Total awards multi-million pound North Sea deal to new UK consortium

A newly-formed consortium led by French, family-owned firm Ponticelli has landed a five-year deal to support oil major Total’s UK North Sea platforms.

PBS comprises Paris-headquartered Ponticelli UK, Brand Energy and Infra Structure Services, which is part of US group BrandSafway, and Danish firm Semco Maritime.

The deal is the first UK North Sea contract for PBS, which will operate out of Westhill, near Aberdeen.

More than 500 employees, onshore and offshore, will be involved in providing services to Total under the new contract.

The workforce figure consists of a core team from the three PBS member companies, but most will join the consortium from Total or contractors who used to provide operations and maintenance support services.

The agreement will come into effect in the second quarter of 2020.

Its value was not disclosed, but it is likely to be worth tens of millions of pounds.

PBS will manage asset integrity, maintenance and reliability, fabric maintenance, shutdowns and modification projects for all Total UK operated assets, which currently produce more than 250,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Its operated installations include Elgin-Franklin, Alwyn, Dunbar and Culzean.

Before hiring PBS, these services were provided to Total by a host of contractors, including Aker Solutions, Petrofac, Worley, Stork, Muehlhan, Bilfinger and Wood.

Thierry Le Gangneux, group executive vice-president and director for Ponticelli UK, said: “This award represents an exciting formation of a new consortium based on shared values, visions and the need for change within the industry.

“We have worked with Total previously in Europe and West Africa and this long-standing relationship means we are well positioned and committed to providing safe, reliable and efficient operational support in the delivery of their GMOC (General Maintenance and Operations Support Contract) in the United Kingdom.

“By harnessing each of the PBS partners’ specialist capabilities and bringing them together under the consortium, TEPUK (Total Exploration & Production UK) will benefit from our decades of collective knowledge and experience from within the wider Ponticelli, Brand and Semco business units.”

Total said it “will remain in full control” of all its North Sea operations.

Jean-Luc Guiziou, managing director of Total E&P UK, said: “In the last few years we have consistently sought to improve safety and efficiency at our UK sites.

“By continuing to invest in our operations and constantly seeking new and more efficient ways of working, Total is underlining its long-term commitment to the North Sea.”