Oil Review Middle East Interview
29 June 2022
Tell us about your business and how you view the Middle East market currently for your products and services?
Established in 1985, Ashtead Technology has grown organically and through strategic acquisitions to become a leading provider of equipment rental solutions, advanced underwater technologies and support services to the global offshore energy sector. Through our three service lines – Survey & Robotics, Mechanical Solutions and Asset Integrity – we support the installation, IMR (inspection, maintenance & repair), and decommissioning of offshore energy infrastructure.
Ashtead Technology has an established presence in the Middle East and we strengthened our position with the acquisition of Abu Dhabi based TES Survey Equipment Services in 2016. In 2019, we invested in a new facility in Musaffah, Abu Dhabi, to expand our footprint and increase the range of equipment and services offered to customers in the region.
The Middle East survey and robotics rental market is extremely buoyant with access to high-quality, project-ready equipment in high demand. At Ashtead Technology, we boast the largest independent rental fleet in the industry with over 17,000 assets and continue to invest to ensure we can offer the broadest and most technologically advanced equipment available to support our customers’ projects.
Our mechanical solutions capabilities continues to grow in the region with increased demand for our subsea cutting, dredging and coating removal technology solutions to support various IMR and decommissioning work scopes. We have made some quite substantial investment in developing and mobilising equipment spreads to support customer projects in the region and ensure we have equipment ready to deploy locally, demonstrating our commitment to growth in the Middle East.
How are you planning to develop your business further in the region?
As well as my appointment this year, we have strengthened our local team, including relocating some of our expertise to support our growth in the region. This enhanced capability is helping us to increase our visibility and use our enhanced knowledge and expertise to solve a wider range of customer challenges.
We are also bringing new technologies to the market in the Middle East and recently signed a multi-year agreement with Norway-based NORBIT Subsea, to serve as the exclusive reseller for the sale of their multibeam sonar survey systems across the region. These systems are industry-renowned for their exceptional performance, innovation and reliability and are in high demand with our customers.
How are you supporting the energy transition and sustainability in the offshore sector?
As a market leader in subsea technology rental and solutions, Ashtead Technology’s offering sits firmly at the heart of the energy transition providing critical late life and decommissioning support to the oil and gas industry and supporting the extensive growth in offshore wind globally.
Through continued investment in our equipment rental fleet, advanced technologies and people, we are continually improving the sustainability performance of our business to meet the current and future needs of our customers and help achieve cleaner and sustainable energy production.
The energy transition is rapidly impacting the adoption of remote operations to help reduce carbon footprint, increase operational flexibility and lower HSE risk and costs. Through our remote operations centres in the UK and Canada, we are seeing significant uptake for our remote inspection services for the integrity management of subsea infrastructure.
Offshore renewable energy has become an important part of our business now accounting for a significant proportion of our Group revenue. We have a growing track record in the delivery of offshore wind projects utilising our skilled people and their wealth of subsea operations expertise together with our equipment and facilities to deliver best in class, cost effective offshore wind farm installation and operations solutions.
How important are innovation and continuous improvement to your business?
As a progressive, technology-driven business innovation is at the heart of what we do and integral to our growth strategy. We are continuing to invest in the latest subsea equipment from leading manufacturers, whilst also working with industry partners and the supply chain to support the development of new technologies and methodologies, playing our part in the global drive to improve efficiency, reduce cost and safety risk and minimise carbon impact.
Furthermore, we develop our own in-house technology solutions across our three service lines to help meet our customers’ operational challenges and ensure we remain at the forefront of what we do.
Our commitment to continuous improvement has allowed us to strengthen our asset integrity service offering through advances in our data management, analysis and reporting capability, whilst our mechanical solutions team has implemented a number of enhancements across our shear cutting, diamond wire cutting and water abrasive cutting solutions portfolio.
What differentiates Ashtead Technology?
Ashtead Technology has a 37-year track record and strong international footprint, serving customers from our nine service centres in key offshore energy hubs.
With the largest independent fleet of rental equipment in the industry we pride ourselves on our responsiveness and the quality of our service offering so customers can rely on us to deliver fast-turnaround technology solutions to meet and exceed their expectations.
Our people are experts in their field and are fundamental to our success. Therefore mentorship and on-the-job training is a critical part of our business to ensure that essential expertise is nurtured within and passed on to the next generation of talent enabling them to excel and thrive in a fast-growing environment.
In line with our core values of agility, collaboration and excellence, this commitment to people development and continuous improvement allows us to work together as a global team to achieve more, upholding the highest standards in all we do.
Looking ahead, what’s next for Ashtead Technology in the Middle East?
The Middle East represents a significant growth opportunity for our business and we are committed to ongoing investment in our facilities, equipment and people to meet the anticipated increase in demand for our specialist technologies and services in the region.
Whilst the global focus on energy transition remains critical and is among the highest policy priorities for the Middle East’s oil producers, offshore oil and gas production has increased in recent months driven by energy security and affordability concerns. For regions like the Middle East, significant investment is still required to arrest production decline from existing fields and continual IMR of infrastructure is required to maintain and extend the life of producing fields.
Based on the fungibility of Ashtead Technology’s equipment and solutions across the offshore wind and oil and gas markets, we are ideally placed to support our customers’ evolving subsea technology requirements across both these adjacent markets.