06/02/2015 - 14:56

Perth shift signals 3B Survey intent

06/02/2015 - 14:56

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Specialist oil and gas services company 3B Survey has bucked the gloomy mood in the sector by shifting its Australian head office to Perth to pursue growth opportunities.

Perth shift signals 3B Survey intent
TARGET: Martin Cooper wants to double 3B Survey’s current Australian staff to about 70. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Specialist oil and gas services company 3B Survey has bucked the gloomy mood in the sector by shifting its Australian head office to Perth to pursue growth opportunities.

“We see massive potential,” managing director Martin Cooper said.

The growing volume of maintenance and modification work on established oil and gas facilities is seen as the main growth driver.

Mr Cooper said he could also see plenty of opportunities in the mining sector, which he was seeking to educate about the benefits of the company’s specialist dimensional survey services.

He said increased use of dimensional survey techniques in the oil and gas sector reflected the greater focus on safety since the Piper Alpha disaster in the North Sea in 1988.

Dimensional surveying involves the use of laser scanners and other techniques to measure three-dimensional spaces.

It is ideally suited to offshore platforms and processing plants, where manual access is limited by the sites’ remote and hazardous nature, tight spaces and densely packed equipment.

Competitors include Fugro Spatial Solution, which is part of the global group Fugro, and diversified international company Intertek.

3B was established in Aberdeen in 2007 with a staff of two surveyors and a crew of six riggers and welders, and still has two directors based there.

Mr Cooper moved to Melbourne eight years ago and built up the operation as 3B Consultancy Services there after winning a big contract with Esso.

The business is currently rebranding as 3B Survey.

3B has had a presence in Perth since 2010, and has about 35 staff and contractors across Australia.

“I want to double that,” Mr Cooper said.

The transfer of the Australian head office to Perth was in response to the increased project investment in the state.

“Perth is the oil and gas capital of the region,” Mr Cooper said.

3B’s Australian client list includes ExxonMobil, along with engineering contractors such as Amec Foster Wheeler, Wood Group, WorleyParsons, Conneq, BAE Systems and Atkins.

3B Survey joins a long list of European oil and gas services companies expanding their WA operations, with recent examples including Norway’s Kongsberg Oil & Gas Technologies, Aberdeen-based Swire Oilfield Services, Xodus Group, Viking SeaTech, and Global Energy Group.

GEG is actually reversing the trend, with its Perth-based subsidiary, Vertech Group, taking its services to the North Sea market this year.

Vertech specialises in rope and alternative access to perform inspection, maintenance and construction activities.

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