly and reliably they can contractor selection, and for be performed.” AMIIS there is no such thing AMIIS, as with other as a job too large. With its heat treatment companies, comprehensive resources it employs two distinctly can respond to a job within AMIIS business founded different approaches – using a couple of days where some electrical induction or gas of its competitors might take as the heat source. The gas a couple of weeks to draw division provides high velocity gas units for together the equipment they need. drying and curing refractories, and postThe two sides of the business are weld heat treatment of large fabrications distinctly different in their demands, by direct firing, with satisfied clients however. The heat treatment is capital including Sasol, Alstom, Chevron, Engen, intensive but has less need for highly skilled Shell and BP, Eskom Power Stations, Exxaro operatives. NDT, on the other hand, needs Resources and Elgin Engineering. less in the way of capital but requires huge What makes the difference is the number investments in labour. of heating modules at the company’s Apart from the usual cry amongst South disposal. Speed and price are at the heart of African businesses that the demand for


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UT Technician


“The company has diversified into paper & pulp and petro-chemical refining” skilled labour outstrips supply, the biggest problem that AMIIS faces is the extent of competition in the NDT arena, however, where the market in South Africa is saturated. “So we are taking steps to get more business from our neighbouring countries where there are fewer indigenous contractors,” explains Kistiah. As well as its marine activities in Kwazulu Natal at Durban and nearby Richards Bay, AMIIS already has a chain of offices around South Africa linked to key clients in the petrochemical industry at Sasolburg and power generation plants located in South Africa’s coal belt to the east of Johannesburg. Serving existing clients in Mozambique but in particular helping to develop the oil and gas business there, AMIIS has an office in Maputo. In addition, AMIIS is easing itself into the West African oil & gas fields where the demand is high for inspection and testing services that are currently being met by US and British contractors. For more information about AMIIS contact: amiis@amiis.co.za

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