A renewed approach
Operating as global oil services company with a heritage in drilling and well services that dates back over more than 40 years, Archer currently employs more than 5000 people across 40 locations in 19 countries. The company provides services that range from well integrity and intervention, plug and abandonment to decommissioning operations, which is carried out in accordance to the highest levels of safety for the drilling and well service markets. The company was originally founded in 1972 as Smedvig Drilling AS, which provided mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) and platform drilling and maintenance services to the Norwegian and UK sectors of the North Sea. During 2006 Smedvig Drilling AS was acquired by the Norwegian drilling contractor company Seadrill.
In 2007 the platform drilling, drilling facility engineering, wireline and oiltools divisions of Seadrill were spun off to create a new company called Seawell and Seadrill retained control of all of the existing semis, jack up and tender units. In February 2011, following a series of global land and offshore drilling, technology and service acquisitions, Seawell was subsequently rebranded as Archer Limited. Today Archer operates with eight key product lines and services globally, consisting of platform drilling, offshore modular rigs, engineering, land drilling, wireline, oiltools, rental services and frac valves. Within the UK, Archer currently maintains an operational headquarters in Blackburn, Aberdeenshire, located north of Aberdeen. “We currently employ over 700 on and offshore personnel at Archer UK Limited and the company is currently the largest provider of platform drilling operations and maintenance services on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS),” said Vice President for Platform Drilling for Archer UK, Kenny Dey. “This includes drilling, maintenance and plug and abandon operations relating to 24 platforms as well as a MODU tender barge, with the provided products and services including drilling facility engineering, survey and inspection; drilling equipment rentals; oiltools; and wireline services.”
Archer UK clients include globally recognised industry players such as Apache, Chevron, Fairfield Betula, Marathon Oil, Shell UK Limited, Talisman Sinopec Energy UK Limited as well as Energean Oil & Gas – a Greek operation supported from the UK. Elsewhere in the North Sea, Archer also provides extensive operation support services to market-leading operators within the Norwegian sector such as BP, ConocoPhillips, Repsol and Statoil. During March 2016, Archer announced a two-year extension to its contract to provide drilling platform services for Statoil. This includes the provision of onshore management teams and offshore drilling and maintenance personnel for Statoil’s Statfjord A, B, and C platforms. In addition Archer was awarded new assets as part of the re-bid exercise, these are the Njord, Sleipner A, Snorre A, Snorre B, and Visund. These additional assets will be under Archer contract from October 1 2016.
“Archer will provide drilling and maintenance personnel and onshore management of the drilling facilities located on these contracted assets. For the operational assets, Archer provides the core operational drilling personnel to carry out all out client’s well programme activities as safely and as efficiently as possible, while the support of our maintenance teams ensure that the drilling facilities deliver strong operational performance,” Mr Dey said. “Where the asset is non-operational, Archer offshore maintenance personnel supplemented by key designated operations support, preserve and maintain the drilling facility, to ensure that the assets are available as and when required to support remedial well intervention work and that a return to or from operational mode is conducted effectively.
“Our onshore support teams help to ensure that all assets under Archer’s control deliver safe and efficient operations and that these assets are maintained to a high standard. This includes the management of relevant certification and legislative requirements.”
While the low cost of oil has resulted in a significant slowdown of activity within the oil and gas market globally, Archer remains confident that its proven excellence in delivering cost-saving efficiencies and reliable maintenance solutions will enable the company to continue to win new contracts during the coming years. “Right now we are in one of the worst, if not, the worst downturns the industry has experienced. However, there are opportunities out there, as many operators are looking to the market to establish what technical and commercial advantages there are. As a company, we are working hard on both a local and global level to seek these out and deliver strong technical and commercial solutions to these prospective clients. We believe the unique combination of the people and technology that Archer offers, combined with the performance of our personnel, will give us opportunities to grow our business despite challenging conditions,” Mr Dey said.
“Archer endeavours to have a partnership approach with our key suppliers as we strongly believe this benefits both parties. Suppliers also need to have vision and a willingness to adapt quickly to support market conditions and their clients’ operational demands,” he said.
“A good supplier is one that offers strong service, high quality and solid reliability. Good communication is also key because we believe that working in close partnership with suppliers to improve systems and processes brings visibility and a better understanding of one another’s needs. This adds value to supporting operational demands and client base, whilst helping to drive efficiencies and support a sustainable industry.”
Throughout all of its operations, Archer ensures that it works closely with its clients to ensure that it acts as a solution provider to technically demanding challenges. In recent years the company has invested significant time, resources and funds in focusing on its core values of safety, integrity and performance, with investments ranging from personnel training to competency development programmes to and new systems and technologies that make operations safer and ultimately save time and money for its customers. These values will continue to be of vital importance over the coming months and years as the offshore industry works to emerge from its current downturn and generate new growth in the future.
“During the next 12 months, Archer is focusing on safety and high quality service delivery to our clients and on ensuring a continuous improvement process to ensure a sustainable future performance,” Mr Dey said.
“Over the next three to five years, Archer will continue to build on our existing service andtechnology portfolio with one key focus areabeing plug and abandonment (P&A) service offerings. P&A activity is anticipated to increase significantly in the North Sea region over this period and Archer will seek to build on some of our technology and service offering differentiators. In general, any opportunities for growth, whether organic, through acquisition and or collaboration will be addressed on a case by case basis.”
Archer UK Ltd
Services: Offshore platform drilling and engineering