Firms and faces - OE June 2011

June 8, 2011

Rowan Companies is selling all its shares in manufacturing subsidiary LeTourneau Technologies to Joy Global in a $1.1 billion cash deal. Rowan acquired LeTourneau, which built the majority of Rowan's jackup rig fleet, in 1994. Rowan president and CEO Matt Ralls said he expected most of the after-tax proceeds to be invested in its offshore drilling business, ‘either through continued growth of our highspec jackup fleet or expansion into the ultra-deepwater drilling segment'.

Petrobras has signed a memorandum of understanding with China's Sinochem and a general technological cooperation agreement with national oil company Sinopec. The Sinochem agreement includes strategic cooperation between the companies on E&P in Brazil and elsewhere, enhanced recovery projects and export of oil and other products. The agreement with Sinopec covers technology transfer with a focus on geophysics, geology, reservoir engineering and assessment aimed at increasing the oil recovery of both companies' assets. Horton Wison Deepwater and Gaia Importação, Exportação e Serviços of Brazil have teamed up to form a new JV, Horton do Brasil Tecnologia Offshore, to develop, commercialize and market proprietary technologies for fixed and floating production systems in Brazil and other South American countries. ‘This joint venture will seek solutions that can optimize the production systems of fields and ensure the highest oil recovery factor,' said Horton Wison president Ed Horton.

Wright's Well Control Services and Malaysia's IEV Group have formed a strategic alliance to provide rigless offshore services in Asia, Australia and the Middle East. ‘Asia and Australia has the second highest concentration of offshore structures in the world only behind the Gulf of Mexico, so this strategic partnership to offer rigless well control services in the region is a perfect fit with our plans for international growth,' said WWCS president David Wright.

Japanese operator Inpex has opened a new office in Rio de Janeiro to support its current and upcoming Brazilian projects. The company has interests in the producing Frade deepwater development as well as exploration projects in blocks BM-C-31 and BM-ES- 23.

Varel International and NewTech Services have formed a 50:50 joint venture company focused on manufacturing, assembling, servicing and sales of oil & gas drill bits for the Russian CIS market and beyond. The joint venture, Varel NTS, will establish a manufacturing and service facility in Kurgan, Russia.

National Oilwell Varco acquired Scottish-based process equipment specialist Merpro in May in a deal put together by Simmons & Company International. Merpro's Montrose machine shop also licenses an extensive premium thread portfolio and fabricates wellhead equipment and downhole tools.

Sete Brazil, headed by Almir Barbassa, is the new company that with the South Atlantic Shipyard will take over the contract for the first offshore drilling rigs to be built in Brazil. They are tasked with producing seven rigs for Petrobras' pre-salt drilling campaign, with the first expected to enter operations in 2015.

Fugro has agreed to acquire JDR Cable Systems Holdings Netherlands BV and its marine cable subsidiary, JDR Cable Systems BV, together comprising JDR's Marine Cables division. Renamed De Regt Marine Cables, the division will continue to operate as an independent business unit from its base near Rotterdam.

Eurasia Drilling Company (EDC) and Schlumberger recently completed the sale and purchase of each other's drilling and service assets together with the formation of a strategic alliance in line with last October's letter of intent. The $260 million deal includes a cash consideration of about $173 million from EDC to Schlumberger. Maurice Dijols, Schlumberger Russia president, said: ‘The combination of Eurasia's drilling rig footprint with Schlumberger drilling services offers a unique solution to customers in Russia. The integration of Smith International and Schlumberger drilling technologies will lead to fit-forpurpose drilling assemblies as well as to additional drilling services and drilling fluids services for the Russian market – both on land and offshore.'

ABS has opened an office in Stavanger. Egil Legland, the classification society's country manager for Norway, commented: ‘It's not just the office – ABS just released several new services and programs that clients have been requesting, including the Offshore Asset Integrity Management (OAIM) program' which plans, tracks and services structures and equipment over the life of an offshore unit.

TAM International has formed a new company, TAM Completion Systems, to provide integrated completion solutions including Freecap swellable packers, liner top packers, frac sleeves and related accessory items. Jack Newberry, the company's US and Latin America VP will run the wholly owned subsidiary.

Dutch diving contractor Noordhoek reported last month that it was back in business following what it described as ‘a turbulent' period. The group said it had finalized and formalized a re-launch package which involved Amsterdam investment firm Value Enhancement Partners taking a majority stake, supported by the Noordhoek family and Hanzevast, the owner of the Noordhoek Pathfinder vessel.

BMT Scientific Marine Services has opened an office in Rio de Janeiro. It will operate as an extension of the existing BMT facilities in California and Houston.

The North Sea service and support center recently opened by Schilling Robotics in Aberdeen has 13,000ft2 of yard space for large equipment as well as a parts warehouse, workshops and training facilities.

Bentley Systems has acquired the SACS software business from Engineering Dynamics. Bentley said the integrated finite element structural analysis suite – hailed as ‘the analysis mainstay for most of the world's offshore engineers' – would complement its offerings, including STAAD, RAM, ProSteel and Bentley Structural Modeler, ‘providing opportunity for even more comprehensive solutions'.

Peter Coleman has taken over as CEO and MD at Australian operator Woodside, joining from ExxonMobil where he served as VP of its development company. He succeeds the retiring Don Voelte, who had held the posts since 2004. Dr Christopher Haynes, EVP upstream major projects within Shell's projects and technology business, has become a non-executive director of Woodside effective 1 June. His status as a nonindependent director will be re-assessed when he retires from Shell at the end of August.

Takao Namba was named director, Ichthys subsurface, at Japan's Inpex Corporation. Mitsuru Ito succeeds Namba as VP and GM of the company's technology development and support unit, with Hiroshi Nagura stepping up to GM of its Rio de Janeiro office.

Roy Oelking has been appointed group president, KBR Hydrocarbons, in succession to John Rose, who is due to retire in June 2012. Rose will serve as EVP, KBR Operations, following the promotion of Dennis Calton to Oelking's former job as president of KBR's Oil & Gas division. John Derbyshire becomes president of the technology business unit following the retirement of Tim Challand.

Wang Yilin has been appointed chairman of the board and non-executive director of CNOOC following the resignation of Fu Chengyu.

M Kevin McEvoy, Oceaneering's EVP and COO since February 2010, has become the company's president and CEO. Marvin Migura becomes EVP and CFO.

Martin Craighead will succeed Chad Deaton as CEO at Baker Hughes early next year. Craighead will retain the post of president of the company, with Deaton, who has helmed the company for nearly seven years, becoming executive chairman.

Andrew Hockey has been appointed a non-executive director of Sound Oil. He is currently GM joint ventures and new business at Fairfield Energy, the company he joined in 2005 following three years with Eni in Milan working on the Kashagan project.

John Imle has been appointed CEO of AED Oil. Imle originally joined the board as a representative of Nations Petroleum in 2010, following AED's acquisition of Nations' assets in Indonesia and Brunei. He previously served as president of Unocal's global oil, gas and geothermal division.

Bernard de Combret has resigned his position as non-executive chairman of Houston-based Coastal Energy and will be replaced by Lloyd Barnaby Smith on an interim basis. Forrest Wylie has also left the board and is replaced by Coastal CFO William Phelps.

Alexandre Kosmala has joined the Artificial Lift Company as CEO. He previously worked for Schlumberger, serving most recently as its completions operations manager for East Asia, based in Kuala Lumpur.

Mai Bo Liang has succeeded company founder Brian Chang as CEO of Yantai CIMC Raffles Offshore, withYu Ya (Pictured) becoming president of Yantai Raffles and VP of the Chinabased CIMC Group. Chang remains as executive deputy chairman and honorary chairman.

Neil Gordon takes over the reins at Subsea UK from Alistair Birnie in July. Gordon is currently general manager of the National Hyperbaric Centre in Aberdeen.

Cliff Chamblee has been named EVP, contracting services at Helix Energy Solutions Group. He was a co-founder of Canyon Offshore, which Helix acquired in 2002.

Harry Kulasinghe has been appointed VP business development at Aker Solutions in the UK. A chartered electrical engineer, he started his career with John Brown Engineering and subsequently worked for KBR Production Services (now PSN) and APG Salamis.

Lee Alstrom has been named SVP strategic development for Noble Corporation. He joined the company in 2006 as VP investor relations and planning.

Dirk Warzecha has become GM of RWE Dea Egypt. He succeeds Hans-Hermann Ecke, who was recently appointed RWE Dea's SVP new ventures.

Vladimir Milovidov has been named VP at Rosneft, where he will oversee the scientific and technological development and innovation department. He was formerly head of Russia's Federal Financial Markets Service.

Alex McAndrew has been appointed Brazil country manager for Harris Pye, based in Macaé. Most recently he worked with SLP Engineering and then C&D Group on the design, construction and outfitting of the BP Valhall redevelopment's living quarters.

John Forrest, who recently retired as SVP and country manager for Talisman Energy (UK), has joined the board of EPC Offshore as a nonexecutive director.

J Michael Talbert has been named chairman of the board at Transocean in succession to the retiring Bob Rose.

Robert Wallace has been named director of marketing at Knight Oil Tools. Based in Houston, he will be responsible for the company's worldwide marketing efforts.

Paul Moore, MD of Perth, Western Australia headquartered Otto Energy, has given notice of resignation for personal reasons, effective 1 July. Ian Boserio, a nonexecutive director, will assist management during the transition period to a new CEO, now being sought.

R Gareth Williams has been appointed chief geophysicist of Norwegian startup Dolphin Geophysical (see page 24). He worked in both Europe and Singapore for Digicon and then Veritas DGC before becoming a SVP for CGGVeritas. Roy Bampton (Right) has joined Dolphin in Houston as VP marine operations NASA.

Tony Aming, Baker Hughes' enterprise business and applications architect, has been elected president and director of PIDX, the new independent, industry managed, non-profit standards body. Elected VP was John Hardey, global systems supply chain advisor for Occidental Oil & Gas.

Stuart Bell has become GM of Penspen's Aberdeen office, taking responsibility for all group business in the city, including the subsea and pipelines work executed under the Andrew Palmer & Associates brand. He joins from KW and was previously with Subsea 7 and Technip.

Howard Shaw has been appointed SVP corporate social responsibility for the Singapore-based Halycon Group and its offshore & marine sector focused engineering and construction business, Halcyon Offshore.

Peter Zeilinger has been named MD of OMV New Zealand following Wayne Kirk's decision to step down. Zeilinger, based in Wellington, has been with the company for 17 years.

Michael Jardon is the new COO at Expro, replacing Chris Mawtus. Jardon joins the company from Vallourec & Mannesmann USA, where he was North American president.

Mark Sarssam has joined UK-headquartered Tethys Petroleum as VP petroleum development, based in the company's new operations and technical office in Dubai.

James Thomas was appointed VP, global resourcing at Knowledge Reservoir. Thomas is a co-founder of OilExec International Group and in 2010 launched the consultant network

Chris Ring has been named VP development at Petris. He was previously director PMO at Landmark/Halliburton.

Jon Nield has been promoted to VP in Foster Wheeler's project risk management group. Before joining the group in January, he was the company's project director on the Pluto I LNG project in Australia.

Rod Starr is the new SVP Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific at TGS. Starr was most recently TGS' general manager, Asia Pacific.

Andrew Louden is MD of the new Aberdeen presence of Norway's recently rebranded well intervention group Interwell. A former Schlumberger and Helix-RDS manager, Louden spent half his 20-year career overseeing well operations at Marathon and BP.

Vicki Nielsen has been chosen to lead GL Noble Denton's hydraulic and flow assurance consulting services department in the Americas. Nielsen's former business partner Trent Brown also joined the company as a principal flow assurance consultant.

Jonathan Lindsay joined the management team of pipeline, riser and subsea engineering company Jee on 1 May. He will head up the firm's Aberdeen operations. Jee also recently promoted Paul Job (pictured) to engineering manager for the Aberdeen office.

Cory Goodyear has been named regional manager, Atlantic Canada, at UTEC Survey's new Mount Pearl, Newfoundland, office.

Martin F Anderson has joined the Aberdeen-based Hydrus Group as operations director. He was previously GM of Neptune Deeptech in Stonehaven.

Graham Holloway has been promoted from business support manager to the newly created position of offshore & international business manager at industrial cleaning and environmental waste management specialist MSIS.

Joseph Dominguez has been named VP interpretation and consulting at TerraSpark Geosciences. He previously served as general partner and VP of Sherpa Energy Resources.

Jim Higgins has been appointed Middle East area manager of Veripos, based in Dubai.

Ian McGuff has been appointed technical sales manager of remote inspection and surveying company Cyberhawk Innovations.

Hellespont's Captain Andrew Lidgard and Sanko Steamship's Yasushi Hashimoto have been named as CEO and chairman, respectively, of the newly formed Sanko-Hellespont Offshore Management joint venture company established in Singapore to provide their offshore support vessel fleets with manning and ship management services.

Eric McAdam has joined Independent SAP consultancy Absoft as head of professional services. He was Oracle's interim programme director.

Mark Clegg is the new service sales manager for ABB's low voltage products division.

David Reif has joined Tyco International's newlyformed enterprise solutions organization as VP business development, oil, gas and refining. He previously served as VP global industry marketing and sales in the process systems and solutions division.

TOOLED UP: Aberdeenshire-based subsea intervention tooling firm Specialist ROV Tooling Services is the latest addition to Houston-headquartered Forum Energy Technologies' growing business portfolio. FE T chairman and CE O Cris Gaut said the acquisition would ‘complement our strong subsea product offering as we continue to build a complete solution for customers' subsea vehicle and related products and services requirements'. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. John Ferguson (on left), FE T general manager, vehicles and products, in Aberdeen, is pictured with Mike Bisset, director of Specialist ROV Tooling Services at the latter's Insch facility.

BIGGER FOOTPRINT: Stork Technical Services and Arle last month acquired UK-based inspect, assess and repair services provider RBG – including all its primary activities in Europe, the Americas, the Caspian and the Middle East along with some 4500 personnel – for an undisclosed sum. Sjoerd Vollebregt, CE O of parent group Stork BV, described the move as ‘an exciting milestone' and STS CE O Doug Meikle (pictured on left) said it was ‘consistent with our strategy to enhance our service offering whilst expanding our global footprint', while their RBG opposite number, Dave Workman (right), called the acquisition ‘good news for our global community'.

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