New Consultancy Aims to Transform Front-End Development for Offshore Fields

A new consultancy, aimed at transforming the development of front-end design solutions for offshore oil and gas fields, launched in London Thursday.

io oil & gas consulting –  which is backed by oilfield engineering firms GE Oil & Gas and McDermott International – aims to deliver greater certainty into the design and planning of offshore oil and gas fields as well as an overhauling of the relationship between operators and engineering contractors. According to the firm's CEO, Dan Jackson, it will achieve this by using the knowledge of the engineering contractor community through its parent companies' expertize to better guide offshore projects at the development stage.

"What we are doing is bringing a lot more certainty earlier in the planning stage… so that the client can go to the contractors with a lot more certainty and the contractors, conversely, are assured that they are on the same page as the client," Jackson told Rigzone.

"io is an independent consultancy. What the backing behind this is all about is to make sure that we start to stabilize the market and that we change the market. We need to move away from the hiatus that we have… At the moment we have got some very high-profile big projects being put on hold or being cancelled. And that's just not the independents; that's the major oil companies, the independents and the NOCs [national oil companies]. That's three very different groups all challenged by the current environment.

"This isn't just the oil price. The oil price is volatile, it's cyclical and it's taken a hammering in the last six months. That's just added to what was already in place. Six months ago there was a challenging environment for the offshore business and it's just been exasperated by the oil price."

io's scope will range through portfolio evaluation, exploration and planning support, appraisal and feasibility, conceptual engineering and FEED (front-end engineering design) to the final investment decision. The firm is headquartered in London and plans to launch satellite offices in the US and Asia.


A former engineer, Jon is an award-winning editor who has covered the technology, engineering and energy sectors since the mid-1990s. Email Jon at


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