Doris executives Nicolas Parsloe (left) and Benoit Lamoureux expect tier two oil and gas businesses will begin to kick off new projects. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

Doris engineering Perth opportunities

Tuesday, 14 August, 2018 - 09:57

Paris-based upstream oil and gas engineering business Doris Engineering has set up shop in Perth as it prepares for the next wave of local major projects to get under way.

Doris, which employs about 800 people worldwide, has previous experience in the local market in work such as front-end engineering and design, but officially opened its Perth office last week.

The business’s local resumé includes Inpex’s Ichthys LNG project, which pipes gas from the Browse Basin to Darwin, where Doris took part in a joint venture with Clough.

Other contracts in the Western Australian market have included for Engie and Santos at the Bonaparte FLNG project, which includes the Frigate, Tern and Petrel fields.

Doris Asia Pacific managing director Benoit Lamoureux told Business News the company’s operations across South-East Asian would be based out of Perth.

Mr Lamoureux said recent work had included for Western Gas on the Equus gas project in the Carnarvon Basin.

Doris is positioning itself for work among proponents moving on mid size and smaller projects.

“We are definitely targeting what I call the junior or tier two operators,” Mr Lamoureux said.

“There are new projects coming up, things are picking up definitely … and the price of the barrel (of oil) is obviously helping operators to spend money.”

Mr Lamoureux highlighted the recent drilling success of Quadrant Energy and Carnarvon Petroleum at the Dorado field in the Carnarvon Basin as examples of the opportunities on the horizon in WA.

“There are a lot of smaller companies that are popping up –Western Gas, Neptune Energy, which just bought the Bonaparte field from Engie – those new companies have been trying to develop those fields in the past few years but with the downturn everything stops,” he said.

“Now you can see that there’s been funds approved, people are being employed again.

“There’s less availability on the market for good engineers.

“Team are being set up, offices are being re-opened.”

Doris chief executive Nicolas Parsloe said the trend towards smaller companies stepping up project development was echoed in other jurisdictions.

“We’re seeing here in Australia you have these independents with their new fields, we have the same thing in the UK with smaller companies taking over old fields and looking to develop (them),” he said.

“That’s one of the big reasons for setting up the office here.”

Mr Parsloe said the business had put a lot of energy into reducing costs during the downturn, including shrinking the size of a floating production unit by about 30 per cent.

Despite the improved oil price, Mr Parsloe said oil and gas juniors would still be looking for a cost-focused approach as their operations would need to be lean.