Oil and gas efficiency drive grows hire business for bolting company

A growing trend for oil and gas companies to train staff to use hire equipment for work previously contracted out is increasing business for an expanding supply company.

In the drive for greater offshore industry cost-efficiency, businesses are renting portable machines for pipe cutting, bevelling and flange-facing at every stage, from installation to decommissioning.

Great Yarmouth-based Gee-Force Hydraulics has responded to demand by stocking its workshop shelves with portable machines that would previously have been driven from Aberdeen or the Midlands, along with the personnel to use them. Its range will be demonstrated to industry professionals at the flagship exhibition and conference focused on the southern North Sea, SNS2019, organised by the East of England Energy Group (EEEGR) at the Norfolk Showground, Norwich, next month.

Managing director Graeme Cook said its core items were pipe cutting and bevelling and flange facing portable machines.

“We have this equipment on our shelves now. We have made it our business to understand the equipment and give the industry what it wants when it needs it. It is increasingly important for companies to take cost-saving measures, so having people who are multi-skilled, trained on portable equipment, and hiring it in suits the climate and means they don’t have to bring contractors in. Once you know how to use the equipment, it is straightforward to operate. We are seeing a real increase in hire, but some clients have bought their portable machines. We have just sold one to be used in decommissioning. Being part of the HTL Group gives us access to the widest range of our core bolting and ancillary equipment available in the UK, in addition to portable machines, cutting equipment, subsea equipment and maintenance equipment. We look forward to showing off our portable machines at SNS2019.”

For the first time, the 12th SNS event will have outside space for exhibitors to demonstrate equipment. Gee-Force will have the HTL and Climax Tools demonstration vans outside, as well as its indoor exhibition stand with their regular ‘supporter’, five-times World’s Strongest Man finalist Laurence Shahlaei.