Hopes for North East jobs after Technip signs up to deepwater joint venture

Hopes that Forsys Subsea will benefit Technip Umbilicals' Tyneside operation as it offers services to deepwater projects

Technip Umbilicals manufacturing facility in Walker
Technip Umbilicals manufacturing facility in Walker

One of the region’s top offshore employers is expanding into new territories after launching a joint venture in the field of deepwater oil projects.

Subsea engineering firm Technip - which has a base on the Tyne riverside - has formed a joint venture with US energy firm FMC Technologies that will use the combined workforces of both firms along with its own 320-strong team.

It remains unclear whether the move will have a bearing on Technip’s North East operation in the short term, although the firm said it could have a positive effect in the future.

The new operation - Forsys Subsea - has promised to “redefine the way subsea fields are designed, delivered and maintained.”

In combining the parent companies’ specialisms, Forsys aims to streamline the and simplify the seabed layout of fields and shorten the length of time to first oil.

John Gremp, FMC Technologies chairman, president and chief executive officer said: “The world needs new sources of oil, and deepwater holds the greatest promise of meeting this demand. But these sources are expensive to develop, and operators will not pursue them unless they can significantly reduce costs.

“This requires not just incremental improvements, but step changes and new ways of thinking. Service providers must be involved at the project concept stage, provide innovative technology that reduces costs, standardize processes and equipment for greater efficiency, and execute flawlessly.”

In a statement announcing the launch of the venture Forsys said it would focus on early-stage concept work, including engineering and design, and monitoring of fields including data interpretation and advisory services.

Amid a troublesome period for the oil and gas sector, the move is likely to be welcomed by the industry.

George Rafferty, chief executive of NOF Energy, said: “Establishing this joint venture in the UK reaffirms the country’s position as a world-leader in subsea engineering. Technip has played an important role in building this country’s reputation in the subsea industry, which notably includes its operation in Newcastle that has become a technology-leader in the field of umbilicals.

“The sector has a strong supply chain, particularly in the North East, and this new venture can benefit from the skills, products and services provided by UK companies.”

Thierry Pilenko, Technip chairman and chief executive officer, added: “In today’s fast-changing environment, clients require closer relationships with, and more integrated solutions from, their partners of choice. This imposes a new way of working in the industry.

“Beyond products, we need to design optimized development concepts. Beyond concepts, we need to be strongly focused on the practicalities of project execution. Simplicity, standardization, innovation, technological creativity and delivering tangible results to clients — this is exactly what Forsys Subsea is about, and we are delighted to make this step a reality with FMC Technologies.”

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