People and Places in the news / March 2010 OE

Offshore Engineer
Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Paal Kibsgaard has been appointed COO of Schlumberger, taking responsibility for the dayto- day management of all the company’s worldwide operations in addition to its technology organization, including engineering, manufacturing and product development. A petroleum engineer with a master’s degree from the Norwegian Institute of Technology, Kibsgaard began his career in 1992 working for ExxonMobil. He joined Schlumberger in 1997 and later became the company’s geomarket manager for the Caspian region. Most recently he was president of Schlumberger’s reservoir characterization product group.


Walter Van Der Vijverhas been appointed president and CEO of Reliance Exploration & Production DMCC, responsible for overseeing international assets. The former Shell Group MD and CEO of global E&P;business, succeeds Atul Chandra, who will work as senior adviser on international business opportunities.

Matthew Foehr has been named corporate VP and comptroller at Chevron, effective 1 April. Foehr succeeds Mark Humphrey, who is retiring after 34 years with the company. Foehr, who joined Chevron in 1982, most recently served as VP finance for the company’s global upstream & gas business.

Lee Boothby is to become chairman of Newfield Exploration. Also president and CEO, he will succeed current chairman and past president and CEO David Trice on 7 May. Boothby joined Newfield in 1999 and most recently served as SVP, acquisitions and business development.


David Frenchwas named VP business development for Apache Corporation. He joined the firm in 2005 as director of purchasing, EH&S and general services, and served most recently as production manager, west for Apache Canada in Calgary.

Zeng Qingping has been promoted to president of Chinese land and marine geophysical contractor BGP International (OE December 2009). A former SVP of the company and regional manager of its Middle East subsidiary, he succeeds Zheng Huasheng, who will continue to work for BGP International at the corporate level.


Neil Meldrumheads the new business development team at oil & gas consultancy Baker RDS. He joins following a period of business consulting in the Middle East and UK, having earlier served with Schlumberger, WellDynamics and Sensornet. His new team at RDS includes Sally Taylor, commercial & sales manager, and Kerry Birse, marketing executive.

Paul Anderson has joined the BP board as a non-executive director. He served as chief executive of BHP and subsequently BHP Billiton between 1998 and 2002, and has just stood down as a non-executive director of the latter.

Mary Katherine Ishee is the new deputy director of the US Minerals Management Service. Before joining the MMS, Ishee worked as an energy and environmental consultant in private practice. She has also served as senior energy counsel to the US Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works and as counsel to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee.


Mark Derryhas joined Aberdeenheadquartered Ashtead Technology as managing director of its offshore division. He was previously MD of SBS Marine and earlier spent 13 years with Fugro in subsea sector operational and business development roles.

Michel Contie has joined the Wood Group board as a nonexecutive director. He spent some 35 years in various senior executive positions with Total, latterly as SVP Northern Europe and a member of the Total E&P;management committee, before retiring last year.


Michael Chiadeputy chairman of Keppel Integrated Engineering, has become CEO, replacing Chua Chee Wui who has left the group. Chia is concurrently an MD at Keppel Offshore & Marine.

Ian Tchacos has ceased employment with Australia’s Nexus Energy as his MD position has been made redundant. A global search for a CEO is ongoing, with executive chairman Michael Fowler overseeing management during the recruitment process.


Dr Zubin Patel has been promoted to director of capital expenditure and flow assurance at Multi-Chem. Based in the company’s west Houston office, he will help develop and execute strategies for the deepwater flow assurance market. Since joining the company in 2008, Patel has been instrumental in developing new testing methods and equipment for testing low dosage hydrate inhibitors and has worked on projects with several operators.


Dr Bob Allwood, newly appointed chief executive of the Society for Underwater Technology (SUT), received the Lifetime Achievement award at February’s UK Subsea awards dinner in Aberdeen. Allwood, pictured with Subsea UK chair Bill Edgar, was nominated for his impressive track record in developing subsea engineers through MSc and PhD at both Cranfield University and Aberdeen’s The Robert Gordon University.

Graham Wall has been promoted from VP technical to COO of the Tethys Petroleum Group, which is focused on Central Asia and the Caspian Region with projects in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan.

Kyle Ruzick has been appointed Gulf Coast area manager for BJ Services’ process and pipeline services group. He plans to relocate to the company’s headquarters in Houston during the summer.


Gerry Farrow, a chartered engineer previously with BG and Advantica, has joined Bureau Veritas as Aberdeen-based business development director for its industry division (INY).

Phil Oldham, managing director of Nexen Petroleum (UK), has joined the board of Oil & Gas UK.

Marcus Ganz has joined Ingrain as COO, based at the digital rock physics lab’s Houston headquarters. He previously worked for WesternGeco and Schlumberger Oilfield Services in South America. Gary Sinclair has been appointed regional manager, Middle East and North Africa, based at Ingrain’s Abu Dhabi office.

Richard Bailey is the new Asia/ Pacific region EVP at GL Noble Denton.

Siemens Industry Automation & Drive Technologies in the UK has two new divisional directors, Brian Holliday (industry automation) and Andrew Peters (drive technologies).


Andy Brodie has been appointed general manager at UKPS Offshore, a Triton Group company providing specialist personnel for subsea projects worldwide. The former RBG operations manager is based in the UKPS Lowestoft office.

Teng Beng Koid was appointed head of sales and operations in Asia, Europe, Middle East, Australia and Africa for Seismic Micro Technology (SMT). Koid joins SMT from ION Geophysical, where he was EVP and COO for global business development.

Iain Pittman has joined Aker Qserv as well services manager to lead operations in the east of England, based in Great Yarmouth.


Paul Everard has been appointed business development manager, oil & gas, at ABB Engineering Services.

Mark Robinson has been hired by Geotrace as Far East area manager, based in Kuala Lumpur and responsible for seismic processing and reservoir services in the region. He was previously manager of seismic data processing in Europe, the Caspian and Russia for WesternGeco. 

SUBSEA DOUBLE: Atkins Boreas landed the 2010 Subsea Innovation & Technology award for its groundbreaking deepwater pipelines research and testing work through the ‘Safebuck’ JIP (see "Bucking the trend") at last month’s Subsea UK conference dinner in Aberdeen. And the firm had another reason to celebrate the evening when Katy Wilson, who has risen from engineer to senior engineer and now consultant in just six years with Atkins Boreas, collected the Emerging Talent award.

Atkins Boreas’ Katy Wilson and Stephen Booth hold aloft the Subsea UK 2010 emerging talent and innovation/technology award.--> Independent oilfield service company Dominion Gas, which supplies diving, welding and other gases, was voted Subsea Company of the Year, with First Subsea receiving a special commendation in the category. Fast-growing NCS Survey, which provides the oil & gas sector with Gavia AUVs and recently acquired SRD’s survey division, collected the New Enterprise award and Optical Metrology Services (OMS) the Subsea Global Exports award.

This year’s dinner was sponsored by the Triton Group, with Simmons & Co International, Fugro Subsea Services, Brewin Dolphin, Technip and UK Trade & Investment sponsoring the prizes.

Smith International has agreed to acquire Netherlands-based managed pressure drilling specialist @Balance from Shell Technology Ventures. The move came just ten days before the announcement that Smith itself was being taken over by Schlumberger. Smith acquired a minority interest in @Balance in late 2007, increasing its stake to 35% during 2009. ‘After having been involved with this company for two years, we have seen the talented management and operations from up close,’ said Smith EVP Bryan Dudman, president of Smith Drilling & Evaluation. ‘Through the combination of our rotating control devices, M-I Swaco’s Super Auto Chokes and the technology of @Balance, our customers have and will continue to enjoy the benefit of a complete managed pressure drilling package.’

KBR has decided to expand its lease and office space footprint downtown Houston – to just over 1.2 million square feet – rather than build a new campus on the city’s western edge as earlier planned. ‘After reviewing both market conditions and KBR’s overarching business plan, it became clear that expanding our downtown presence was not only a good business decision, but also brings the added benefit of contributing to our city’s continued was voted Subsea Company downtown revitalization,’ said Klaudia Brace, KBR’s SVP of administration.


GHANA GROWTH: With 28 employees already in Ghana fast-tracking the delivery of a high-end, deepwater electrohydraulic subsea completion system and providing other oilfield services for the Tullow Oil Jubilee development, flow management specialist Expro is laying plans to develop an 8000m2 workshop and office facility in Takoradi.

Expandable in modular steps as future operations in the region dictate, the site will facilitate co-ordination and monitoring of all project activity, including well testing, clean-up, sampling and PVT services. Members of the Expro team in Ghana are pictured working on landing string equipment for Tullow.

Jurong Shipyard plans to build an offshore fabrication and repair facility in the state of Espirito Santo, Brazil. Occupying a freehold land area of 825,000m2 – almost double that of Jurong’s Tanjong Kling location in Singapore – and with 1.6km of sea frontage, the new yard will target drilling rig construction, FPSO integration, topside module fabrication, and repair and modification work.

Schlumberger and New Tech Engineering have signed a ten-year agreement whereby US-based upstream operations consulting firm New Tech will provide wellsite consultants and engineering services for Schlumberger Integrated Project Management (IPM) activities worldwide. The deal gives Schlumberger additional access to expertise in deepwater drilling consulting, HPHT operations and production and completion services and will enable New Tech to expand into new markets and geographical areas.

AGR Subsea has signed a representation agreement with Deep Down subsidiary Mako Technologies under which Mako will promote AGR Subsea’s SeaVator and ClayCutter seabed excavation and trenching service lines in the US Gulf Coast region, and provide operational support once projects are under way.


ALE AND HEARTY: Heavy transport and lifting company ALE (formerly known as Abnormal Load Engineering) has rebranded itself, consolidating its global business under one identity following a period of rapid growth that has seen the company expand to 10 times the size it was seven years ago. Weighing and ballasting specialists John Gibson Projects, acquired in 2007, has now also been integrated into the global ALE brand.

ALE, now 25 years old, lays claim to the most powerful land-based lifting capability in the industry – the AL.SK crane fleet. The AL.SK90 and the AL.SK120, both designed for the lifting and installation of ultraheavy loads, have now been rebranded the AL.SK190 and the AL.SK350, reflecting the measurement of the load moment based around the point of rotation – the industry standard convention for measuring the lifting radius of cranes. The AL.SK350 will involve an upgrade of the SK190 (pictured), when required. Equipped with a standard quick winch system for weights of up to 600t and a strand jack lifting system for loads of up to 5000t, the cranes can be relocated on site by skidding or by self propelled modular transporters fully assembled and rigged.

Last December, ALE added a new crane to its fleet – the Terex Demag CC8800-1, which has a maximum load moment of 24,000t, Superlift radii of 19-30m and a maximum capacity of 1600t. A new mega jack system, capable of installing decks with weights up to 40,000t to a height of 30m, will be in operation early next year.

Offshore projects to be executed by the company this year include the loadout for Heerema Hartlepool of the 7500t topsides and a 638t bridge for Nexen’s new Buzzard platform in the UK North Sea, and, at Korea’s Samsung yard, the skidding of two 20,000t rig topsides for Gazflot, operating arm of Russia’s Gazprom. In April and August this year, the Samsung decks are scheduled to be skidded onto Dockwise semisubmersible heavy lift vessel Black Marlin, which will transport them to Murmansk for ‘floating floatover’ integration with their hulls to form two Arctic class semisubmersible drilling/production platforms destined to serve on the giant Shtokman gas field in the Barents Sea (OE April 2009).

ALE is also booked by Technip Geoproduction to handle the loadout, again by skidding, of two top decks – weighing 6500t and 7000t apiece – for the Turkmenistan Block Gas 1 development.

Kees Kompier, executive director in ALE’s Netherlands office, reports that tendering levels in offshore fabrication yards are high, but there is likely to be a delay of around 10 months, before fabrication restarts. But he expects the market after that to be busy again. Meg Chesshyre

Teekay Shipping and Det norske oljeselskap have signed a cooperation agreement to jointly develop further the patented Teekay FlexShuttle concept. Hailed as an advanced export solution for marginal fields, the concept includes a stern loading solution that would allow offshore export operations to be performed directly from the production facility. The two-year R&D;programme is being co-funded by The Research Council of Norway and supported by Marine Cybernetics and the Ship Manoeuvring Simulator Centre.

A new production facility for very large wire ropes for offshore and mining applications is being established by Kiswire in Tanjung Langsat, on the south coast, peninsular Malaysia. Designated Neptune 2 and expected to be operational 4Q 2011, the plant will be capable of manufacturing wire rope in units of 600t in non-rotating, multi-strand configurations, as well as six-strand wire rope of 300t and eight-strand units of 400t.


THE GREAT HALL:  Huisman, the Netherlands-based offshore heavy lift, pipelay and drilling equipment and mooring systems specialist, has opened a new production hall in China. The building, located in Xiamen City, Zhangzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, is the company’s largest such structure, measuring 205m in length, 54m in width and 62m in height and housing a 2000t hoist. The sea-accessible Huisman China complex of 17 production buildings also includes shot blasting, painting and maintenance facilities as well as a welding school (OE August 2008). OE

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