Sparrows Snags Multi-Million Pound Contract with BP

Sparrows has signed a new multi-million pound contract with BP Exploration which will see the company provide all crane and lifting engineering services on BP's 26 UK offshore installations and at their 4 onshore terminals through until 2015.

The deal, worth in excess of £15 million per annum, means that Sparrows will have had an unbroken relationship spanning 40 years with BP in the North Sea. It was in 1975 that Sparrows sent its first offshore crane operator to work in BP's Forties Field, and Sparrows has been BP's principal offshore lifting engineering and crane operating/maintenance contractor in the North Sea ever since.

The contract secures 76 jobs at Sparrows in the BP 'core' team on and offshore, but also provides work for many other Sparrows employees locally. In 2009, for example, additional engineering design, project management, maintenance, modification and repair works on and offshore provided work for the equivalent of a further 52 full time employees at Sparrows – and the 2010 workload is significantly greater. The new contract is likely to create a further 6-10 jobs with Sparrows.

"Taking together the core team, the wider engineering work scopes and the support teams in HSEQ, HR, Finance, etc, the BP contract – which is Sparrows' largest in the UK – provides secure employment for 140-150 Sparrows Aberdeen-based staff," said Sparrows Executive Director, Eastern Hemisphere, Richard Wilson.

"Winning the new BP contract was an important measure of Sparrows ability to adapt to new client needs in the rapidly changing world energy market," said Richard Wilson. "In no way is the new contract a simple renewal of the previous deal – it represents new ways of delivering greater value to BP, while still maintaining the highest standards of safety and equipment integrity which are vital for safe offshore lifting operations."

The contract covers: crane management, operation, maintenance, modification and upgrade; provision of offshore riggers, rigging lofts and rigging equipment; lifting engineering support for shutdown and other maintenance/modification projects; certification of fixed lifting equipment; 3rd party review of lifting plans; and provision of lifting expert consultancy services to the BP technical authority.

"Sparrows 40 year partnership with BP is an example of all that is best about what the oil and gas industry has brought to Aberdeen," says Sparrows chief executive, Doug Sedge. "As our first client in 1975, BP gave us the opportunity to form a new Aberdeen company. Their contracts have already provided 35 years - almost a career lifetime - of highly skilled and well-paid work for 100+ of our people locally. The company they helped us to create now employs around 1500 people worldwide, over 900 of them in Aberdeen and offshore UK, and is one of Aberdeen's big success stories on the world energy services stage."

Sparrows received the Queen's Award for Enterprise in 2010 for export development, having more than trebled export sales to £78 million annually from total sales of £165 million.