Bentec Drilling and Oilfield Systems

Playing the field

Bentec is a globally recognised manufacturer of onshore and offshore drilling and workover rigs and their major mechanical and electrical components, providing field proven solutions to ensure the smooth running of drilling operations.

Bentec focuses on providing the best quality service at a competitive price, with an emphasis on performance enhancement. The company’s quality assurance and control systems are constantly reviewed, enhanced and updated via contributions from Bentec’s continuous improvement programme. The company also prides itself on the development and training of its employees at all levels, and ensures that engineers sent out to the field have high levels of expertise and technical knowledge.

Norbert Gebbeken, Bentec’s managing director, Commercial, outlines the development of the company: “Bentec has more than a century of drilling and drilling equipment experience, making the company one of Europe’s leading suppliers of drilling rigs and oilfield systems. In March 2007, Bentec celebrated its 13th anniversary, but its history actually dates back more than 100 years, to 1888 when the German drilling contractor DEUTAG was founded. More than a century of drilling experience has enabled Bentec to steadily benefit from its close relationship with the drilling industry.

“The company is a subsidiary of the UK’s ABBOT Group plc. Bentec supplies an extensive range of products and systems to enhance the safety and operability of drilling operations, including complete onshore and offshore drilling and workover rigs, mobile rigs, mechanical, electrical and mechatronical systems. The company designs rigs for different environments, for example, very low temperatures (winterised), rigs for the desert, and fast moving (box-on-box) rigs,” he continues.

Norbert explains the company’s current contracts and areas of interest: “More than 80 per cent of Bentec’s turnover comes from outside Germany; the company is established across a number of different markets – Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe, particularly Russia.

“Russia is where Bentec has its biggest investment, and I estimate that Russia will buy about 400 new rigs over the next three to five years. To capture its share of this business, Bentec is investing more than $25 million in the Tyumen region. In June, the company purchased workshop and office buildings and leased 80,000 square metres of land in the region. The facility will employ 300 to 350 people, and most of them will be hired locally and receive extensive training. The plant will have the capacity to fabricate eight to ten rigs a year – with basic engineering work and production of ‘high-tech’ key components continuing to be made in Germany, and transported to Tyumen.

“Bentec’s HR-5000 rig has been designed specifically for the Russian market, and currently there are five Bentec HR 5000s at work in the country, with five more on the way, making 10 in total, which will likely be operating in Russia by approximately mid 2008,” says Norbert. “Four are operating for TNK-BP through KCA DEUTAG, four 250 ton rigs are under construction for BK Eurasia Drilling, and two 320 ton rigs are operating for other operators through KCA DEUTAG.”

Elaborating on how these contracts have affected Bentec’s business, Norbert states: “The company has grown its business volume from approximately 35 million euros in 2003 to just under 150 million euros this year. Bentec is optimistic as far as future developments are concerned, the demand for drilling rigs in Russia, for example, exceeding supply by 40 per cent. More than 70 per cent of the Russian rig fleet is over 15 years old and need to be taken out of operation.

“Another major market in North Africa – via KCA DEUTAG in Algeria – already employs Bentec-built Nomad rigs,” he continues. “The interest for this type of the rig is significant, with Libya, for example, becoming a major producer of oil and attracting the interest of international oil companies, which opens up opportunities for Bentec.”

Norbert comments on recent developments in Russia, and some of the Asian competition Bentec is facing: “In September this year the company signed a contract for two 320-ton rigs which will go into operation for Gazprom. Bentec considers this contract a milestone in its relations with the Russian giant. Gazprom is facing a huge challenge to develop very difficult fields on the Yamal peninsular and East Siberia. These regions are very demanding for man and equipment. That is why only technically sophisticated and fully adapted rigs will be able deliver in these conditions.

“The company sees Chinese producers as a challenge, especially their presence in the Eastern European countries. The Chinese still have quality issues, but on price they are very aggressive, so from a competitive point of view, Bentec’s strategy is to focus on the reputation, quality and reliability of German engineering and workmanship. The company has been navigating the transition from being a rig assembler, to becoming an engineering company which designs and engineers its own equipment including drawworks, masts, electrical systems and, from 2008, also mud pumps,” he continues.

Commenting on future developments, and what distinguishes the company from its competitors, Norbert says: “Bentec will continue to expand into the land rig market worldwide. In addition, the company will further increase its production depth through manufacturing major components like drawworks, masts, electrical systems and mud pumps. In Russia, once the Tyumen facility is operational, Bentec’s market share will double, reaching at least 10 per cent.

“Bentec is delivering a customer focused, cost-effective engineering service and providing leadership through innovation and continuous improvement in particularly challenging environments. We believe that clients are increasingly looking for high quality equipment, reliability of delivery times, and the availability of spare parts and service close to their drilling locations. Bentec delivers in all of these areas, which sets us apart from our competitors,” he concludes.

Bentec Drilling and Oilfield Systems

Industry: Drilling rigs and components manufacture