Oil and gas engineering firm FES International has secured a $40m deal to supply into a Malaysian oil field.
The Ashington-based specialist in fluid transfer systems has partnered up with Suffolk-based Orwell Offshore, a firm that FES owner Rob Anderson has known for some time.
The contract, which has been nearly three years in the making, will see the two firms build an external turret system – a type of mooring system – to the FPSO Layang, which is a floating production, storage and off-loading vessel.
The two firms will supply Kuala Lumpur-based oil and gas fabricators TH Heavy Engineering Berhad.
FES will provide the fluid transfer system for the turret, which will be built by Orwell. The 700-800 tonne structure will be shipped as components to Dubai before assembly.
Mr Anderson described the contract as a “big deal” for two independently-owned private firms, which fought off much larger competition.
He said: “This part of the world is a market we know well, and one that holds a huge amount of opportunity for us.
“There’s a lot of doom and gloom around the North Sea at the moment, and there’s no doubt that it is one of the most expensive basins, but this type of deal just goes to show the breadth of opportunity that is out there.
“At FES we supply to the four corners of the world, and it means that we’ve got a strong order book. Despite the North Sea news it’s a time of investment for us.”
Mr Anderson said this project had the potential to lead to job creation, although initially it protected jobs at the Northumberland firm.
The FPSO Layang, formerly called Deep Producer 1, is contracted to Japanese petroleum firm JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration (Malaysia) Limited and will operate at the Layang field offshore Sarawak, Malaysia.
The turret will be mounted to the bow of the vessel, allowing it to operate in depths of up to 90m. Orwell’s design will provide the FPSO with a permanent mooring capability, with the flexibility to allow for re-deployment at other sites.
Mark Evans, managing director of Orwell Offshore, said: “We consider this a significant milestone in our business model for the turnkey supply of FPSO mooring systems.
“Working with our long-term colleagues at FES allows us to offer the optimum solution to our client with the confidence that it can be delivered within the project constraints.”
Mr Anderson added: “We’ve a long-standing relationship and proven track-record working with Orwell Offshore and are delighted to be working in partnership with them again on such a significant project.
“Together we’re providing a technical and innovative solution that will bring both practical and commercial benefits to the project.”
The Layang field was discovered in 1990 and is located in Block SK10 offshore Sarawak, Malaysia.
Commercial production from the Layang field is expected to commence in summer 2016.