Norson Group Sells Pipeline Services Business to BJ

Privately-owned Scottish company, Norson Group, has sold its process, pipeline and umbilical business to BJ Process and Pipeline Services.

BJ has acquired Norson Services Limited for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition will enable BJ to add a range of specialist services to its current portfolio and fully exploit the burgeoning subsea sector.

Norson Services is a UK market leader in pipeline, process and umbilical services. With oil exploration moving into deeper waters Norson's remote subsea pigging and flooding technology and its umbilical testing capability have proved key factors in production operations.

Norson Services personnel, including director Les Graves, will move to BJ with immediate effect.

Norson Group will continue to drive forward its hydraulic business Norson Power, one of Scotland's leading hydraulic services companies and a major distributor of world-renowned Parker Hannifin products. The company focuses on the design and construction of hydraulic systems, system and component maintenance and the supply of hydraulic parts. Its highly skilled workforce operates in the North Sea, the Caspian and West Africa as well as outwith the oil and gas industry in sectors such as utilities and transport.

Norson Services was owned by the management with equity from clients of Aberdeen Asset Managers and 3i.

Commenting on the deal managing director of Norson Group, Bill Bell, said: "This is an attractive deal for both parties. Adding Norson Services niche capabilities, expertise and experience to their global process and pipeline business will undoubtedly enhance its business around the world. Equally it represents an opportunity for Norson's management and our private equity investors to realise their investment and for the company to focus on and drive forward our hydraulic business."

Lindsay Link, general manager of BJ Process and Pipeline Services added: "Norson's subsea expertise, particularly its subsea units which include remote pigging and flooding, subsea hydrotesting and subsea data logging will complement BJ's service lines and allow us to capitalise on the increasing demand for subsea pipeline commissioning and umbilical testing services driven by the rise in the use of floating production systems for offshore oil production."

BJ Process and Pipeline Services will benefit from the expertise of Norson Services's 68-strong workforce which is currently carrying out operations in the USA, Egypt, West Africa and the North Sea. Plans are already underway to train selected BJ staff in Norson's specialist disciplines as well as training Norson employees how to carry out BJ's operations.

Les Graves, director of Norson Services is looking forward to the challenge of integrating the companies. "Becoming a part of BJ represents a considerable shift in our ability to penetrate global markets, using our specialist range of subsea equipment within their established international network."