Offshore oil and gas in Great Yarmouth
Great Yarmouth has had oil and gas at the cornerstone of its economy since their discovery in the North Sea in the early 1960s and has the most concentrated reservoir of expertise, experience and knowledge available anywhere that gas is extracted in the UK.
So much so, that it is said that wherever in the world there is an offshore hydrocarbon-related development in hand, there will be an engineer or technician from Great Yarmouth somewhere not far away.
Shallow water engineering, mature asset management and normally unmanned installations (NUIs) are among the many areas of expertise that have been developed in Great Yarmouth as the town has adapted to an ever-changing industry.
One of Great Yarmouth’s key assets is its ability to deliver reliable and efficient supply chain services, with road haulage, sea transport and logistics providers working together in a highly co-ordinated way. Among the key players in this sector in Great Yarmouth are ASCO, Peterson and MDF Transport.
Despite the current downturn, there is at least another 20 years’ gas production left in the Southern North Sea and production is expected to continue until at least 2035.
There is an increasing focus on prolonging the life of assets in the North Sea, either bringing drilling rigs in for major refurbishments or upgrading platforms in situ – all of this offering a whole new range of commercial opportunities, even before decommissioning is considered.
Aker Solutions is a global provider of products, systems and services to the oil and gas industry. Its engineering, design and technology bring discoveries into production and maximize recovery.
Amec Foster Wheeler is one of the world’s leading suppliers of consultancy, engineering and project management services to the world’s oil and gas market and has had a base in Great Yarmouth for more than 35 years. Having initially moved to Great Yarmouth to capitalise on the developing gas fields, Amec has built up its expertise supporting Southern North Sea offshore industries.
Expro was established in Great Yarmouth in 1973 and helped the Hamilton Brothers produce the first UK oil from the Argyll Field on June 11, 1975. Since then their well flow management services have grown around the world providing services and products that measure, improve, control and process flow from high-value oil and gas wells, from exploration and appraisal through to mature field production optimisation and enhancement.
EPIC International has an established base in Great Yarmouth. Providing operations, management and maintenance support together with well service personnel, procurement and logistics services, EPIC has particular experience supporting Normally Unattended Installations (NUIs) for offshore operator companies. EPIC also provides a number of services to support the decommissioning of redundant infrastructure and more recently developed a Late in Life Operation (LILO) model for “mothballing” near end-of-life North Sea platforms.
Founded in 1919, Halliburton is one of the world's largest providers of products and services to the energy industry. The company serves the upstream oil and gas industry throughout the lifecycle of the reservoir from locating hydrocarbons and managing geological data, to drilling and formation evaluation, well construction and completion, and optimizing production through the life of the field. Having been in Great Yarmouth since the 1960s, Halliburton’s Yare Facility supports over 100 staff members.
Seatrax (UK) Limited manufactures a range of offshore cranes designed for numerous applications, including semi-submersibles, drillships, FPSOs, TLPs, accommodation/lift barges, fixed platforms and quayside locations. At Great Yarmouth, it has fully equipped fabrication, assembly and fit-out workshops, including a yard test stand to undertake crane function/load testing activities and, importantly, direct access to the North Sea. Used by customers from across the world’s offshore and marine industries, Seatrax’s products are widely recognised for their high standards of operational safety, robustness of design, lifetime cost-effectiveness and ease of maintenance.
Where oil and gas platforms are installed, eventually they must be decomissioned, and with Great Yarmouth's long history within this sector and natural geographic positioning, the emerging decomissioning sector is now a prime consideration.
Energy logistics provider, Peterson, in partnership with environmental solutions provider, Veolia, has made a £1million investment in the development of a new decommissioning facility at the Outer Harbour.
With work by Great Yarmouth Borough Council and the East of England Energy Group’s Special Interests Group for Decommissioning, there is a strong ambition to establish Great Yarmouth as the centre of excellent for decommissioning for the UK Southern North Sea and already many local companies are working in this field. Download the Great Yarmouth Business Directory for a comprehensive guide to the oil and gas supply chain.