PSL Energy Services Awarded Caspian Contract

PSL Energy Services has been a major multi-million dollar Caspian contract which will create up to 50 new jobs in Aberdeen and Azerbaijan.

PSL was awarded the contract by McDermott Caspian Contractors Incorporated (MCCI) for the Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC) development with all the work being carried out in Baku.

The initial work-scope is for nitrogen/helium leak detection and bolting services for the process facilities on the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli field. Developed by BP on behalf of AIOC, the field lies 120 miles off the Azerbaijan coast and is forecast to yield up to 1 million barrels of oil a day within a few years.

The topside contract is for work on the first platform of a planned three and PSL hope that on completion it will be in a good position to bid for further work on the other decks which are scheduled to be operational in 2005 and 2006.

A critical element of the work scope will be providing training for Azerbaijan nationals in flange management and leak testing skills and initially up to 24 new jobs will be created in Baku but that could rise to as many as 40.

PSL Energy Services managing director, Doug Duguid, revealed the Aberdeen based company had been pursuing the MCCI contract for more than a year and said securing the bid was the direct result of establishing a regional base in Baku.

Mr. Duguid said the new work was a significant step towards internationalizing PSL's core activities and establishing a foothold in the strategically important Caspian region. He said: "This contract is hugely important for PSL in terms of growing the business internationally and it gives us an excellent opportunity to showcase our workforce, products and technical skills. This gives us a strong foundation in Azerbaijan on which we can build and I am delighted for our team based in Baku who have put in a power of work to secure this contract.

"We believe it is necessary to have our own people and facilities on the ground in Baku to allow us to respond quickly to the requirements of the lead contractors and operators in this important sector and our foresight is paying off.

"Integral to the contract is to provide training to the Azerbaijan workforce and we delighted to be able to pass on our technical skills and in the process to reinvest in the local economy by creating jobs.

"Since our MBO in April we have continued to strengthen our reputation for providing top quality workmanship and innovative solutions by winning some very important contracts. This latest award confirms we are moving on to a new level and is the perfect start to 2004 which is looking to be a very promising year for the company." Operations director for the Central Azeri Platform, Gordon Phillips, said: “During the final negotiation phase and subsequent execution of the work, PSL have been very responsive and accommodating to proposals made by MCCI.

“PSL's personnel have quickly integrated into the MCCI site organization to establish a truly team approach for the timely completion of the piping sub-systems. We are very happy with the performance and the flexible approach being taken by PSL to accommodate a tight and technically challenging schedule.”

Mike Rumbles, MSP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, praised PSL’s drive to internationalize the business.

Mr Rumbles said: “"I am delighted that PSL has been awarded this important contract. The management and staff at PSL are to be congratulated for the dramatic turn around of their business in the last year. I am well aware of the important contribution that companies like PSL make to the local economy and I wish the company every success for the future."

Initially discovered and developed in the Soviet era, the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) field contains at least 5.4 billion barrels of recoverable oil and lies some 120 kilometers off the coast of Azerbaijan in 120 meters of water.

The Chirag portion of the contract area (Early Oil Project) is currently producing up to 140,000 barrels per day (bpd) and undergoing further development.

Work is underway on the ACG Full Field Development project (FFD), which plans to develop the Azeri and Deepwater Gunashli portions of the contract area. Phase 1 of the three phase project was approved in August 2001 and will develop the central part of the Azeri field with first oil production scheduled for late in 2004/early 2005.