More commercial innovation in North Sea than any other part of the world, says BHGE

The North Sea is producing more commercial innovations than any other part of the world, according to a boss at Baker Hughes GE (BHGE).

Romain Chambault, European director for oilfield equipment, said he has been impressed with the level of resilience the region has shown in the wake of the downturn.

He added that the type of innovation has gone beyond technical, with new ways of working with partners.

“I am very impressed with this area, it is not just the UK but the wider North Sea”, he said.

“It has been very resilient, it is propping a lot of innovation and it is not just innovation from a pure technical standpoint.

“Commercial innovation – we’re a big actor and a big sponsor of that to some extent – but we are seeing that in this region more than any other in the world actually.”

The firm, which employs more than 1,000 people around the Aberdeen area, said it is seeing more activity than in recent years gone by, particularly in tie-backs with fast deliveries and faster returns on investments.

Mr Chambault, speaking during Offshore Europe last week, said the wave of new or smaller players such as Chrysaor and other private equity-backed companies snapping up assets presents an opportunity for BHGE.

He added: “We see that as a potential opportunity because first they want to revive the UK basin.

“The OGA is pushing for it and those small companies, typically backed-up by private equity, have also a need to show value to their investors and they want to prop some of the activity here as well.

“They need to of it safely and with the right return on investment but we are seeing renewed activity in the area.

“The other opportunity for us as a company is there are new ways to work with them. We’re a big corporation that is very present in the UK and we believe that is an advantage for them.”

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