Issue 05 2012
The right chemistry
Whilst for many larger service companies the field of oilfield chemicals is merely another part of an overall contract, Roemex Speciality Oilfield Chemicals Limited has applied specific focus to this area for the last 26 years.
As a result, the company is a leader in the development, manufacture and supply of crucial completion and production chemicals. Many of these activities are carried out at Roemex’s strategic headquarters in Portlethen, Aberdeen where it maintains blending facilities, laboratories and warehousing, but are supported by the company’s own Dubai office, sister companies Ramex (Norway) and Ryemex (Nigeria), and a network of agents and partnerships throughout the key global oil and gas regions.
Initially, Roemex was focused on completion chemicals, which still forms the core of the business. This includes the supply of speciality chemicals to clean the wellbore prior to completion in both cased and open hole applications as well as the provision of inhibitors and additives for completion fluids. In 1989, a production chemicals division of Roemex was formed for in-field applications such as enhancing production or mitigating problems associated with these processes. These fall into a number of broad categories including demulsifiers, deoilers, corrosion inhibitors, scale inhibitors and dissolvers, wax inhibitors, and biocides.
In its ambitions to meet client expectations, Roemex has also added various other chemical solutions to its portfolio over the years such as friction reducers and liquid viscosifiers. More recently, stimulation chemicals for enhanced production and pipe dope dissolvers have been added.
Although technically still incorporated within the production chemicals division, the evolution of Roemex’s hydrotesting products means that this now stands alone as a separate product line. One of the key applications of these chemicals is in the pressure testing of pipelines where Roemex is able to offer a variety of encapsulated products for delayed release as required by service/oil companies.
“As a smaller sized company, we are able to react and respond very quickly to specific client requests,” notes general manager Kenny Woods. “This means that we can develop bespoke chemicals when required to meet specific client applications.”
“In many instances a satisfactory solution to an oilfield issue may not exist, which allows us to utilise our expertise and technical capabilities to engineer one,” agrees Dr Greig Fraser, global business manager for production chemicals. “Many of the larger players in this market are unable to focus on the smaller more specific issues, but it is in these areas that we have become invaluable to our customers. Roemex likes to call this ‘Problem Ownership’ where it focuses on the client’s problem and takes responsibility in finding the most efficient and cost effective solution. “We also have a strong focus on green chemistry with an ambition to produce the most environmentally friendly products that we possibly can.”
The success of this strategy is evident in Roemex’s current order books, which show a real spread of new, and on-going accounts. This includes long term contracts for the supply of completion chemicals to Talisman, Venture/Centrica and Apache in the North Sea, TOTAL West Africa, Husky in Eastern Canada and Woodside Australia to name a few. In the UK North Sea, Roemex are responsible for the management of Maersk NSP and Teekay Banff production chemistry requirements. In the completion chemicals division Roemex has just secured a contract for the supply of lubricants to an operator in the Middle East, which is now one of its biggest contracts to date. Roemex has successfully secured new contracts recently in Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar and Trinidad. Elsewhere, the production chemistry division has been working with a large operator for the supply of wax control solutions in Turkmenistan, and sour gas issues in Kurdistan,” adds Greig.
As the costs of oil and gas exploration and production continue to rise, through a combination of more difficult reserves and more remote environments, the need to eliminate common concerns and enhance performance has perhaps never been so high.
In terms of how this translates into the company’s forward strategy, Kenny remarks: “In the next five years I hope to see the business double in terms of contracts and revenue. The development of ever greener, better performing products is a key part of this.” Roemex has long considered that the best route to new and best in class technologies is through synergistic strategies such as in-house R&D, development with supply chain partners, and targeted joint industry initiatives to tackle tomorrow’s challenges.
“Plans have been laid down for continuous improvement in the long-term. We remain committed to our current customer base and are focusing on higher-activity areas such as Brazil and India to establish ourselves in these areas. We have the chemistry, the people, and the capabilities today, but for the next five years we will look to expand to become an even stronger partner,” concludes Greig.
The founder and managing director of Roemex, Mr. Richard A Simcox, has ensured that the company has always been financially stable, even in recession testing times. Throughout the existence of Roemex, Mr. Simcox has always, when possible, ensured that local community projects, sports organisations, schools etc. benefit from the profits made by the company. Particularly in the last ten years, Roemex has assisted in all of these types of organisations just mentioned, but has also contributed in a considerable way to Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP). FOP is one of the rarest, most disabling genetic bone conditions known to medicine.
Throughout the 12 years of support for FOP, Roemex has ensured that additional researchers/scientists have been recruited, and have supported Oxford and Aberdeen Universities, who are assisting the FOP research base in Pennsylvania, US. See more details at: www.ifopa.org/de/what-is-fop/overview.html More recently Roemex has supported research work at the university of Aberdeen’s IMS (Institute of Medical Sciences) and has actively supported its new Kosterlitz initiative to evolve new drug therapies.
Roemex is also involved in a current engineering project, Bloodhound SSC (www.bloodhoundssc.com). This project is primarily aiming to achieve a new land speed record of 1000 mph while promoting engineering to schools in the UK. Roemex, as ever, is delighted to support this project.
Products: Completion chemicals and lubricants