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Rising demand for conceptual engineering services as M&A activity climbs

10th September 2015

ADIL, the leading independent energy consultancy, has recorded a 100 per cent increase in demand for its Accelerated Conceptual Engineering (ACE) services as acquisition, merger and divestment activity by UKCS operators ramps up in the lower oil price environment.

Lo Van Wachem, ADIL’s developments manager
Lo Van Wachem, ADIL’s developments manager

The Aberdeen and London-based organisation, which works with exploration and production companies around the world to progress projects to sanction and final delivery, has doubled the amount of early stage evaluation work year on year and delivered campaigns totalling in excess of £1.5million since the start of the year.

ADIL has always provided its ACE services to companies seeking to optimise the development of a new discovery but increasingly these services are being used by companies looking to acquire existing discoveries or farm-in to exploration prospects.

The consultancy is also seeing an increased need for its capabilities internationally, delivering due diligence and ACE services to clients in Trinidad, Mexico, Tunisia, Africa and North West Europe in the last eight months alone.

This includes work with Sierra Oil and Gas for whom ADIL carried out ACE due diligence and concept select services. This was ahead of the company bidding on and being jointly awarded blocks 2 and 7 in the Gulf of Mexico during the recent first tender of Mexico´s historic first licensing round.

“The interest we are seeing across the industry for this type of service has never been higher, both from the large-scale operators and the new smaller, independent entrants,” said Lo Van Wachem, ADIL’s developments manager.

“There are a large number of complex packages of assets on the market, particularly in the North Sea. This gives rise to significant opportunities for companies seeking to understand the economics, risks and opportunities involved with the options for field and area developments.

“Historically the due diligence focus has been on the subsurface side however there is a lot of uncertainty and risk related to the subsea and surface facilities in the current climate and identifying the areas to focus resources on is critical.  There is a need to understand the facilities risks and upsides, the costs to improve and operate and the costs involved in taking projects forward.”

This is the type of information that ADIL’s ACE process will generate to aid decision making. ACE combines ADIL’s broad experience and expertise with industry proven software to enable operators to make cost-effective evaluation of options during the appraisal and select phases of developments.

The process allows the client to explore optimum wells and facilities configurations and phasing for alternative development and export options, taking account of the forecast range of reserves outcomes. It integrates subsurface, drilling, process, commercial and operations requirements to define all aspects of a development option through field life, delivering capital, operational and abandonment expenditure costs for the options in line with the project maturity.

This enables a reliable, comparative, economic evaluation to be undertaken and informed, auditable decisions to be made.

“There are significant opportunities out there but in order to get developments over the line, businesses need significantly more accurate information within the concepts selection arena than ever before.

“By making full use of the data available at the selection stage, we are able to make a positive impact on an operator’s ability to accurately engineer, cost and evaluate alternative development options and select the best option for taking projects forward.”

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