North Sea operators come together to drive costs down

Five oil and gas companies operating on the UK Continental Shelf have joined Oil & Gas UK’s Efficiency Task Force (ETF) in a new online trading platform that should help drive the costs down.

The trial, launched on Monday, March 21, will see five operators share 200,000 inventory items online.

Oil & Gas UK explained that with the access to a greater ‘virtual’ pool of resources, companies can reduce individual stock holdings and cut lead times for access to vital equipment.

Operator companies Apache North Sea, Centrica, EnQuest, Shell Upstream International and Talisman Sinopec Energy UK Limited have come together to trade their inventories in the hope of reducing the cost associated with the storage and maintenance of materials, the announcement said.

Following a tender process, the task force began work with Ampelius Trading on an online trading platform. Companies have been preparing details of their inventories since autumn 2015 to launch some 200,000 items of varying value on the trading platform.

Stephen Marcos Jones, Oil & Gas UK’s business development director, commented: “Improving efficiency through inventory management is potentially a real source of cost saving on the UKCS, as well as providing an opportunity to reduce the loss of offshore production that comes from required equipment not being immediately available when it’s needed.”

“In practice, if an operator doesn’t have a specific valve in stock, they’ll be able to access exactly what they need from a company down the road with surplus – rather than ordering a new part to be manufactured. That seems like a more efficient way to operate.”

Andy Taylor, Managing Director, Ampelius Trading commented on the project: “It has been estimated that power companies could save 15–20 per cent of their annual non-fuel procurement costs by adopting innovative procurement and inventory trading initiatives, we are confident that Ampelius is well placed to deliver similar efficiencies and cost savings for the offshore oil and gas industry.”

“The initiative is initially being run on a trial basis with five operators but further industry participation is encouraged”, Oil & Gas UK said.

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