Aqualis Offshore, a new marine oil and gas-focused consultancy, plans to employ five times its current workforce within three years as it seeks to fill a gap in the market for offshore oil and gas consultants worldwide.
Launched this summer, the firm already has more than 40 consultants working for it in offices worldwide with a total directly-employed workforce of 80 staff expected to be in place by the end of this year, according to Aqualis CEO David Wells.
"For the first year, we're pretty much on target in terms of number of people. We were targeting 70 people but it's looking like it'll be 80 now. In three years we’re targeting about 200 people," Wells said in a phone interview with Rigzone Friday.
Aqualis will be going head-to-head against existing oil and gas consultancies such as Global Maritime, London Offshore Consultants and Braemar Seascope. But Wells said that the time was ripe for a new offshore consultancy due to a currently buoyant market.
"We feel that at least for the next five years the market will be very buoyant. There's a limited number of consultants in the market in terms of what we do: marine engineering exclusively for the oil and gas industry. The existing players are... overloaded and some of them are a little bit distracted in terms of recent acquisitions and amalgamations and I guess the industry is growing inwards a little bit. So, there's room for a new player to enter the market to take up the space that is available."
Aqualis has already set up offices in London, UK; Sandefjord, Norway; Houston, US; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Singapore; Dubai, UAE; and Dammam, Saudi Arabia.
The firm plans to focus on emerging markets for oil and gas. For example, Aqualis' Singapore office’s main contract at the moment is in China. And it expects to soon be active offshore Western Australia as well. "I think within 12 to 18 months we'll have an office in Perth," Wells added.
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