Company wins oil job worth millions
A COMPANY operating from a North Cornwall village is about to enter contracts worth up to £50 million with an international oil giant.
WGP, which provides essential services for the hydrocarbon reserves industry, employs 18 people at its main offices at Kilkhampton and 20 offshore field personnel working in oil-producing countries such as a current project in Ecuador.
WGP has just announced an imminent contract with Statoil ASA, the Norwegian energy company listed on the Oslo and New York stock exchanges, to provide long-term seismic services which will enable it to extract higher percentages of oil from the reservoirs of the Snorre and Grane fields in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea.
The seismic acquisition contract is for an initial fixed term until the end of 2017, with Statoil's option to extend by two further terms of two years.
The first survey is scheduled to begin on October 1 this year over the Snorre field.
The total seismic acquisition contract value is 32 million US dollars (over £20 million) up to approximately $65 million (£44 million) if Statoil exercises the options to extend the contract.
The letter of intent also covers Statoil's purchase of specialist portable equipment built by WGP for monitoring the oil reservoirs known as a bespoke dual portable modular source system.
This is a more efficient and cheaper solution to building an oil rig support vessel.
The value of this contract is about $19.8 million (£14 million) for delivery by October 1.
WGP, originally Westland Geo Projects, was founded in Bude in 1991 by John Duncan, who has been involved in the geophysical industry since leaving the RAF.
He moved the company to Kilkhampton five years ago, buying the former leisure site known as Pixyland, when the company needed to expand.
Three of his daughters, Kelly Richards, Emma Duncan and Claire Jennings, work at the company.
Mark Burnett, the chief executive officer, joined the company in 1997.
The company has already completed big contracts with BP in the North Sea and the Caspian Sea which has led to its high reputation in the oil industry and the latest contract.
"This is an industry dominated by large companies, but our work has been getting increasing recognition among the giants," said Kelly Richards, the marketing and quality manager.
The founder of WGP John Duncan now operates a charity called the Westland Countryside Stewards, which recently purchased the Kilkhampton Commons and is involved in a number of conservation projects including keeping rare breeds of sheep.