Fabricom Offshore Services

A stratospheric rise

In the last 12 months Fabricom Offshore Services has enjoyed a phenomenal rise, with an exceptional turnover increase of approximately 130 per cent and a significant rise in personnel.

Discussing the company’s success, chief executive officer Allan Cairns enthuses: “We turned over just short of £15 million in 2011 and that soared to £33 million in 2012; in conjunction with that is a large increase in personnel, rising from around 150 to approximately 320 at the moment.”

The level of growth is down to the company’s client portfolio expanding, with distinguished firms such as GDF Suez E&P, Talisman Sinopec Energy UK Ltd and Maersk Oil UK Ltd signing contracts. A major deal, valued at £1 million, was also made with EnQuest in September 2012. Fabricom is to support Aberdeen-based EnQuest in modifications and upgrades to extend the operating life of the Thistle Alpha platform, located 275 miles northeast of Aberdeen as part of EnQuest’s Late Life Extension (LLX) strategy. “I think our company is a good fit for EnQuest. Another year down the line and we are a much more established business with a proven track record behind us. We have a number of high quality engineers and designers available, which was definitely a key selling point,” says Allan. A proven team of talented engineers will be utilised from Fabricom’s Newcastle engineering office to execute the work. “We have also just secured some work with Total Netherlands and recently won another contract, which will be announced shortly. We are expecting to secure more clients in Q2 and Q3 of this year,” adds Allan.

With aims of becoming a key player in offering added-value onshore and offshore services and solutions to companies in the oil, gas and energy markets in Europe, the engineering company is investing heavily in its own academy. Hailed as “a crucial investment in the next generation of talent and towards ensuring the future prosperity of the UK’s energy industry” by leading authorities, the Fabricom Offshore Services Academy in Newcastle was developed by engineers for engineers. “We see this as an integral part of the sustainability of our business moving forward. There is a huge time bomb in the industry, due to a very highly experienced aging workforce, and we are aware that if you don’t have initiatives like our academy then you won’t have a sustainable business in five to ten years’ time,” highlights Allan.

Providing fully-integrated training, learning and development options through programmes aimed at graduates and apprentices, the academy already has over 30 people undergoing courses at various levels of expertise with another intake of approximately 12 expected in 2013. Demand for skills in the oil and gas sector remains high, and Fabricom is keen to develop its workforce with the necessary skills and experience to meet the needs of its clients by significantly expanding the number of people in its academy, as Allan explains: “Our recruitment strategy is multi-faceted, with the bulk of our future workforce coming from our trainees and graduates. We have also opened up our Teesside operation, which will allow us to draw in an excellent pool of quality resource in that region.”

Having opened a new office in Teesside in 2012, Fabricom signed a lease agreement on a second space in the same building on Belasis Hall Technology Park in October following six months of rapid expansion. With a head office in Quorum Business Park, Newcastle, the company currently has 45 Teesside employees across the two sites, but Allan has plans to create at least 60 more jobs on Teesside in the next two years. The expansion coincided with Fabricom’s fifth birthday, and at a time of stratospheric growth and recognition for the company’s offshore services.

On top of its expansion in Teesside, Fabricom has moved into larger premises in Aberdeen with the intention of growing its Scottish office significantly over the next 12 months. “Aberdeen is the headquarters of the UK oil and gas industry and we need to develop a much stronger presence there so we have recently recruited some well-established professionals in the area,” says Allan. Along with expansions in its portfolio and locations, the company has also been expanding its value chain in the past 12-18 months by developing its ability to provide a full market offering, from study phase through to offshore construction. “We have new clients and opportunities but we are also developing and enhancing our offerings to existing clients too,” says Allan. “We have quite an optimistic view of the market place at the moment.”

February 2013 marked a major milestone for Fabricom Offshore Services, a subsidiary of Fabricom Oil, Gas & Power, after it recorded one million man hours worked without a single reportable incident or Lost Time Incident (LTI). The achievement is testament to the high levels of awareness it has for health, safety, environment and quality (HSEQ) and also spans the five year history of work Fabricom has carried out both onshore and offshore across the UK Continental Shelf and Norway. “We are very proud of this achievement as safety is the cornerstone of our business, not only for our personnel in a working environment, but also in terms of safety and design as well. It is a focus right through our business and something we will be concentrating on,” says Allan.

Looking to the future, Fabricom views the market as buoyant with plenty of opportunities available and will be focusing on finishing and delivering projects on time over the next nine months while also taking on new clients. “Our strategy is overall the same; we are looking to expand our client portfolio, increase our market offering and make the business more sustainable. We also aim to continue with an aggressive training and development strategy to develop our workforce via our academy and to continue growing a strong presence in Aberdeen,” Allan concludes.

Fabricom Offshore Services
Services: Multi-disciplined offshore solutions