Energy, Oil & Gas Issue 192 May 2021

Page 1

Issue 192 May




Film premiere

Commercial rooftops should be ideal for solar power solutions and emerging solar film technology could be deployed economically on non-loadbearing roofs, opening up new opportunities

Essential considerations

Financial restructuring is likely to be on the agenda for many oil and gas companies in 2021 and beyond – what are the key issues to bear in mind?

Innovative technology: X1 Wind prepares to deploy its ground-breaking PivotBuoy® prototype Contract award: FutureOn supports Aker BP’s continued drive for increased digitalization

EDITOR Editors Chairman Andrew Schofield Managing Director Joe Woolsgrove Editor Libbie Hammond - Assistant Editor Will Daynes Staff Writers Alex McDonald, Danielle Champ

...copper looks set to play a vital role in underpinning the transition to a more energy efficient and cleaner future

Art Editor/Production Manager Fleur Daniels Art Editor David Howard Advertising Designer Rebecca Side Sales Director Alasdair Gamble Operations Director Philip Monument Operations Manager Natalie Griffiths Research Managers Jo-Ann Jeffery, Ben Richell, Kieran Shukri Editorial Researchers Adam Blanch, Mark Cowles Jeff Goldenberg, Mark Kafourous Tarjinder Kaur-D’Silva, James Page Wendy Russell, Richard Saunders Advertising Sales Johanna Bailey, Mike Berger, Alex Hartley, Dave King, Theresa McDonald, Ibby Mundhir, Sam Surrell

Expanding coverage

Energy, Oil & Gas Magazine

Hello and welcome to the May issue of Energy, Oil & Gas. Since we included Energy & Mining magazine in our pages I have endeavoured to incorporate mining content and it’s been giving me a fascinating insight into a sector I’d not been involved with previously. The Copper Sector feature that you can find on page 10 demonstrates the important symbiotic relationship that exists between our modern demands for renewable energy, technology and construction and the elements that exist deep within the earth. As author Colin Bennett notes: ‘copper looks set to play a vital role in underpinning the transition to a more energy efficient and cleaner future.’ I am keen to continue to expand our mining coverage, so if this is in your area of expertise, do get in touch! Speaking of renewable energy – the solar PV film that we discuss on page 12 sounds like it has such massive potential, I can’t wait to see how the technology evolves and hopefully starts to appear on roofs around the world. Sourcing greener sources of energy is also something very close to the heart of one of our profiles – Sorgenia Power. Sorgenia is ideally placed to accelerate the energy transition of Italy, and is working hard to bring renewables to the fore. To read the full story, visit page 24. We’ve got an eclectic mix of topics in EOG – as ever, if there’s something you would like to discuss, please drop me an email. I’d love to hear from you.



Web Sales Subscriptions

© 2021 Schofield Publishing Limited all rights reserved Schofield Publishing Ltd Corporate Head Office 10 Cringleford Business Centre Intwood Road, Cringleford, Norwich, NR4 6AU, UK T: (312)854 0123 | T: +44 (0) 1603 274130 Finelight Media 207 E. Ohio Street, Suite 351, Chicago, IL 60611 Tel: (312) 854 0123

PLEASE NOTE: The opinions expressed by contributors and advertisers within this publication do not necessarily coincide with those of the editor and publisher. Every reasonable effort is made to ensure that the information published is accurate, and correct at time of writing, but no legal responsibility for loss occasioned by the use of such information can be accepted by the publisher. All rights reserved. The contents of the magazine are strictly copyright, the property of Schofield Publishing, and may not be copied, stored in a retrieval system, or reproduced without the prior written permission of the publisher.





Digitalization An ideal environment for web-based micro services to unfold their potential will be a broad, open and interwoven framework – like the Supply Chain United (SCU)



Restructuring This article examines the possible objectives of a financial restructuring, some of the key legal techniques and essential considerations for companies in restructurings

10 The copper sector With future economic plans focused on building, copper looks set to play a vital role in underpinning the transition to a more energy efficient and cleaner future

12 Solar Roofspace offers a potential solution to expand solar capacity without using up greenfield and agricultural land, and emerging solar film technology could make all the difference




14 News Some of the recent developments within the oil and gas industry


Prax Lindsey Oil Refinery

30 15

Euro Mechanical







The copper sector


Sorgenia Power



VAALCO Energy, Inc.

Frames Group



Supply Chain




ownstream is an extremely fast-moving and agitated industry. Day by day, we see new companies entering the market and new partnerships being formed. At the same time, we also see existing players shifting assets, pinpointing operations and re-aligning focus points. In parallel to the changes that apply to the partakers in the trade, the industry itself is also constantly in flux. Market conditions, legal defaults, best practices – these change all the time. And with the changes come new challenges, such as energy transition, supply chain fragmentation, market volatility or oil price fluctuation. The described situation makes it essential for oil and gas companies to design their businesses in a flexible and future-proof manner. To remain ahead of the curve, they must constantly challenge themselves anew, e. g. by adapting business models in a highly flexible manner, automating workflows, reducing operational costs and improving



customer experiences. Here at the Implico Group we have identified cloud-based micro services as a key means to address the industry’s biggest challenges. These state-of-the-art auxiliaries are smart, digitized and purpose-driven as well as lean, flexible and readily available. They build upon shared best practices and common industry standards. They have the potential to make an immediate impact and to have a lasting effect. Supply chain companies can leverage them without the requirement of making huge investments upfront. An ideal environment for web-based micro services to unfold their potential will be a broad, open and interwoven framework – like the Supply Chain United (SCU), whose first components we currently implement in close collaboration with select innovation partners. Here, the highly flexible architecture of the components is a major success factor. After all, it empowers the innovators to elevate key work areas without the need to kick off large projects. Instead, this approach fully supports a step by step implementation.


One of the SCU’s first practical offerings is the Truck Online Check-in. This cloud-based micro service simplifies and shortens truck entrance handling in bulk liquid storage terminals. It is connected to the site’s terminal management system and to the hauliers’ tour planning systems. The set-up as well as the technology grant the users on both ends many benefits: Via the Truck Online Check-in, the trading partners can handle the complex check-in procedure of the truck and the driver early on. All contract and order details are automatically checked, verified and communicated before the truck has even arrived at the plant. This accelerates the truck handling, streamlines the traffic on premise and reduces the risk of an empty running. Also, it makes the whole process more convenient and effective for everyone involved, be it the terminal managers and field operators or the trip planners and truck drivers. Via standardized REST-API connections, Truck Online Check-in can be integrated with any terminal management system and, optionally, truck scheduling system.

It is designed to improve not only scheduled truck loading processes, but also unplanned ones. Another micro service in the SCU portfolio is the Quantity Conversion Module (QCM). It finds application in the petroleum product trade, where volumes are converted into weight – and the other way around – to ensure that every trading partner gets what they had signed up for. This calculation must be performed with utmost accuracy; even the smallest inaccuracy can have a lasting effect on the follow-up processes in the supply chain. QCM handles this important matter precisely and reliably. The cloud service can be used as an integrated part of a connected software solution. Alternatively, it also comes with its own interactive calculator, ready for office use as well as mobile use. With its many components and broad area of influence, the Supply Chain United will make the professional life easier for all occupational groups in the oil and gas industry as well as related work fields. IT Managers, for example, will be able to extend their core systems via the connection of scalable and affordable micro services out of the cloud. This enables them to update to state-of-the-art solutions without abandoning their current systems or investing heavily in all-new developments. Instead, they can simply expand the scope and feature-richness of their existing IT infrastructure by adding new cloud components stepwise. This ensures the upkeep of business continuity and the adherence of cost restraints. Many other roles benefit from the SCU as well: With its help, Customer Service Managers get to integrate their customers and partners seamlessly into shared workflows. Innovation Managers get access to next-gen features to achieve their digitalization goals. Operational System Users get to operate their every-day tools with intuitive UI and effective functionalities based on proven use cases and industry best practices. The list goes on. In its essence, the Supply Chain United can be seen as the logical consequence of the direction that the downstream industry has taken in the last years. Today, terminal operators and their business partners need maximum degrees of efficiency and flexibility to react to long-term developments and short-term disruptions accordingly. The Supply Chain United provides both. Furthermore, it promotes collaboration and fosters a forward-thinking mindset. It enables oil and gas companies to stay unique and succeed together.

THE IMPLICO GROUP The Implico Group optimizes logistics and business processes for oil and gas downstream companies. The international software and consulting company with its headquarters in Hamburg, Germany, has subsidiaries in North America, Europe and Asia. Founded in 1983, the company today employs around 240 staff. For further information please visit:



Essential considerations



hether dealing with failure of a major project, reacting to crises or cost-cutting at counterparties, or weighed down by oil price weakness, financial restructuring is likely to be on the agenda for many oil and gas companies in 2021 and beyond. With exploration and production companies emerging from a difficult period and oilfield service companies reporting signs of recovery, commentators suggest that the most likely to be affected are drilling operators. However, the



drivers of any financial restructuring are specific to the company concerned and are not limited to market trends. This article examines the possible objectives of a financial restructuring, some of the key legal techniques and essential considerations for companies in restructurings.

Objectives Companies entering a restructuring should take great care to establish their objectives clearly. Inevitably, the restructuring will involve some amendment to debt


available are explored further below. However, by way of illustration, whilst, for example, an English company that needs only to reschedule or compromise unsecured debts may opt for creditors voluntary arrangement (CVA) under English law, a company that requires secured claims to be written down or other accommodation may, depending on a number of factors, including its jurisdiction of incorporation, opt for the new UK restructuring plan or the US Chapter 11 process. A UK restructuring plan or Chapter 11 process also makes available options to address issues of operational or corporate structure (for example to rationalize costs or facilitate future disposals) as well as the chance to address other onerous arrangements (such as burdensome leases or contracts).

Stakeholder engagement and exploring consensus Whatever a company decides are the objectives of its restructuring, it is likely that these will need to be discussed with its financial creditors, and other key stakeholders, such as joint venture parties, key suppliers, service provides and the regulatory authorities. Where the composition of the creditor group makes an entirely consensual negotiation possible (public bond issues, for example, often militate against this), the consensual route, whilst not at all easy, is often the most efficient. Among many other factors, one key to agreeing a consensual restructuring successfully is to present a robust and supportable business plan to creditors.

Restructuring techniques

terms - rescheduling of maturities or “right sizing” the balance sheet will probably also require some tightening of lenders’ protections. Security may well have to be granted or enhanced. Management should ask: does the process offer opportunities to adapt the business, implement short and long-term enhanced cashflow management, or re-shape the business in ways which might otherwise be too difficult or too expensive to consider? The initial objectives may change during the restructuring, but they will ultimately inform the selection of the restructuring technique to be used, although other factors, not least the views or positions of creditors, will also be influential. Some of the techniques

Where consensual agreement cannot be reached either because of commercial disagreement or practical constraints, the processes provided for by law can facilitate a solution. All are likely to require some creditor support. (a) In the UK, there are a number of options, and they may be used in combination: CVA: A company may make a proposal for dealing with unsecured claims. The proposal must be supervised by an insolvency practitioner and supported by at least 75 per cent by value of creditors. CVAs have been used to compromise bond debt, drill ship lease liabilities, and FPSO construction and other development costs in recent North Sea oil company restructurings. Scheme of arrangement: This is a process, overseen by the court, for the implementation of transactions not always involving financial distress. Affected stakeholders vote in classes and all classes must approve the scheme by the requisite majorities, which can be used to alter finance terms including margin and maturity dates as well as to effect debt for equity swaps, for example. Restructuring plan: Procedurally similar to a scheme, this tool is only available in financial distress. Critically,



if certain conditions are met, a dissenting class of stakeholder can be bound by the consent of other classes. Pre-packaged administration: a formal insolvency process used to transfer specific assets or businesses into new ownership, often including the migration of certain agreed liabilities to the new structure. These have been used in the UK to effect sales of license interests and related assets and contracts. (b) In the US, Chapter 11 is the so-called “reorganization chapter” of the US Bankruptcy Code, and it provides for a court-supervised process for a business to restructure debts pursuant to a plan of reorganization. To file in the United States, a company does not have to be domiciled, but instead may qualify based on business operations or even assets (such as a bank account) owned or held in the US. In addition, there is no insolvency requirement, but a requirement of good faith (i.e., an acceptable justification for resorting to bankruptcy relief). Because of the relatively low hurdles to filing a US Chapter 11 proceeding, multinational companies domiciled elsewhere often elect to take



advantage of the mature US Chapter 11 restructuring regime. A company may file Chapter 11 with a complete or partial agreement with its creditors (often referred to as a “pre-arranged” or “pre-pack” plan) or it may file with no agreement in place. Typically, the company’s current management and board remain in control post-filing, and negotiate and seek court approval of the Chapter 11 plan, which sets forth the mechanism by which the debtor will continue its operations and to pay its obligations over time. The filing imposes an “automatic stay” that generally precludes creditors (with certain exceptions) from commencing or continuing enforcement actions against the company or its property, or from terminating existing contractual arrangements. The Chapter 11 plan voting scheme uses a class-based, modified majority system. Under this system, classes of creditors and interest holders who are “impaired” – meaning the plan alters their legal or contractual rights – are typically entitled to vote. A class accepts a plan if it is approved by a majority in number of class members


holding two-thirds in amount of claims or interests. While the goal is to obtain an accepting vote from all impaired classes that receive distributions under a plan, a plan can also be confirmed notwithstanding some classes voting to reject the plan. This system presents significant flexibility to deal with intransigent creditors, such as holdout lenders or bondholders that have rejected an out-of-court solution. (c) A number of European jurisdictions have recently brought new processes into law or are in the process of enacting them that are similar in effect to the UK restructuring plan or US Chapter 11. Examples include the so called Dutch scheme of arrangement (Wet hormologatie onderhands accord) and the recently enacted German scheme (Gesetz zur Fortentwicklung des Sanierunngs- und Insovenzrechts). Their application in any given case will depend on a number of factors, most importantly the so-called centre of main interests of the entity whose debts are to be restructured. Most of these processes facilitate a restructuring. Some, such as Chapter 11, offer protection from creditors during the process. All will impose burdens of additional management time and cost and so careful preparation (to the extent time allows in the applicable circumstances) is critical to executing a restructuring through any of these processes successfully.

A further consideration in restructurings outside the US is whether to apply to the US courts for recognition of the local process under Chapter 15 of the US Bankruptcy Code. Recognition of the foreign proceeding can have a number of benefits, including allowing the company to protect assets located in the U.S. against creditor action and litigation (i.e., the automatic stay takes effect upon recognition); collect accounts and recover US assets for distribution in the foreign proceeding; and enforce the terms of foreign insolvency plans against US creditors (such as US-based lenders or bondholders). Perhaps the key consideration, however, is to maximize, to the extent possible, support from creditors. In most of the European restructuring processes as in the US Chapter 11 process, the support of at least one class of creditors is likely to be required. That support is likely to be dependent on creditors’ satisfaction with the debtor’s business plan and, where finance through and after the process - “new money”- is required, satisfaction with the business plan will be particularly important. Trevor Borthwick

Bob Palmer

Devi Shah

Sean Scott

Preparation/key considerations When preparing a restructuring, a non-exclusive list of issues to consider includes: (a) scrutiny of the terms of all relevant agreements which the debtor is party to, particularly where transfer of an entity or asset or termination of a business or company is proposed. Contractual restrictions or change of control provisions can usually be managed by appropriate structuring, but the terms of debt documents also need careful attention - where US style “automatic acceleration” provisions are included in documents, for example, the question of whether they are triggered by a non-US entity proposing a non-US process should be examined; (b) the tax position of entities being restructured needs care, for example so that accrued tax losses remain usable as efficiently as possible; (c) the attitude of relevant regulators will be critical. Regulators concerned with the continuity of orderly production are unlikely to oppose well planned restructurings, although in the energy space, they will typically want to ensure the restructuring addresses health and safety issues as well as provision for future plugging and abandonment or other decommissioning costs); and (d) any restructuring will need to ensure that the continued safety of all employees is safeguarded. This imposes limits on the rationalization of some costs.

MAYER BROWN Trevor Borthwick, Bob Palmer, Devi Shah and Sean Scott are Partners in the London and New York offices of Mayer Brown, a distinctively global law firm, uniquely positioned to advise the world’s leading companies and financial institutions on their most complex deals and disputes. For further information please visit:



A bright




he immediate need to rebuild our economies after Covid-19, regulatory driven change and the longer-term global threat of climate change are some issues that have persuaded governments across the world to buy into the mantra of ‘build back better’. Investment in and focus on clean energy, smarter cities and greener transport is booming. This highly electrified and cleaner world will rely on copper. Why? For example, copper’s unique properties include being a good conductor of both heat and electricity meaning the products copper is contained in benefit from increased efficiency performance.

Smart cities, renewables power, and mobility Copper remains an essential component of smart cities development according to research by the Martec Group1. Markets utilizing copper in smart city development include new vehicle transport, power, infrastructure, and smart buildings. Sustainable transport, and electric vehicles specifically,



is an area of significant growth; with copper, among other applications, the preferred material for windings of electric traction motors. Following the trajectory of the global car market, IDTechEx research established the increase in plugin vehicles also equates to an increase in copper demand as pure battery-electric cars are predicted to extract the greatest value in the coming years and heavily utilize copper. The study shows that the increase in copper demand follows the trajectory of the battery electric and plug-in hybrid car market, which will account for roughly 19 percent of the total market demand by 2030 and 72 percent by 20402 – a dramatic expansion as a result of a declining internal combustion engine auto market segment. Our new sources of power, particularly wind turbines also require a large amount of copper cable and wiring to deliver their energy efficiently. Wind turbines alone require between 2,200 and 4,500 kg of copper per unit3. Smart buildings of the future will also use large volumes of copper. The efficient delivery of heating and cooling is one of the many benefits of copper and makes it the


the value contained in future surplus and supply chains. The copper industry is focused on engaging employees, communities, and governments in addressing the challenges encountered in providing essential materials for society. The Copper Mark assurance framework is the first and only program of its kind for responsible production in the copper industry. The framework was originally developed by the International Copper Association and with input from a broad range of stakeholders including customers, NGOs and producers. This comprehensive framework enables the copper industry to demonstrate its commitment to responsible production practices and its contribution to the United Nations SDGs. The Copper Mark was first awarded to Rio Tinto’s Kennecott for its responsible operation, with Freeport-McMoRan sites also awarded and companies including BHP announcing their commitment to the framework. While the copper sector, like many industries, felt the challenging effects of Covid-19 the current demand forecasts and importance of copper for existing and future technologies suggests a bright outlook. With plans focused on ‘building back better’ and kickstarting the global economic recovery, copper looks set to play a vital role in underpinning the transition to a more energy efficient and cleaner future. 1 Martec Group: Copper Demand Predicted to Grow with Smart Cities 2 IDTechEx: EV Motors Boost Copper Demand 3 Martec Group: Smart Cities & Impact on Copper

preferred material for heat exchangers, and an essential component for climate-based retrofitting. With the global climate continuing to change and as we continue to experience more extreme weather, demand for climate-based retrofitting such as air conditioning and heating/heat pumps is set to rise. With this the global demand for copper in climate-based commercial building retrofitting is forecast to grow from 40KT in 2020 to 160KT by 2035, according to BSRIA research4.

Sustainable copper To ensure that copper remains the material of choice, the industry itself continues to adopt, operate and explore the highest sustainability practices. For example, research by Fraunhofer ISI shows the potential for the ‘urban mine’ – a concept whereby cities, the human habitat and the built environment offer a vast resource of raw materials5 to complement virgin production and the wider demand of copper stocks and flows. The circular model is already operating in many places thanks to the alignment of government, industry, and the public. Plans are being made to encourage even greater sustainable management of existing copper waste and capture 4 BSRIA: Copper Demand to Grow in Climate-based Retrofitting 5 Fraunhofer ISI: The Promise and Limits of Urban Mining

XXXXXXXXXXX COPPER INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Colin Bennett is Market Intelligence Director Forthe further information please visit: at International Copper Association (ICA). xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx The ICA brings together the global copper industry to develop and defend markets for copper and make a positive contribution to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., ICA has offices in three primary regions: Asia, Europe and North America. ICA and its Copper Alliance® partners are active in more than 60 countries worldwide. For further information please visit:





omercial rooftops should be ideal for solar, but many are unable to support the weight of traditional silicon solar PV panels. Technology and cost breakthroughs, however, now mean that flexible lightweight solar film can be deployed economically on non-load-bearing rooftops, opening up new opportunities for warehouses and distribution centres everywhere.

Achieving net-zero targets 2050 may seem a long way off, but for the world to reach net-zero emissions in 30 years’ time, we need to invest heavily in renewable energy generation now. For example, the UK’s Climate Change Committee (CCC) in its Sixth Carbon Budget report calls on the country to ‘front-load’ decarbonisation. More needs to happen in the 2020s than in the 2040s with UK electricity production reaching net-zero by 2035. In terms of renewable capacity, the UK’s energy systems operator reports that it needs to build 3GW of wind and 1.4GW of solar every year until 2050. This needs to be



combined with energy storage to provide the flexibility to meet the country’s energy requirements.

The rise of renewables Thanks to advances in technology and economies of scale, wind and solar are now among the cheapest ways to add generation capacity to the grid. Both technologies are now being deployed without the need for subsidies and are attractive to investors. There is also strong support for renewables from the public. Statistics released by the UK government in 2019 showed that solar energy had an 85 percent approval rate with the public. With growing demand for more solar capacity and a good case for investment, the problem of increasing capacity should take care of itself. However, there is one barrier to the rapid deployment of solar energy we urgently need to address, especially in densely populated countries, and that is the issue of space. While general public sentiment is very much in favour of solar, local communities are not always so happy to play host to utility-scale solar farms when they are in their back yards.


uncompetitive for use at scale. With better and cheaper technology, however, we can fully exploit the roof-space opportunity and take the pressure off greenfield sites for solar farms.

Emerging technology promises an affordable, flexible and lightweight solution

The roof-space opportunity Driven largely by the continued growth of online retail, warehouse space has grown dramatically over recent years. In the UK alone, the Warehousing Association estimates the total warehouse roofspace to be around 420 million sq ft, and forecasts suggest the spike in online sales during 2020 alone will create demand for an additional 30 million sq ft of space. All of this roofspace offers a potential solution to expand solar capacity without using up greenfield and agricultural land. Power Roll’s estimates suggest that current UK warehouse roofspace could accommodate almost seven gigawatts of solar – equivalent to deploying 1,400 typical five megawatt ground-mounted solar farms. However, many commercial rooftops are not loadbearing structures and were not designed to support heavy, rigid silicon PV panels. Also, installing solar panels on rooftops is expensive. Flexible PV panels are currently available and lighter than rival silicon panels, but cost up to five-times more than their silicon PV alternatives. At around $1.00/Watt to manufacture, flexible PV is

While silicon PV is not suited to many rooftop applications, and conventional flexible PV can be prohibitively expensive, emerging solar film technology could well provide the solution. We can manufacture solar film using well-understood roll-to-roll production techniques that will dramatically reduce the cost of solar film PV and deliver the lowest cost energy of any solar technology currently available. Power Roll’s approach to manufacturing solar film, which uses widely available materials, yields a carbon footprint that is up to 20 times lower and a manufacturing cost around ten times lower than silicon PV. Such an approach will enable solar film to replace traditional silicon PV especially for non-load-bearing roofs, such as warehouses and agricultural sheds. This opens up a huge opportunity, enabling countries to stay on track with expanding solar generation, without impacting on greenfield sites or risking loss of public support. By installing solar film on commercial roof spaces we can also generate energy where it will be used by businesses, reducing their costs and simplifying power distribution. As Britain’s National Grid Future Energy Scenario makes clear, we need to urgently invest in increasing solar energy capacity if we are to reach net-zero by 2050. To achieve that in the most efficient way possible, without losing the public’s goodwill towards solar, we must harness the latest technology solutions to enable us to make use of more roof space and save our green fields and agricultural land. Emerging solar film PV solutions will enable us to do just that.

POWER ROLL Neil Spann is chief executive, Power Roll. Power Roll has developed a unique, flexible, lightweight solar film capable of producing ultra-low-cost green electricity that is up to 20 times cheaper to make than existing flexible PV. Power Roll’s microgroove film is suitable for non-load-bearing rooftops, building integration, transport, portable applications, off-grid projects and IoT sensors. For further information please visit:




Battery advancement 6K, a rising star in the production of sustainable advanced materials for energy storage, has announced the creation of a Center of Excellence for its 6K Energy division focused on the development of sustainable battery materials for electric vehicles (EVs), grid storage and consumer

Innovative technology

goods. The company will invest $25m over the next two years to triple the size of its facility in North Andover, MA, with as many as ten UniMelt® systems dedicated to the full-scale development and pilot production of battery materials.

Pilot test results TOTAL Cray Valley and Gevo, Inc. have successfully completed Phase 1 of their Joint Development Agreement (JDA) to upgrade fusel oils into renewable isoamylene. “We were very satisfied with the results of pilot tests during Phase 1. Gevo’s technology was found to be robust and flexible, and the initial economic assessment shows potential for a profitable business,” said Valérie Goff, senior vice president at

X1 Wind is preparing to deploy its ground-breaking PivotBuoy® floating wind technology in the Canary Islands after successfully completing the assembly and load-out of a fully-functional prototype. The prototype has been developed through the €4m PivotBuoy Project awarded by the European Commission H2020 Program. It will be installed at the PLOCAN test site with full exposure to open ocean conditions in a bid to demonstrate the efficiency of the innovative structural design and mooring system. The pan-European Pivotbuoy consortium includes leading companies EDP NEW, DNV, INTECSEA, ESM and DEGIMA and world-class research centres WavEC, PLOCAN and DTU. The Pivotbuoy Project is aiming to substantially reduce the current Levelized Cost Of Electricity (LCOE) of floating wind by demonstrating the advantages of the PivotBuoy system, namely a reduced floater weight, a faster and cheaper installation process and a more reliable operation. Fitted with a Vestas V29 turbine, the 1:3 scale prototype (X30) will be stationed at a 50m water depth through a single point mooring system in a downwind configuration – creating a ‘weathervaning’ solution which maximises use of passive systems. “This is a significant step forward for X1 Wind, preparing the way to demonstrate how our innovative technology can deliver dramatic cost savings and firmly position floating wind as a competitive green energy resource,” said X1 Wind CEO & Co-Founder Alex Raventos. “Our technology can play a crucial role to reduce harmful climate change and reenergise global efforts to limit temperature rises to 1.5C, in line with the UN’s Paris Climate Agreement and EU’s 2050 Climate Neutrality target.”

TOTAL. The companies are currently exploring options for scale-up and commercialization of the technology,

Offshore training partnership

which would provide the U.S. market with a renewable source of isoamylenes, a world first.

Joining forces Carbon Clean, a leader in costeffective carbon dioxide capture and separation technology, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), with BayoTech, an innovative on-site hydrogen production company, to explore commercial opportunities targeted at hydrogen and carbon capture and utilisation deployment. As a first step, Carbon Clean and BayoTech will work together on a demonstration facility to evaluate, design, and operate a carbon capture plant at a BayoTech site in North America which is expected to be operational by the end of 2022.

The Shell Robert Training and Conference Centre in Louisiana has established a new partnership with Maersk Training, which will see the global safety specialists deliver enhanced training to the Gulf of Mexico offshore workforce. Matthew Roberts, Maersk Training’s operations manager said: “This facility takes us to a new level in what we can offer to the market. Our ambition is to integrate our high-end simulators with basic safety and survival training to create a truly holistic and fully integrated learning experience for our customers from beginning to end.” “Our courses provide essential industry training while also focusing on the root causes of failures and common issues, such as communication,” added Tyler Hamm, business development manager at Maersk Training. “We are excited to kick off our Lifeboat Centre of Excellence initiative with Maersk Training, as these skills are paramount to safely operating in the Gulf of Mexico. The lessons learned from physically launching and handling a survival craft at our centre far exceed what is capable on most platforms,” noted Michael Marciante, operations manager at Shell Robert. Carmen Berry, Shell Robert training and development manager noted: “This significant investment shows not only our level of concern for the safety and well-being of our Shell personnel and contractors, but also the entire Gulf of Mexico.” Left to right: Tyler Hamm, Carmen Berry, Michael Marciante, Matthew Roberts



New opportunities Neptune Energy has acquired a 38.75 percent equity interest from Spirit Energy in the Pegasus West discovery and surrounding acreage (P1724, P1727, P4257 and P2128) in the UK Southern North Sea. Entry by Neptune into the Pegasus West Area aligns interests in both the discovery and the Neptune-operated Cygnus gas facility (Neptune Energy 38.75 percent and operator, Spirit Energy 61.25 percent) enabling

Contract award

acceleration of the development of Pegasus West as a subsea tieback to the existing Cygnus field.

FutureOn, the global software company specializing in the energy sector and creator of the award-winning SaaS field design applications, FieldAP, and its APIcentric collaboration platform, FieldTwin, has been awarded a contract from Aker BP. Commenting on the agreement, Paal Roppen, CEO of FutureOn, said: “We are pleased to secure this significant contract with Aker BP, and that FutureOn is able to support the operator’s continued drive for increased digitalization. “The impact of our applications is transformational, and will provide a working blueprint for the field development where design changes are instantly reflected across the entire project workscope, and updates are communicated across the globe in real-time to all involved parties, which will ultimately minimize mistakes and control risk.” The contract will see Aker BP adopt FutureOn’s transformative digital twin software to digitize its workflows within Concept Development and Field Development Studies. FutureOn’s unique field design applications, proven API-centric collaboration platforms and digital twin technology, will allow Aker BP to visualize subsea data, map the design of digital twin fields, and foster greater digital collaboration across engineering and project management disciplines during the subsea field development stage.

Neptune will work closely with Spirit Energy on front end engineering and design (FEED) studies in 2021 with the intention to reach a final investment decision by year end. Once sanctioned, Neptune would become operator of the development through to first gas and into production. Neptune Energy’s Managing


Director in the UK, Alexandra

Thomas, said: “The alignment

of interests with Spirit Energy in the Pegasus West development offers material benefits of faster development, lower costs and lower carbon intensities as well

Mining evolution

as optimisation of production operations through our existing world-class gas production asset,

ABB has grown its footprint in the journey to the all-electric mine by winning an order to deliver a complete open-pit haul truck trolley assist solution for Copper Mountain Mining in Canada. The installation combines ABB’s electrification and automation expertise in the mining industry. Copper Mountain mine near Princeton, British Columbia is the mining company’s flagship site. It is a conventional open-pit, truck and shovel operation which produces approximately 100 million pounds (45,000 metric tons) of copper equivalent per year. It is estimated that the initial phase of the trolley assist system, which will be installed in late 2021, will reduce carbon emissions at the site by up to seven percent. The company’s sustainable development journey has a final target of zero by 2035 and the project, using electric-drive haul trucks, is indicative of the move towards mine electrification in the region. Each truck will be fitted with a pantograph to receive external electric power. ABB will take responsibility for the off-truck trolley assist infrastructure and provide engineering, project management, equipment supply, system commissioning and construction management. ABB will design the overhead catenary system (OCS) infrastructure and deliver a rectifier substation providing in excess of 12MW of DC power to the trolley assist system. The trolley control system can provide connectivity to the existing distributed control system (DCS) automation platform for seamless integration and monitoring of trolley operations and energy consumption. ABB is also providing OCS components customized for mining applications.

Cygnus. “Cygnus is strategically important for domestic gas supply to the UK. The development of Pegasus West will ensure further UK low carbon gas supply, while opening up opportunities for development of other potential gas resources in the Greater Cygnus Area.”



Perfect partners





Luc Smets

This year, our project to upgrade to the feed for HDS3 (one of the refinery’s hydrodesulphurization units) will commence,

With a history dating back to 1999, the Prax Group is a leading independent oil refining, trading, storage, distribution and retail multinational dealing in crude oil, petroleum products and bio-fuels, possessing a portfolio of assets and investments that help to complement and enhance these activities. With approximately 1350 employees spread across 12 offices in seven countries, the Group’s downstream marketing and distribution businesses carry the Harvest Energy brand name, whilst its midstream and upstream businesses – including refining and blending – carry the Prax brand. Driven by the needs of its customers around the world and the desire to fuel their journey, the Prax Group utilizes its global capabilities across its integrated midstream and downstream energy businesses, from retail to storage, aviation to wholesale, marine to bunkering and beyond. The Prax Group refines and blends

which will lead to the production of cleaner, lighter fuels. In the meantime, we will be bringing more tanks back into service, bringing back storage on site, and looking to maximizing our opportunities by boosting production and the throughput of the refinery units. Overall, it makes for a very exciting time for the refinery





physical oil to regional, market and customer specification in strategically located terminals and warehouses around the world. The Group also operates efficient, safe, and highquality logistics, moving oil by barge, truck, rail, pipeline and vessel in support of its core trading activities and for third parties. In July 2020, the Prax Group announced that it had signed an agreement with Total to purchase Lindsey Oil Refinery and its associated logistic assets. Constructed in 1968, the refinery – located in North Lincolnshire in the UK and extending across more than 500 acres – has the capacity to process up to 109,000 barrels of oil per day and incorporates some of the most advanced refining and conversion processes in Europe. The majority of its output is petrol and diesel for road vehicles, with the rest made up of specialty THE DELTA ENGINEERING GROUP

products such as fuel oil, bitumen, kerosene and aviation fuel. Finished products are distributed nationally and internationally from the refinery via road, rail, ship & pipeline. “The Group’s long-term strategy is to be fully integrated across the oil value chain from upstream to downstream,” explains Luc Smets, General Manager of Prax Lindsey Oil Refinery. “The acquisition of Lindsey Oil Refinery is a natural progression for the Group, providing the opportunity to integrate the refinery and its associated product flows into the company’s UK distribution and retail footprint, which operates under the Harvest Energy brand. This will create unique opportunities for synergies with existing Prax-owned assets, as well as demonstrating our ongoing commitment to building a reliable supply chain to meet the needs of our customers for many years to come.” There has been significant investment at the refinery over the past few years to meet the demands of the market now and in the future. Its production units and upgraded processes have the flexibility to supply a wellbalanced portfolio of retail, commercial and specialty products to the market. Safety is the cornerstone of operational excellence at Prax Lindsey Oil Refinery. Health, Safety and Environmental practices are continuously reviewed and upgraded across all operations. The refinery operates under the COMAH (Control of Major Accident Hazard) regulations, and works closely with both the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Environment Agency (EA).

Successful transition The transition of the refinery from Total to the Prax Group had the added caveat of taking place during the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, making the efforts of the Group and its people all the more impressive. “We are immensely proud of how hard the team worked in such a challenging environment to successfully manage the transition,” Luc affirms. “The team had to work differently, as every business has, during the pandemic, and their ability to adapt really helped to showcase the Group’s agility and its responsiveness to change. The nature of the environment around us at the time, required us to be innovative in our approach to things

The Delta Engineering Group wishes every success and achievement to Prax LOR Refinery into the future, and continues to assist and support our long relationship, which has been based on mutual value from a collaborative partnership with shared objectives.



such as; data collection and the physical assessment of the refinery operations during the transition phase. This resulted in unique circumstances such as operators walking around site with portable cameras on their helmets feeding back pictures to Teams and Zoom conferences. “At all times, however, safety has remained our primary concern and we have ensured that all guidance has been adhered to and safety precautions implemented to mitigate any concerns regarding Covid-19. We also launched a comprehensive program to educate our people of the importance of following all necessary rules, and I am pleased to say that due to all the Covid-19 measures put in place at the refinery, such as social distancing, temperature checking, face masks, hand sanitizers and lateral flow testing, the cases on site have remained very low throughout. To this day, we continue to monitor and review the measures we have in place to ensure the safe working of everyone on our site.” With the refinery now firmly under the stewardship of the Prax Group, it has given it a huge national presence for UK distributors to pick up oil supplies. “We can also assure availability of product due to the geography of our UK supply network, and the relatively short distances we can cover from the refinery, such as to Grangemouth, Jarrow and London,”



Luc reveals. “Part of the acquisition of Prax Lindsey Oil Refinery includes the Finaline pipeline, which runs from the refinery to Buncefield Oil Depot, near the town of Hemel Hempstead. From here, product from the refinery can then be fed by pipeline to Heathrow Airport. It all means that we can service our clients much better, guaranteeing them both reliability and security of supply.”

Investment strategy Linked to the acquisition of the refinery, the Group has also since completed an exclusive supply agreement with Trafigura, a market leader in the global commodities industry. “Under the terms of this transaction, the Group will purchase crude oil and refinery feedstocks from Trafigura for all of its requirements for Prax Lindsey Oil Refinery,” Luc details. “As part of this agreement, Trafigura will use its extensive global reach in international oil markets to source the optimal range of crude oils and feedstocks for the refinery. This arrangement is an important step in the Group’s plans for the long-term growth of the refinery. It will provide operational and planning flexibility, helping us to continue to deliver an excellent level of service to our customers.” The aforementioned long-term growth of the refinery will be made possible by a


series of recent, ongoing and forthcoming investments. Upon its takeover of the refinery, the Group enacted both a ‘Day 1’ and a ‘Day 100’ initiative, running in parallel to identify both quick value-added wins and also those areas where more targeted investment was needed. The Prax Group also employed the services of specialist consultants to investigate the kinds of strategical projects that could be prepared in readiness for the refinery’s next Turnaround and Inspection period in 2023. “We have made a strong commitment to invest each year to adapt the facility further in order to improve upon safety and reliability, and to adequately respond to the market,” Luc continues. “This year, our project to upgrade to the feed for HDS3 (one of the refinery’s hydrodesulphurization units) will commence, which will lead to the production of cleaner, lighter fuels. In the meantime, we will be bringing more tanks back into service, bringing back storage on site, and looking to maximizing our opportunities by boosting production and the throughput of the refinery units. Overall, it makes for a very exciting time for the refinery.” As Luc goes on to state, the Prax Group is very much a global organization, and one that has its eyes fixed on being positioned right across the energy supply chain. “The Group is ambitious in that it wants to be involved in all facets of the oil and gas mix, from refining to upstream, and from trading to distribution, and the Prax Lindsey Oil Refinery really represents the missing piece of the puzzle in achieving this vision,” he says. “In fact, it is more than fair to describe the refinery as both the beating heart of the system and the jewel in the Prax Group’s crown. “Of course, that beating heart would be nothing without the people whose job it is to ensure that the refinery operates to its full potential on a daily basis, and that is what makes our people here at the refinery our greatest asset. There is a tremendous amount of knowledge, skills and talent here at the refinery, and as an independent, dynamic, flexible, and fast-moving organization, the Prax Group sets great store on the entrepreneurial approach to creating value that is shared by the team. As such, our people at Prax Lindsey Oil Refinery can be confident of knowing that they will be at the center of the all the exciting plans that Prax Group has for the future.” The Prax Group itself is still in what Luc describes as a ‘growth phase’, meaning that there will be significant investment to be made in all of its assets in the years to come.


“The Group recognizes the importance of the refinery to the UK’s national infrastructure and its key role in securing energy for both the local area and the country as a whole,” Luc declares. “The acquisition of the refinery will bring about new investment to the region – where it is a major facilitator of employment, both directly and through those employed across the supply chain – and underlines the Group’s determination to support the local economy and the wider community.”

Prax Lindsey Oil Refinery ......................................... Services: Oil refinery



Founded in 1999, today Sorgenia is one of Italy’s main energy operators. Positioned as the country’s leading digital energy company with over 400,000 customers, it operates several combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plants producing almost 4.4 GW of installed power, 3.2 GW of which



is directly controlled, with the remainder administered through shareholdings. It is important to acknowledge Sorgenia’s choice of natural gas CCGT technology here – this is internationally recognized as the best available technology for thermoelectric energy production and a crucial tool in



Powering the future

making energy transition a reality. It meets today’s need for a mix of energy sources that can integrate quickly with each other when required and helps to replace production from fossil sources while the world waits for the technological development that will allow the use of only renewable energy. CCGT

Claudio Moscardini

Sorgenia has always been very sensitive to all sustainability issues. It knows that to advance towards a better and fully renewable world, it has to begin with a gradual path that finds value with the existing sources that have a low environmental impact. It is currently a producer based on gas and renewables, a combination that contributes to safety on the one hand and helps the system limit climate-changing emissions on the other—a leading enterprise active in the transition towards full decarbonization through concrete transition methods

generation technology is the one that best meets this need today – furthermore, thanks to its technology, it minimizes emissions, does not produce dust and occupies a smaller surface area than a traditional plant. How does it work? The combined cycle associates a first gas-fired turbine with ENERGY,OIL&GAS


a second turbine operated by the steam generated thanks to the heat produced by the first. Not only is cleaner fuel used, such as common natural gas, but the overall efficiency of the process is maximized. In addition, because CCGT plants can get into operation quickly when needed and they have the ability to program the amount of energy produced according to the demands of the national electricity grid, these power plants are the ideal support for generation from renewable sources.

Portfolio expansion Claudio Moscardini is Managing Director of Sorgenia Power, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sorgenia SpA, which specializes in the generation of thermoelectric power from natural gas. Claudio gives Energy, Oil & Gas an insight into the operations of the Power business - between 2006 and 2012 Sorgenia designed and built four power plants with the highest efficiency and maximum environmental compatibility. “Sorgenia Power SpA has three plants - located in Termoli (CB), commissioned in 2006, in BertonicoTurano Lodigiano (LO), in operation since 2011, and in Aprilia which has been in commercial operation since 2012,” Claudio



began. “These are accompanied by a fourth plant in Modugno (Sorgenia Puglia). Each power plant has a generation capacity of around 800 MW.” The flexibility offered by the Sorgenia Power’s CCGT technology is a core part of Sorgenia’s strategy, which Claudio says is ‘based on a flexible power generation and management model to help accelerate our country’s energy transition’. “Sorgenia is currently developing renewable plants for over 400 MW and investing in energyefficiency services for private customers and businesses,” he continued. “The investments focus on screening new technologies, including in support of traditional plants to improve their performance and flexibility. Our growth path’s main trajectories range from renewable sources to the retail market, in connection with a wide-ranging plan that envisages Sorgenia at the forefront in creating renewable energy communities (REC) and enhancing the performance for end customers through demand-response services.” Having been founded over two decades ago, it has been over the last five years that Sorgenia has undergone an extraordinary process of transformation and recovery. At the end of 2018, Nuova Sorgenia Holding


decided to assess the possibility of opening its share capital to new shareholders, and 20 separate groups filed applications of interest to purchase the company, giving some idea of the huge potential for growth that it holds for the future. “The Sorgenia sale transaction, which also included international players, ended with the acquisition by the joint venture F2i/Asterion in 2020,” explained Claudio. “This will guide Sorgenia towards an identity that characterizes it as a hub for projects linked to the energy business for these two funds. “The first step was to transfer capacity to Sorgenia (an injection of around 300 MW in wind and around 70 MW in bioenergy) to


create a combined portfolio capacity of 4,800 MW. The expectations are that this portfolio can be expanded in coming years both through organic growth and by exploring transactions through external avenues. The portfolio expansion gave a solid boost to Sorgenia’s positioning as one of the leading players in Italy in the power sector, laying the foundations for potential future interest in initiatives abroad. “In light of the recent entry of F2i/Asterion, the new strategic trajectory will include the efficient operation of CCGT assets, the development of renewable sources, and growth in the area of end-user power solutions, especially in the area of distributed generation.”


ABB has partnered with Sorgenia for over ten years to find ways to enabling highly efficient and productive operations for greater profitability across thermal plants. One of the most recent projects consisted in the migration and virtualization of the Distributed Control Systems at three combined-cycle plants in Italy that significantly contributed to improve the efficiency and profitability through optimization and flexibility of the industrial process. Cyber security and energy efficiency are two focus areas of collaboration with Sorgenia, where several innovative and integrated solutions have been deployed over the years. As a company committed to making a difference to industries and societies through enabling technologies, ABB is helping Sorgenia embrace their energy transition journey for a more sustainable world.



This new change in ownership will boost Sorgenia’s role in Italy’s energy transition and help to build a new future for the business. However, alongside the excitement and potential that new owners bring, 2020 saw Sorgenia face another major challenge – this time in the form of the global coronavirus pandemic.

Wider plans Its response to Covid-19 illustrated the true flexibility and agility of Sorgenia as an operating entity, as Claudio highlighted. “Sorgenia was forced to manage the emergency caused by the pandemic in one of the areas most impacted by the virus,” he said. “Its Bertonico/Turano Lodigiano thermoelectric power plant is, in fact, located in the Codogno area, which was the first red zone in Italy. This experience has shown how, in a complicated and challenging situation, the company managed to ensure continuity in the power generation from its plants while maintaining the utmost safety for its workers. “Its initial reaction to the crisis was marked by concern together with the desire to react and experiment with procedures to operate the plants safely and efficiently around Lodi and also the other plants in Italy. It was a difficult period for the energy sector, with a significant drop in demand. However, thanks to Sorgenia’s ability to operate the plants flexibly, quickly, and easily, it was able to achieve significant economic results, on the one hand, and on the other to provide the system with valuable resources at that time, such as regulation and balancing services, valuable even when demand is very low. “Sorgenia’s entire operation was run with processes that protected the health of the people who operate and maintain the plants, ensuring the operation thereof in compliance with the planned programs. Through the best digital technologies, the plants’ high degree of automation has allowed continuous monitoring of facilities despite limited staffing to comply with social-distancing measures, thus minimizing the risk of contagion.” Maintaining the strictest adherence to its Covid-19 policies and keeping the safety of its staff at the center of its operations will remain top priorities for Sorgenia as we go further into 2021, but what of its





wider plans for the future? Unsurprisingly, new and advanced technology remains on the agenda, with Claudio noting that the business is evaluating the development of peaker plants, which stand out thanks to their remarkable agility and flexibility, as well as looking at combining generation with storage systems (batteries). “This is to again support the system in the renewable transition by responding to the intermittencies typical of these sources that will increasingly be present in the energy market,” he said. “Sorgenia has always been very sensitive to all sustainability issues. It knows that to advance towards a better and fully renewable world, it has to begin with a gradual path that finds value with the existing sources that have a low environmental impact. It is currently a producer based on gas and renewables, a combination that contributes to safety on the one hand and helps the system limit climatechanging emissions on the other—a leading enterprise active in the transition towards full decarbonization through concrete transition methods.”

Delivering power Another development that is now underway that illustrates Sorgenia’s dedication to greener sources of energy is the construction of a new Biomethane power plant in Marcallo. The investment, worth about 20 million euros, will be part of a company controlled by Sorgenia (75 per cent) and owned by Agatos (25 per cent), and will create renewable energy via the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (FORSU). The only by-products of this innovative process will be a highquality solid fuel, which can be used in industry to replace coal or oil, and a quality fertilizer, completely free of pollutants. The technology adopted will also make it possible to extract high energy yields from a material of low value: it will thus be possible to produce, from the same organic fraction, a greater amount of biomethane. Another distinctive element is the all-Italian nature of the operation: not only investors, but also technology, suppliers and the lender are examples of the best that the country has to offer. Commenting on the beginning of plant construction, Gianfilippo Mancini, CEO of Sorgenia said: “Sorgenia today starts a new phase of development and investment in various renewable sources, and it does so with an innovative and Italian technology project, which guarantees complete circularity and

which is a candidate to be a reference point in the bioenergy sector.” Thanks to the range of technologies providing its energy, and the loyal and reliable staff in its teams, Sorgenia is able to deliver power to end customers (both residential and business) through its customized offers. It’s online, digital delivery model means that it can work every day to bring customers sustainable energy and services, and thanks to a strategy based on a flexible model of energy production and management, Sorgenia is ideally placed to accelerate the energy transition of Italy, bringing renewables to the fore and making clean energy the power of the future.

Sorgenia Power ......................................... Services: Italian electricity and gas provider



All gas and no breaks

Abu Dhabi is known to be one of the leading cities involved in the oil and gas industry, and such an established reputation is owed to companies like Euro Mechanical who care about the success of its city. Driven by a mission that is environmentally-forward, the company strives to strengthen partnerships with those who share its interests to provide responsive and collaborative client assistance. This ethos means that Euro Mechanical is also determined to push its expansions into new possibilities that help cultivate the development of Abu Dhabi. Euro Mechanical’s business specializes in advanced technologies, construction and maintenance services, fabrication, machining solutions and nondestructive testing. With



each new acquisition and in-house expansion, the company has sought to ensure that the principles of integrity, trust and long-term development remain at the foundation of its growth. The company was founded in 1976 under the family name of the Al Hurrs. The business’s first assignment involved the building and installation of gas turbines for power stations in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. After the successful completion of the project, the company saw the opportunity to extend its staff when the need for specialized labor to oversee the efficient operation of gas turbines became essential to the longevity of the turbines. During the early 80s, as the power stations and oilfields saw further development and


growth across the country, the installed plants required maintenance and replacement of interior parts. Euro Mechanical invested in delivering the necessary support and expertise to establish itself as a household name within the maintenance sector. From there, the bolting division was formed to deliver expert services in bolts, tensions and torque. The company’s bolting-related services are designed to suit a diverse range of applications in various working environments throughout the industrialized world. With many unique features developed with its products, the business prioritizes safety, reliability and simplicity. In the final instalment of its on-site development, the fabrication division was established in 2006 and built on approximately


23,000 square meters of land within Abu Dhabi’s industrial city. The facility was introduced to manufacture process skids for oilfields, water treatment plants, power plants, prefabricate piping, equipment and structures, and is equipped to provide services to clients within the United Arab Emirates, as well as those located internationally. The facility additionally employs engineers and shop floor staff skilled in the fabrication and assembly of pressure vessels, water bath heaters, heat exchangers, columns, fin fan coolers, pipe spools and full skid packages with painting. Euro Mechanical’s associate company, Suez Oil and Gas Systems, is based within the same facility and together the companies offer solutions for gas conditioning and processing, ENERGY,OIL&GAS


company’s construction sector is said to be at the core of the business and a vital part to its success. In this regard, the company offers services from the installation of turbines for general electrics, fabrication of stainless and low-temperature carbon steel, to the construction of access lifts for liquefied natural gas storage tanks. The construction team is equipped to provide its own dedicated longterm workforce and engineers and trade personnel who have been involved in multiple projects both on and offshore. This has given it the experience and necessary facilities to tackle technical staffing requirements and currently employs over 500 personnel. This ecosystem of sectors is then processed through state-of-theart nondestructive testing instruments in order to guarantee high quality products that meet international standards.

Exploring upstream

crude dehydration and desalting, oil and gas and water separators and both further assist in producing water treatment units. Each new development has allowed the company to make its name synonymous with world-class specialization. Today, Euro Mechanical is proud to support a further four divisions that form part of its service delivery, namely agencies, construction, manpower and testing. On the note of its agencies divisions, this is a key supplier for process control instrumentation of its products, which extends its offerings to the petrochemical and oil and gas industry. This facet to the company provides an extensive range of services and products in the UAE. Because of the efficiency fueling this division, the company prides itself on being highly competitive at sourcing equipment from across the globe, ensuring that the products are delivered swiftly to the customer. Outside of providing products that are essential to the oil and gas industry, the



It goes without saying that this impressive list of products and services would not be possible without robust leadership and an experienced senior management. Each team member believes in the potential of their company and is determined to see its name at the forefront of the oil industry. The company believes that management should be involved in creating a working environment where people are deeply integrated into the journey of the business’s expansion. By maintaining the balance between a thorough work ethic and an organized management team, the business can then thrive while performing effectively. From a more practical aspect, this vision has been supplemented by the installation of a new quality management system (QMS). The QMS meets the requirements of interested parties and social, environmental and charitable parties and is also supported by an internal audit program to ensure continuous suitability and conformity. All these noteworthy implementations are also encouraging Euro Mechanical to push its boundaries even further. In November 2020, Euro Mechanical’s management set on a mission to change the trajectory of its business by exploring the upstream needs of the UAE’s oil and gas industry. As a result, it made the move to purchase SAMCO, a commercial agency located in Abu Dhabi. Although the company did not envisage finding and completing a suitable acquisition to achieve its upstream objectives until 2023, the Chairman of the company Ahmed Al Hurr Al Suwaidi presented the SAMCO opportunity in February of last year. “It’s an exciting time for


Euro Mechanical,” he commented. “By adding SAMCO to the Euro Mechanical family, it will allow us to achieve the goal of serving the upstream demands of the oil and gas market, and most importantly, we will be able to support the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).” In a further development, Euro Mechanical also partnered with TACHYUS, a leading Silicon Valley technology company that is dedicated to the oil and gas sector. Together, these companies are determined to provide solutions to optimize energy production using data-driven decisions. Even when it comes to corporate social responsibility, Euro Mechanical holds an exemplary standard that continues to reach for higher values. The business is dedicated to leaving a legacy that is centered around community care for its employees, the environment and charities. On-site, the company boasts of working towards encouraging a diverse team and establishing a workspace in which there is mutual trust and respect. It believes that in order for its employees to thrive in their work, it must cultivate an environment where each employee has the potential to perform to the best of their abilities. One of the ways in which it achieves this is to maintain a two-way communication system between management and employees to provide them with necessary information and consultation procedures to perform safely and efficiently.

Collaborative relationships In the same breath, the environment is considered to be one of the key responsibilities at Euro Mechanical. The company is committed to minimizing its carbon footprint and training staff to be environmentally conscious by monitoring and continuously improving its production impact is embedded in the company ethos. Its heart for the environment also extends to its community, both nationally and internationally. The company is determined to sustain its support for charitable organizations such as Operation Smile, Water Aid, Future Hope Centre for Humanitarian Services, Ashraya Charitable Society and Anawim Lay Missions Foundation, each located in the UAE, UK, India and Philippines respectively. Euro Mechanical will continue to expand its business on an international scale. It is devoted to becoming a trusted partner by investing in long-term collaborative relationships with employees, clients and suppliers alike. The


business has supported the growth of Abu Dhabi’s energy sector for the past 40 years with proficient solutions and expertise, and by encouraging a high level of service quality, consistency and customer satisfaction, it is proud to have built a reputation cemented on professional services, responsiveness and client assistance.

Euro Mechanical ............................................ Services: Suppliers for the oil and gas industry

...with exciting plans for new developments, upgrades and refinery expansions on the agenda, the business can be viewed as a leading light for not just Pakistan but for the wider energy industry








Cary Bounds



Founded in 1985 by Virgil A. Walston and Charles Alcorn, VAALCO Energy, Inc. (VAALCO) is a Houston, Texasbased independent energy company that is principally engaged in the development, production and acquisition of crude oil reserves. Publically traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the London Exchange, VAALCO has a long track record of developing and producing oil reserves in West Africa, and is today the operator of production licenses in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. It is in the former where the company first discovered oil at the Etame license in 1998, and since first production in 2002, VAALCO has gone on to produce over 120 million gross barrels. “As well as the Etame license in Gabon, our other primary asset is the Block P production license in Equatorial Guinea, which we also operate,” explains VAALCO CEO, Cary Bounds. “When we discovered oil on the Etame license and began first producing it in 2002, initial estimates by our third-party reserve

auditors were for only 30 million barrels of gross recoverable oil. Over the years we have drilled, discovered, innovated and expanded Etame, and we have produced over 120 million gross barrels thus far and we believe that the field still has another 100 million plus gross barrels of resource potential. “Meanwhile, In Equatorial Guinea, we own a 43 per cent interest in Block P, where there is an undeveloped discovery and significant exploration potential, and we are evaluating alternatives to fund the cost to drill an exploratory well targeting over 160 million gross barrels of resources at our SW Grande prospect. We are also evaluating scenarios to develop over 16 million gross barrels of contingent resources at our Venus discovery on Block P.”

Significant highlights For Cary, what helps to set VAALCO apart from its peers – particularly in the current energy environment – is its pristine balance

We are making substantial progress toward achieving our growth objectives and we believe that VAALCO is well positioned to prosper in any pricing environment. We have a solid asset base at Etame that is generating meaningful free cash flow in the current pricing environment, and we remain focused on maintaining strong production and keeping costs low. Additionally, we continue to evaluate opportunities that are consistent with our inorganic growth strategy, and as such we believe that we are well positioned to deliver long-term growth, in line with our strategic objectives



sheet and its ability to generate free cash flow. “There are not many small cap E&Ps that have no debt and can complete significant acquisitions like we have in recent times using cash on our balance sheet,” he states. “We also believe that oil prices should continue to benefit us and give us unique flexibility to do additional drilling or more acquisitions in the months and years to come.” There have indeed been some significant highlights enjoyed by the company in recent times, as Cary goes on to detail. “In 2018, we negotiated a license extension of up to 20 years in Gabon, which provided VAALCO with the runway to maximize value by growing reserves and increasing production from our world-class Etame asset. Also in 2018, we paid off all of our outstanding debt and began to rebuild our cash position. “In 2019, we began trading on the London Stock Exchange, which complements our listing on the New York Stock Exchange by providing us the opportunity to diversify our shareholder base, attract additional research



coverage and provide VAALCO with access to additional sources of capital to help fund our growth objectives. Just as critical, in September 2019, we kicked off our 2019/2020 drilling program. That campaign resulted in three successful development wells and two successful appraisal well bores. Looking ahead, we are planning to initiate another drilling campaign later this year to repeat on our success.”

Important acquisitions Turning to last year – 2020 – VAALCO’s drilling success in that time saw production increase by 40 per cent, with its full year production of 4853 BOPD exceeding its 2019 average of 3476 BOPD. This came in a year that saw oil prices impacted by the global Covid-19 pandemic, as well as supply and demand imbalances. For VAALCO, however, it had hedges in place that provided it with good protection when oil prices fell, allowing it to continue to generate meaningful free cash flow from its higher production volumes.


Last year was also notable for a couple of important acquisitions. “In November 2020, we agreed to purchase Sasol’s 27.8 per cent working interest in Etame for $44 million, with the final cash settlement amount to be reduced by net cash flows generated from the effective date of July 1 through the closing date,” Cary reveals. “As part of the agreement, we made a $4.3 million cash deposit in November, and agreed to a contingent payment of $5 million if Brent oil prices average greater than $60 per barrel for 90 consecutive days. We closed the acquisition on February 25th, 2021. Taking into account the $4.3 million deposit and the cash flow that was generated between July 1,


2020 and the date of closing, we paid $29.6 million at closing, all with cash on hand. We believe this deal is very accretive to VAALCO as it is improving our margins, increasing production and the price we paid per barrel of oil was about $4.91 for 2P CPR reserves. Since we already operate the asset, we expect minimal increase in G&A expense, there is no integration needed, and we will immediately benefit from the acquisition. “In 2020, we also completed the acquisition of a new proprietary 3D seismic survey over the Etame block. We expect the seismic data to enhance sub-surface imaging by merging our legacy data with the newly acquired seismic, allowing for the first continuous 3D


ION is pleased to work with Vaalco, processing and imaging their multi-azimuth data over the Etame field offshore Gabon. This high quality data combined with ION’s advanced imaging technologies will be utilized to improve the reservoir definition and the planning of Vaalco’s drilling campaign. To achieve these objectives, ION is utilizing its latest technologies, including the full suite of FWI capabilities to provide an accurate velocity model, and Q migrations for the final image. ION’s interdisciplinary team of geophysicists, geologists and petrophysicists, collaborating closely with Vaalco, will ensure a high quality velocity model and final image that is representative of the geology. ION is an innovative, asset light global technology company. By developing and leveraging innovative technologies, ION creates value through advanced data analytics to enhance companies’ critical decision-making abilities and returns. This experience covers all major basins, and in West Africa alone, includes 24 OBN/OBC projects and extensive experience with 3D (130,000+ km2) and 2D (100,000+ km) streamer data.



seismic over the entire block. The improved 3D seismic imaging will help us optimize our future drilling locations, and allow us to better plan our drilling campaigns to reduce costs.”

Empowered team At VAALCO, its people are committed to developing and producing oil resources in West Africa in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. In 2020, the company created a Corporate Social Responsibility Committee consisting of the VAALCO executive team and a cross section of employees from across the company. “The Committee is charged with the responsibility to monitor our adherence to our ESG standards and formally communicate their findings on an ongoing basis to our Board,” Cary adds. “Also in 2020, our Board’s Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee amended its charter for the oversight of the company’s policies and programs on issues of social responsibility and environmental sustainability. “We believe that every employee has a responsibility to ensure that we operate with the highest regards toward ESG, and our Board is empowering our management team to create a working environment focused on accomplishing our ESG objectives. These core values have guided our success as a trusted operator, a generous partner to the communities where we operate, and good stewards of the environment. Our 2020 ESG report will be released in April 2021, and posted to our web site. It will include key ESG reporting metrics for the past three years that are aligned with SASB and TCFD standards and guidelines.”

Solid base Over the past five years in particular, VAALCO’s management team has worked together with its employees to overcome several significant challenges. In doing so, the company has strengthened its balance sheet, built a future for growth at Etame, and flawlessly executed its operations. It is has also ensured that the coming months will be an increasingly exciting time for the whole operation. “Among our upcoming plans, we are targeting the drilling of up to four wells starting in the fourth quarter of 2021 and finishing in 2022,” Cary enthuses. “The final well locations will be determined in




conjunction with our processing of the new 3D seismic data we acquired, but we are currently expecting to drill two development wells and two appraisal wells. We believe that if those four wells are successful, we could increase gross field production by 7000-to-8000 BOPD, or 3500-to-4100 BOPD net to VAALCO, comparing estimated Q3 2021 with anticipated Q3 2022. We are estimating the cost of the program to be between $115 million and $125 million gross, or $73 million to $79 million net to VAALCO. The upcoming drilling campaign has the potential to generate significant additional free cash flow under our VAALCO low cost operating structure and current prevailing oil prices, and give us the opportunity to grow further.” Cary’s vision for VAALCO over the next several years is for it to remain focused on achieving operational excellence, while at the same time maintaining financial discipline. He also expects the company to grow and expand into another one or two countries where it can utilize its offshore development expertise. “We are making substantial progress toward achieving our growth objectives and we believe that VAALCO is well positioned to prosper in any pricing environment,” he concludes. “We have a solid asset base at Etame that is generating meaningful free cash flow in the current pricing environment, and we remain focused on maintaining strong production


and keeping costs low. Additionally, we continue to evaluate opportunities that are consistent with our inorganic growth strategy, and as such we believe that we are well positioned to deliver long-term growth, in line with our strategic objectives.”

VAALCO Energy, Inc. ......................................... Services: Independent energy company developing and producing crude oil reserves in West Africa



Energizing the world since 1984, Frames Group started as a valve automation company, before quickly pivoting towards process equipment for the oil and gas industry. In the years that followed, the firm grew into a complete oil and gas solution provider, delivering a wide range of technologies, process packages, gas treatments, separators, hydraulics and pneumatics. Building on its growing expertise, in 2010, Frames diversified its portfolio and launched Frames Renewables. Driven by Frames’ belief



in sustainability, the renewables business originally focused on biogas treatment and upgrading, before the company developed technology for CO2 applications, such as CO2 storage, CO2 capture and CO2 utilization. Specializing in the design and turnkey supply of installations for carbon capture and green gas generation, the company’s most recent developments are centered around hydrogen. “In summary, our company is split into two parts: the traditional oil and gas business



We want to position Frames not only as a supplier for the oil and gas industry, but for the complete renewables sector. The Twinning acquisition will help with that, and it ties in nicely with the launch of our new renewables website

Renewable enthusiasm and the renewables business,” explains Frames’ General Manager Jordi Zonneveld. “Our oil and gas unit works on wellsite packages, so that revolves around all the equipment required on a wellsite, which, if needed, can be integrated into a single package for easy installation and operation. For example, we can deliver High Integrity Protection System (HIPS) packages, which are certified according to functional safety standards. “Alongside those solutions,” Jordi adds, “we can provide chemical injection packages, gas

treatment and separator modules, as well as the renewable biogas, CO2 and hydrogen specialisms. Whichever side of the business you look at, we are designing and supplying equipment for the international energy industry. What we do is important, but how we do it makes the real difference. Whether you are searching for onshore, offshore or floater solutions, our teams will meet your demands.” In 2020, Frames completed work on a number of key projects. Back in May, ENERGY,OIL&GAS




limitations, Frames was able to reduce the size of the two skid-mounted desalters, while retaining its performance and enabling transportation to the remote site.

International network

the company designed, constructed and co-operated with local partners to successfully install a triethylene glycol (TEG) regeneration system for a Nigerian offshore gas gathering and compression platform. Part of a debottlenecking program, the expanded gas dehydration capacity enabled the client with increased production from the offshore field. In June of the same year, Frames supplied Hytech, a consulting and engineering services company, with ultra-compact electrostatic coalescers for the Shell Argentina Sierras Blancas/Cruz de Lorena shale oil development. Faced with site access PMF INDUSTRY GROUP

Finally, rounding off the year, in November 2020, Frames supplied and successfully commissioned a hydrogen sulphide (H2S) removal unit to a refinery in Antwerp, Belgium. Based on Frames’ proprietary LAMINOL® technology, the unit has a significantly lower cost of ownership than conventional caustic scrubbers and solid-bedtype H2S removal processes. “Throughout every single project we take part in, we pride ourselves on a combination of quality, reliability and cost leadership. I think it shows in everything we do,” Jordi asserts. “Quality and reliability are obligatory conditions when serving the oil and gas industry, but our efforts do not go unnoticed. We were recently awarded with a Level 5 certificate for our Functional Safety Management System (FSMS), which was actually the first Level 5 certificate for an FSMS at any organization in the world. It’s just another indicator of the high-level quality and reliability that we stand for.” To support its global operations, Frames relies upon a network of international offices spanning multiple continents and located in areas as varied as the USA, Germany, India, Malaysia and Brazil. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company’s vast geographical footprint allows Frames to be close to its customers wherever they are based. “Due to the nature of the services and products we offer, our projects often require a great deal of interaction with customers, so it’s always good to be local and close to our clients,” Jordi argues. “It also helps with our cost leadership because we can make use of our high value engineering in India, as well as fabrication systems and packages in Vietnam or China. It means we can do whatever is best for a project, whilst still maintaining quality and keeping costs down.”

For over 100 years PMF Industry Group have developed our manufacturing and design expertise and we’re proud of the relationship we’ve had with Frames since its founding in 1984. Over the past four decades while Frames has perfected its engineering services and processes for the international energy industry, PMF have made an art of detailed engineering and delivery of high quality pressure equipment, piping and skid modules according the demanding industry and client standards. The real fit is the ability of Frames to perfectly engineer the process requirements and design, enabling PMF to support 100 per cent prefab and avoid the need for an inefficient black build phase in the skid building process. This ensures a high quality and efficient solution for the end customer. Our short communication lines, an ability to be agile in the most demanding of circumstance and always place the customer first provides a natural fit with Frames. Besides detailed engineering and fabrication of pressure equipment, piping and skid modules PMF have developed a cooperation for execution of on-shore site activities with Frames as well.



At PMF our strength lies in manufacturing what our customers need. As a specialist in structural steel, piping systems and pressure vessel fabrication we offer full execution and management of construction projects including detailed engineering, work preparation, procurement, mechanical fabrication and testing including E&I and insulation requirements, always in accordance with the project requirements and latest standards. We produce in carbon steel, duplex, stainless steel and various alloys and have proven project management procedures in place to manage construction projects of all types, sizes and degrees of complexity. We have the resources to manage your projects safely, efficiently and within schedule.

Visit us online at:

No matter how advanced or far-reaching the company’s infrastructure is, Jordi maintains that Frames’ true strength lies in its workforce. This philosophy has proved especially true over the course of the last 12 months as the company, and the wider industry, battled the obstacles presented by Covid-19. “People are so immensely important to us,” Jordi declares. “In the sector we’re in, you cannot rely wholly upon systems, processes and machinery; it’s people that make the difference in the end. “At Frames, we have always celebrated our flat and flexible organizational structure, with a governance model based on Holacracy,” Jordi states. “We communicate very well internally, and since Covid-19 hit, we have adopted a number of tools and techniques from the digital industry to help us conduct team meetings and things like that. Our success over the last year or so is symbolic of how well we work together as a group. “Before the pandemic, we often had Friday afternoon drinks and similar bonding activities, and that really paid off when times got tough last year. More recently, we’ve started a volunteering policy which allows employees to do some volunteering during work time. It’s all about giving back and coming together as a team.”

New acquisition Committed to growing the business, Frames kicked off 2021 with the acquisition of a 50 per cent ownership stake in Twinning Energy BV. As companies with long-standing reputations in the hydrogen sector, Frames and Twinning hope the partnership can lead to the introduction of more hydrogen mobility solutions, including local, green hydrogen generation options. “I was very heavily involved in the Twinning acquisition,” Jordi reveals. “We have always served the big industrial players, but with the purchase of Twinning, we’ll be able to get more access to small and medium enterprises looking to make their operations more sustainable. “Twinning Energy is a company that provides total mobility solutions based on hydrogen. For example, when a small to medium enterprise with a fleet of cars wants to de-carbonize part of its operation, Twinning can deliver a total solution for that client that might include hydrogen vehicles, refueling equipment, the requisite permits, and gas supply.





“We want to position Frames not only as a supplier for the oil and gas industry, but for the complete renewables sector. The Twinning acquisition will help with that, and it ties in nicely with the launch of our new renewables website.” As Jordi suggests, Frames recently launched a brand-new website for its renewables operation in an attempt to help the company reach even more new clients. Gathering speed over the last six months, Frames Renewables has completed a host of significant projects lately, including the delivery of a hydrogen electrolyzer to Plug Power in October 2020.

A vital link The renewables business has continued to find success in 2021. In February this year, Frames completed the installation of infrastructure at a hydrogen refueling station at Green Planet in Pesse, the Netherlands. Additional services, such as strength and leak testing, pre-commissioning, purging and drying were also performed to the full satisfaction of the inspecting authorities. Renowned for its design and delivery of plug and play systems and packages, Frames Renewables is also proud to offer a fullservice team for the completion of fieldworks. With all the tools, skills and competencies in-house for the successful installation of high-pressure renewable gas lines, utilities and cabling, Frames can now confidently take on any challenge involving the reduction of CO2, a switch to sustainable applications or the transformation of waste into value. Safe, efficient, and proactive in its work, Frames expects demand for its turnkey renewables solutions to continue growing in the coming years as sustainable alternatives become an increasingly vital part of the oil and gas sector. Benefitting from its global coverage and reputation for reliable quality, the company remains a vital link between well and pipeline for customers the world over. “In the short term, we really hope that we can recover from Covid-19 as a society and get back to normal as soon as possible. At the same time, I think there are quite a lot of lessons we can learn from this pandemic, including the ability to work from home, which has proved to be really successful in the last year,” Jordi says. “If we are talking about the next three to five years, we want to keep our oil and gas operations more or less stable. We don’t anticipate scaling those

activities down, but we do expect a scaling up of our renewables work. We are seeing more and more interest from new clients, as well as from traditional customers in the oil and gas sector. Almost all of them are developing, orientating, investigating and even investing in these renewable developments, and that is really good news for the future of Frames.”

Frames Group ......................................... Services: Renewable energy and water solutions, separation technologies, and oil and gas processing equipment