Company News

Statoil Establishing a Digital Center of Excellence

1StatoilStatoil is establishing a digital center of excellence and launching a roadmap with seven specific programs for digitalization in the company towards 2020. Digitalization will help improve the safety, security and efficiency of Statoil operations.

Towards 2020 Statoil expects to invest NOK 1-2 billion in new digital technologies, accelerating the digital roadmap work. Digital technologies will also be part of other Statoil technology and research projects.

“Aiming to be a global digital leader within our core areas, we are now stepping up our efforts to capture opportunities provided by the rapid development within digital technologies,” says Statoil’s chief executive officer, Eldar Sætre.

The oil industry is already extensively utilizing IT technology and digitalization, but the rapid technological development creates new opportunities, particularly within the following areas:

  • Digitalization of work processes
Improving the efficiency of the way we work by reducing the time spent on manual and repetitive tasks, where possible.
  • Advanced data analytics
Improving our understanding of extensive and complex data for better decision-making by means of advanced data analytics and machine learning.
  • Robotics and remote control
Increasing the operational regularity, reducing costs and improving safety and security by reducing human activity in physically intensive activities.

Examples of this are robotic drilling and automated installations.

“Digitalization can help improve the safety and security of our operations, both by means of data that provide us with a better decision-making basis, and through reduced exposure in risky operations. A combination of digitalization, standardization and a culture for continuous improvement may drive cost reductions, and form the basis for increased value creation and activity,” Sætre says.

Digital center of excellence

Statoil is establishing a digital center of excellence that will coordinate and manage the digitalization efforts across the company. The center of excellence will collaborate with external specialist communities, have dedicated units for data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence, as well as leaders for digital programs. Statoil will recruit candidates for the center of excellence both internally and externally, and the leader will report to Statoil’s chief operating officer (COO).

Seven programs for digitalization

Statoil is establishing a roadmap with seven programs in the further digitalization process:

1 Digital safety, security and sustainability
Using data to reduce safety risks, improve learning from historical incidents, strengthen security, and reduce the carbon footprint of our operations.

2 Process digitalization
Streamlining of work processes and reduction of manual input across the value chain.

3 Subsurface analytics
Improving data accessibility and analytical tools for subsurface data, enabling better decision-making.

4 Next generation well delivery
Enhancing utilization of well and subsurface data for planning, real-time analytics and increased automation.

5 Field of the future
Smart design and concept selection by maximizing the use of available data, and integrating digital technologies in future fields.

6 Data-driven operations
Using data to maximize asset value through production optimization and maintenance improvements.

7 Commercial insights
Improving analytical tools and data accessibility within our commercial areas to enable better decision-making.

“The roadmap and the seven programs will help accelerate the digital development of Statoil. Utilizing the digital opportunities that large volumes of data provide, we make better decisions, enabling improved safety and security, reduced emissions and more efficient operations,” says Jannicke Nilsson, Statoil’s chief operating officer (COO).

Seadrill Appoints Anton Dibowitz to CEO

15Seadrill anton dibowitzThe Board of Seadrill Limited ("Seadrill") is pleased to announce the appointment of Anton Dibowitz as Chief Executive Officer with effect from 1st July 2017. Anton Dibowitz will succeed Per Wullf who will remain a Director of the company

Anton Dibowitz, currently Chief Commercial Officer and Executive Vice President, will be appointed Chief Executive Officer, effective 1st July 2017 following a succession planning process that was implemented during 2016.

Per Wullf will continue as CEO until the end of June. Mr. Wullf will continue as a Director of the company.

John Fredriksen, Chairman of the Board, said: "Anton has a strong industry track record and has taken roles of increasing responsibility during his 10 years at Seadrill, including the day to day business administration at Seadrill since 2016. We are confident that this succession plan provides Seadrill with the right combination of continuity and stability as the company works to complete its financial restructuring aimed at building a bridge to a recovery and achieving a sustainable capital structure.

With Per remaining as a Director, Seadrill will continue to benefit from his in-depth industry experience, fleet knowledge and strong relationships. I would personally like to thank Per for his outstanding contribution as CEO of Seadrill and look forward to continuing to work with him for the years to come."

Anton Dibowitz, CEO designate, said: "I am deeply honored that the Board has appointed me to succeed Per as Chief Executive Officer of Seadrill. We have a world class business with high quality people, a young and modern fleet and strong client relationships. There are short term challenges to overcome in Seadrill and the industry but I look forward to playing my part in returning Seadrill to growth, together with the great team we have working here."

Per Wullf, CEO and President of Seadrill said: "I am immensely proud of my time at Seadrill, first as Chief Operating Officer and for the past four years as Chief Executive Officer. After 37 years in this fascinating industry, I want to reduce my day to day work commitments and spend more time at home in Denmark. As Seadrill is approaching key milestones for the company's restructuring, the time is right to inform all stakeholders that I will not lead Seadrill in the company's next era and hand over to Anton, who will make an excellent CEO. I would like to thank everyone at Seadrill for their support, passion and tenacity over the years and I look forward to our continued journey together."

Bibby Offshore Strengthens Renewables Division with Key Appointment

Bibby Offshore, a leading subsea services provider to the oil and gas industry, has appointed Dorothy Shepherd as general manager, renewables.

Mrs. Shepherd joins Bibby Offshore with more than 15 years’ experience in the energy industry. Having spent a significant time at The Crown Estate - a key player in supporting the delivery of energy supply for the UK – Mrs. Shepherd brings with her a wealth of offshore renewables knowledge, including the delivery of new developments and supporting infrastructure.

13Bibby DSC 0516Dorothy Shepherd, General Manager, Renewables

In her new role, Mrs. Shepherd will be instrumental in the delivery of new business in the renewables sector. The position includes supporting existing business development and tendering efforts, while collaborating with Bibby Offshore’s sister companies Bibby Marine Services, which offer SOV and Walk to Work vessels and Bibby HydroMap, which offer a range of seabed survey services.

This appointment follows the formation of Bibby Offshore’s new business optimization team, led by Graeme Wood, as part of the company’s strategic growth strategy. The primary purpose of the team is to facilitate a number of key business initiatives, accelerating the business through the next level of growth.

Commenting on her new role, Mrs. Shepherd said: “I am thrilled to be joining Bibby Offshore and to be working with a company which has such a strong track record. I am confident my knowledge will help to identify new opportunities in the renewables market and deliver the strategic results required for long-term success.”

Graeme Wood, business optimization director at Bibby Offshore, said: “Renewables has been a key element of Bibby Offshore’s strategic growth plan for a number of years, and Mrs. Shepherd’s appointment demonstrates the importance that we attribute to this market as a potential source of revenue in the future.

“While this market has a longer tendering cycle than seen in the oil and gas sector, Dorothy’s knowledge and experience will help to ensure we continue to establish the most effective market opportunities and remain resilient in a competitive marketplace.”

Diamond Offshore Continues Relationship with Speedcast for Managed Remote Communications Services

8Speedcast DiamondSpeedcast International Limited (ASX: SDA), the world’s most trusted provider of highly reliable, fully managed, remote communication and IT solutions, had announced it has secured a long-term contract with Diamond Offshore. Diamond Offshore, a leader in offshore drilling, is leveraging Speedcast’s managed communications services across 10 rigs and one shore-based facility.

“Diamond Offshore continues to adapt to the competitive nature of the industry,” said Tim Osburn, CIO, Diamond Offshore. “Through this agreement with Speedcast, Diamond Offshore increases its operational agility, benefiting from Speedcast’s world-class global customer support network. Diamond Offshore is pleased to continue this long-standing relationship with Speedcast.”

Under the terms of the new agreement, Speedcast’s service model yields increased flexibility for Diamond Offshore to better allocate bandwidth as the rig’s communications requirements change and as Diamond Offshore’s operations move from one region of the world to the next. Diamond Offshore’s rigs – a combination of drillships and semisubmersibles – are currently located across the Gulf of Mexico, North Sea, Brazil and Asia Pacific.

Diamond Offshore’s onshore facility and offshore rigs that are included in the agreement will receive fully managed voice and data communications services backed by Speedcast’s proactive network monitoring and management.

“We have a long history of supporting Diamond Offshore with reliable communications and we couldn’t be more pleased about extending our relationship,” said Keith Johnson, SVP and general manager – Energy, Speedcast. “We worked very closely with Diamond Offshore’s team to make sure we designed the best solution to meet their current needs, while also positioning them to benefit from our continued innovation and product development to add further value in the future.”

ExxonMobil and Employees Contribute More Than $13 Million to Texas Colleges and Universities

10ExxonMobil 1ExxonMobil and its employees contributed more than $13.4 million to institutions of higher education across Texas as part of the ExxonMobil Foundation’s 2016 Educational Matching Gift Program.

ExxonMobil employees, retirees, directors and surviving spouses contributed $6 million to 78 Texas colleges and universities, which was matched by more than $7.4 million in unrestricted grants from the ExxonMobil Foundation. Although grants are unrestricted, colleges and universities are encouraged to designate a portion to math and science programs supporting student engagement.

ExxonMobil’s program matches donor pledges on a 3:1 basis up to $7,500 to qualified colleges and universities in the United States, as well as the American Indian College Fund, Hispanic Scholarship Fund and the United Negro College Fund. More than $630 million has been contributed to such American institutions over the more than 50 years the company has offered the Educational Matching Gift Program.

“ExxonMobil’s employees are committed to investing in quality education,” said Ben Soraci, president of the ExxonMobil Foundation. “The ExxonMobil Foundation has a long history of supporting a range of efforts to improve education in the United States. We hope our contributions and the generous support of ExxonMobil’s employees will help create a stronger future for today’s students.”

Nationwide, more than 850 institutions received more than $50 million through the 2016 Educational Matching Gift Program.

In addition to the Educational Matching Gift Program, ExxonMobil and the ExxonMobil Foundation support and develop programs that encourage students, particularly women and minorities, toward careers in science, technology, engineering and math, as well as teacher training initiatives.

About the ExxonMobil Foundation

The ExxonMobil Foundation is the primary philanthropic arm of Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) in the United States. The foundation and the corporation engage in a range of philanthropic activities advancing education, with a focus on math and science in the United States, promoting women as catalysts for economic development and combating malaria. In 2016, together with its employees and retirees, Exxon Mobil Corporation, its divisions and affiliates, and the ExxonMobil Foundation provided $242 million in contributions worldwide, of which $72 million was dedicated to education.

iSURVEY Sees Success in First Quarter of 2017

iSURVEY has reported a strong end to 2016 and a positive first quarter of 2017, including ongoing recruitment due to a string of significant contract wins.

New business this year includes:

  • A three-year, non-exclusive call-off contract with Shell UK Ltd, Shell NAM, Norske Shell and Shell E&P Ireland for the provision of rig positioning and surveying services
  • A four-year contract with Maersk Oil Danish Business Unit, with iSURVEY named the nominated first caller contractor for survey and positioning services
  • A marine construction survey support contract with Solstad Offshore Asia Pacific to support its 2017 pipeline and platform installation programme in Thailand

Part of this growth has also been attributed to iSURVEY’s diversification into the offshore wind sector last year. Having already worked on a number of cable preparation, laying and burial projects in 2016, a significant percentage of iSURVEY’s turnover last year came from renewables projects.

The company is targeting further growth in this sector this year, with Scottish Enterprise’s Strategy Development Project Support helping iSURVEY engage with specialist consultants. This initiative is designed to assist companies identify key operational strategies, projects and high level implementation plans to build competitiveness and achieve growth aspiration.

13iSurvey Andrew McMurtrieAs a result, iSURVEY will be taking on more offshore personnel and a new business development manager, which is set to bolster the UK team by 20%.

Andrew McMurtrie, managing director of iSURVEY

Managing director of iSURVEY Offshore, Andrew McMurtrie, said: “Our outlook for 2017 is positive based on the success we have already experienced in Q1, and in the last few months of 2016. As well as a steady level of international work, projects and long-term contracts in the North Sea are also increasing.

“We believe that this recent success is down to the fact we remain an independent business with a team which always delivers, and a reputation for providing a cost-conscious service which is centred on quality.

“We have a very strong track record in the oil and gas subsea sector, particularly within our cable installation and burial business line in Norway, and this experience has transitioned well into the offshore wind cable installation sector, where we see great potential.

“As well as retaining a significant number of our clients, we have also seen many return after weathering the storm of the last couple of years. Our team is feeling optimistic about what 2017 will offer and we look forward to continued work with clients old and new.”

TWMA Accelerates Growth with New Strategic Ownership

15TWMAThe international drilling waste management and solutions provider TWMA has secured an important strategic partnership and substantial investment from Buckthorn Partners.

The undisclosed funding package from Buckthorn, a specialist oil field services investment firm, will allow TWMA to accelerate its plans for global growth and product and service expansion, and invest further into research and development.

Ronnie Garrick will continue as Chief Executive Officer of TWMA. Tony Branch will join the management team to support the planned development, growth and expansion of the business. Prior to joining TWMA, Tony was President of Regional Operations at Weatherford where he was also an Officer of the company. Nicholas Gee from Buckthorn Partners joins the company as Chairman.

Ronnie Garrick said: “We are very pleased to welcome Buckthorn as investors – it will allow us to embark on the next stage of our global growth plans. Our commitment to research and product and service development is key to our success and this investment ensures TWMA will continue to provide revolutionary technologies and industry leading solutions. We are delighted to have Tony joining our team and are really looking forward to working with him on further building TWMA.”

Established in 2000 and with over 500 staff, TWMA has become recognised internationally for providing specialist drilling waste and environmental solutions that reduce drilling costs and maximise operational effectiveness. The company has offices and service bases in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, West Africa and the Americas.

Ronnie continued: “Securing this investment demonstrates confidence in our business and TWMA’s ability to develop our offering on a global scale. Despite the downturn, we’ve grown significantly over the past few years, particularly in the Middle East, which is testament to our commitment to continually innovate, invest and grow.”

Tony Branch commented: “This initial investment, together with access to further capital, will allow the company to expand its expertise and its geographical footprint, ensuring we continue to offer the safest and most effective drilling waste solutions to the industry. Our international expansion plans in new and existing regions are crucial for long-term sustainable growth and the TWMA team look forward to driving these further.”

Commenting on the investment, Nicholas Gee, Partner at Buckthorn said: “As a leader in the provision of drilling waste management solutions, TWMA has built a strong international profile, centred on a clear commitment to high quality and tailored client solutions that drive effective and efficient operations for customers. Our objective is to further develop the business both organically and through M&A to expand further geographically and bring new products and services that will add further value to our customers.”

The institutions supporting this Buckthorn transaction include BMO Global Asset Management (EMEA), Souter Investments Limited and Aberdeen Asset Management.

Presserv Group Announces £1.5m Contract and New Hires at OTC

16Presserv Allan Duham 6Leading corrosion specialist Presserv Group announced at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston that is has secured a £1.5 million contract for corrosion control on platform risers from a Norwegian operator. The year-long contract, along with other recent contract successes, has also led to the creation of seven new positions across the company’s UK, Norway and Singapore operations – including three in Scotland.

Brian Reid, recognized as a leading authority on coatings, will join the company in May in the newly-created role of operations manager in Presserv’s Aberdeen office. A 30-year veteran of the fabric maintenance industry, Brian has previously worked for Wood Group and Shell, and will work with the company to support business growth.

A field supervisor based out of Aberdeen and a business development executive in the central belt will also join the UK team, alongside operations managers and sales staff in the firm’s Norway and Singapore arms.

These newly created positions will strengthen Presserv’s operations and allow the company to increase its operations in the preservation sector, while expanding further into above-ground storage tank (AST) preservation, FPSO preservation management and corrosion control.

Managing Director Allan Durham said, “Despite a difficult economic climate for many, the last year has been strong for Presserv in the UK. Following the launch of the Presserv Tank Brigade in late 2016, which enabled us to offer AST corrosion solutions to a range of industries from energy to pharmaceuticals, this new contract has allowed us to expand even further.

“No matter how volatile the market, there is always a need for corrosion prevention. By properly corrosion proofing mobile drilling units, ASTs and other assets, businesses are able to protect their investments, keeping production high and downtime to a minimum.”

Presserv has designed worldwide preservation programs based on vapor phase technology and dehumidification that will protect drill ships, semis, jack-ups and vessels for extended periods in wherever location and lay-up status they are moored, and keep them in a state of readiness with the minimum of mechanical maintenance needed. In addition, the Presserv Tank Brigade uses Cortec Corporation’s Corrologic® and Seal for Life Stopaq® solutions to address issues with above-ground storage tank corrosion.

Speedcast Becomes First Tampnet Partner for 4G/LTE Service in the Gulf of Mexico

6tampnet reseller 2 e1493236712502Sydney, Australia, April 26, 2017 – Speedcast International Limited (ASX: SDA), the world’s most trusted provider of highly reliable, fully managed, remote communication and IT solutions, announced it has signed a reseller agreement with Tampnet for 4G/LTE services in the Gulf of Mexico. The agreement marks Speedcast as the first service provider to partner with Tampnet for its high capacity offshore network in the region.

Tampnet announced in March that it has reached 25 percent of its planned coverage for the Gulf of Mexico. Upon completion at the end of 2018, Tampnet will have a low latency, high capacity fiber and microwave network made up of more than 60 base stations that they estimate will cover 98 percent of all manned offshore assets. Tampnet currently owns a similarly designed offshore low-latency network in the North Sea which has been in operation since 2001. Offshore LTE has been available in the North Sea since 2013.

“Speedcast has been a partner of Tampnet in the North Sea for 15 years and we’ve seen firsthand the value that they bring to offshore communications,” said Keith Johnson, SVP Energy, Speedcast. “Their robust, redundant network complements the core communications technologies that we provide to our customers operating in the Gulf of Mexico. Speedcast remains committed to providing innovative services to keep our customers reliably connected and this agreement represents one more step we are taking to ensure we’re delivering the solution that best fits their needs.”

Tampnet’s new Gulf of Mexico network comes at a time when the oil and gas industry is looking to advancements in communications to help better support the operations of offshore platforms, increase safety measures and improve crew morale. Additionally, the network is being designed to provide ample fiber-based LTE coverage for deep-water exploration activities which represents a first for the Gulf of Mexico. The LTE network will be supported by the largest high-capacity, low-latency backhaul network in the Gulf of Mexico – based on state-of-the-art, carrier-grade microwave equipment and the only offshore fiber network in the Gulf of Mexico, making the LTE network and services offering truly unique.

Speedcast has more than three decades of experience in managing communications for businesses with offshore operations. Beyond core voice, data and internet, Speedcast provides services such as cybersecurity, remote video streaming, IPTV and more. Speedcast will leverage Tampnet’s Gulf of Mexico high-capacity network as part of its connectivity portfolio to support current and future services.

“We truly value the long-term relationship we have with Speedcast, the leading player in offshore telecommunications,” said Per Helge Svensson, CEO, Tampnet. “The dedicated people at Speedcast have really shown they are pragmatic in terms of choice of telecommunications infrastructure – always in the best interest of their customers. Extending our relationship with them to include our Gulf of Mexico infrastructure services is a great milestone that we are confident will accelerate our mutual growth in the region.”

Offshore Technical Compliance Acquires Northwest Technical Solutions

11OTC logoOffshore Technical Compliance (OTC), the industry leader in compliance related services, has acquired Northwest Technical Solutions (NWTS) as a wholly-owned subsidiary, extending the efficiency and reach of its offshore services.

The acquisition of NWTS, which will be renamed as OTC Solutions, adds third party verification of compliance for well control equipment by a registered professional engineering firm to OTC’s portfolio, enabling its customers to access the full spectrum of compliance related services under the OTC brand.

OTC now operates out of offices in Houston and Covington, LA.

“With OTC Solutions, OTC can now provide more offshore services with a smaller footprint and cost,” said Mike Bethea, CEO, OTC. “Compliance inspection, predictive digital pressure testing through our GREENLIGHT software and third party verification of compliance can be provided by our integrated team of inspectors and surveyors. On a deepwater project, these services typically require four or five people; now we will be able to provide these services with two or three,” he explained.

Doug Foster, vice president operations, NWTS, said, “We are looking forward to joining forces with OTC. We believe that together, our valuable new approach to compliance service delivery will reduce costs and improve service quality for all operators in the GoM and beyond.”