National Oilwell Varco UK

Handling the pressure

National Oilwell Varco is a leading provider of the highest quality oilfield products and services to the global oil and gas industry.

As a large multi-national company, based in Houston, Texas, it provides a comprehensive range of services, including the design, manufacture and sale of drilling and service related systems and components. NOV’s product range is used in oil and gas drilling, as well as production, the provision of oilfield tubular inspection, internal tubular coatings and other services. Additionally it provides supply chain integration services to the upstream oil and gas industry.

National Oilwell Varco’s expansive product portfolio includes drilling and pressure control components for land and offshore drilling rigs, fully integrated drilling packages, as well as complete land drilling and well servicing rigs. Major product lines include top drives, pipe racking systems, iron roughnecks, drawworks, mud pumps, power swivels, AC drive and SCR systems, rotary tables blow out preventers, handling tools and travelling equipment. In addition to this the company also designs and produces a wide selection of downhole products, which include drilling motors and specialised drilling tools, available to rent and for sale to clients across the world. After market spare parts services are provided via dedicated spare parts support groups, or alternatively through the centralised Distribution Services Network. NOV aftermarket support is located in all major global areas and available through a network of distribution centres located close to all major drilling and production activities.

The UK NOV Rig Solutions division deals with sales and aftermarket services for drilling products. Dave Mclean, operations director of the UK division, describes the business: “The division as it is set up at the moment includes sales, service, repair and aftermarket services for all Rig Solutions product lines from within the company and includes dedicated project support. The main difference between the UK business and the Norwegian operation for example is that the UK is not an equipment manufacturing location.

“The Rig Solutions business here in the UK also includes two smaller operations in Glasgow – Amclyde Norson and Sevenoaks – Procon Engineering, which are slightly diversified from the supply of drilling equipment. The Glasgow operation manufactures specialised pipe-laying systems, and the Sevenoaks business is more diverse, fabricating measuring and weighing systems for the nuclear industry amongst others. The work the Sevenoaks group carries out is very much outside the oilfield. As far as the Rig Solutions business here in the UK is concerned, we operate from two main locations – Aberdeen and Montrose. The Aberdeen office provides capital equipment sales and spare parts services, while the Montrose operation provides service, repairs, rental, project engineering and training disciplines.

“Rig Solutions UK is part of the larger NOV European operation, which also includes NOV Rig Solutions locations in Norway, France, Holland and Russia, all of which co-operate closely to ensure the success of our European and global business. The depth of available product lines and services that NOV offers is a distinct advantage and creates a one-solution source for our customers’ needs. National Oilwell Varco is present in all areas globally of the oil and gas market, a fact that we know provides significant benefit to our customer base. Customer enquiries for single products through to full drilling and rig package proposals are handled according to customer needs and include project specific engineering services where required. NOV leads the market for this type integrated service.”

He goes on to speak about the company’s development within the current financial crisis: “Like many other companies and the industry in general at this time, our UK business faces the challenge of seeking and supporting new business in the high cost operational area within the North Sea oilfield, whilst also looking to business generated in other lower cost geographical areas to ensure our continued success. Customers continue to unveil and develop plans for existing and future projects, but with a volatile oil price we do understand the need to be receptive to the cost challenges they face at this time.

“The North Sea is a significant part of our business and today provides the majority of the sales and aftermarket business we enjoy, however a high percentage of our revenue also comes from outside this area. At this time customers are hinting that towards the end of the year we will continue to see some improvements in the industry in general, which should continue into 2010. That will obviously take some time to translate into additional business for our type of products and services, but a positive point is that we currently have a very healthy backlog and are moving through the year still producing large quantities of equipment for contracts and projects that are ongoing.”

Finally David concludes that the company’s internal strength in depth will see it through the immediate uncertain future: “Historically the various mergers and acquisitions that the business has undergone have made National Oilwell Varco into the strong multi-faceted business we see today. The UK group has been a fundamental part of the company’s global operation and while within the larger organisation it is a smaller component, it remains a very important and key aspect of the company structure, and so I do expect to see it grow in line with the global expectations of National Oilwell Varco’s future.”

National Oilwell Varco UK

Services: Oil and gas drilling equipment