With the oil and gas field becoming increasingly high-tech, companies such as Aubin have a key role to play
Scotland-based Aubin Group has witnessed a diversification of goods shipped to the Gulf over the past few years.
Aubin, which specialises in the design, development and supply of chemistry-based technology and engineering services to the global oil and gas industry, has been shipping its products to the region for the past 25 years. “Until recently the goods exported were related to our well services range, however three or four years ago this was extended to include our pipeline range of products,” said Raymond Stirton, the group’s well services and pipelines director.
“Once the subsea and integrity range develops further in the commercialisation process it is expected that they will also be introduced to the Gulf markets,” said Stirton.
“Saudi Araba has consistently been the major market for us. However, sales into UAE-based companies who then export the products to other markets in the Middle East and North Africa have also been very successful.”
Aubin has five business streams: well services, pipelines, subsea, integrity and solutions. Most of its turnover comes from well services where it has a track record of developing new technologies to improve the stimulation of oil production wells, and new high temperature products which enables its customers to access new markets.
“Internationally our best selling products are our cement spacers and retarders. These are part of the range of products which are manufactured locally in the UAE. We also successfully introduced a new stimulation acid inhibitor, which has been extremely well received and been the market entry which allows us to sell the additional chemicals required in a stimulation package,” said Stirton.
“Our subsea range is a patented industry changing system to deliver controllable and manageable buoyancy across a wide range of subsea engineering applications. We are currently progressing with product commercialisation and are confident that the application of these products will significantly change how the industry manages buoyancy and subsea lifting operations.
“Our integrity products were developed to seal areas where a breach in pipework or containment had occurred. This was deployed in 2013 to very successful effect to stem a hydrocarbon leak from a North Sea platform.”
Aubin’s plant is in Aberdeenshire. However it has products manufactured for it in the UAE by a third-party company.
Key markets are Europe and Mena but a strategic review to be completed in Q1 2015 could include one additional market. Turnover for 2013 was 2.7 million British pounds ($4.2 million) and over the past one year staff has grown from 22 to 45.
At Adipec, Aubin concentrated on presenting its well services and pipeline products range and demonstrated the capabilities of its EVO-pig products. The company also released information on its new range of fracturing additives and new additions to its production-enhancement chemical range.
“Our fracturing additives provide a range of linear and cross-linked agents, delayed cross linking systems and HTHP enzyme breakers plus surfactant. We have developed a range of gas well deliquification chemicals with excellent environmental profile,” said Stirton.
“These products can be used to lift condensed water or saline brine which may also be contaminated with hydrocarbon. Our existing range of PE additives also includes water shut off treatments and organic and inorganic scale dissolvers.”
Stirton is optimistic Aubin can expand its exports to the Gulf. “In addition to the introduction of new business streams we believe there is significant opportunity to increase our pipeline product sales and within the last year have signed an agreement with a channel partner who will assist in the sales and marketing of these pipeline products and who will also have complementary engineering capabilities which we often require to provide a total pipeline pigging solution.
“We have invested in creating a subsidiary company in Dubai and also have transferred the manufacturing of many of our Well Services product range which we believe will enable us to penetrate the market further with this product range. The facilities and our continued investment plans will support business development with the major oil service companies.”
The company is represented in the UAE by Leaders Oilfield Equipment LLC and is in the process of signing an agreement with Al Rawabi as distributor in Saudi Arabia.