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New oil and gas hub in Aberdeen spells bright future for UKCS and beyond.

Today's energy industry is characterised by challenge and change, but Lloyd's Register drives forward its big investment programme with a new tailor-made facility in Aberdeen to help improve the sustainability of oil and gas operations.

New Aberdeen buildingCapacity for up to 900 employees is created in the new Lloyd'sRegister (LR) building, located on the Prime Four Business Park in Kingswells, Aberdeen, providing scope for continued growth and a clear demonstration of LR's commitment to the UK energy industry.

  • Located in Aberdeen – a critical energy hub for Lloyd's Register in the UKCS and beyond

  • 100,000 sq ft innovation and service led centre of excellence with capacity for 900 employees

  • Part of a large global programme of co-locating acquired companies and investments with new buildings in Oslo, Dubai and Singapore

  • Designed to house research and development for technology-led initiatives

  • Easier access for customers – all under one roof expertise will include survey and geo-technical disciplines plus reservoir, drilling wells, asset integrity, decommissioning, risk management and inspection and compliance services.

The Kingswells facility gives LR 100,000 sq ft of space which houses research and development, and an extensive portfolio of engineering expertise, as well as demonstration, training and conference facilities.

Alasdair Buchanan, Director of the Energy business at LR, says: "The building creates an effective, modern and collaborative working environment which is designed to the overall benefit of our employees, the organisation and our customers. It is very much focused on the future and helping LR and our customers to achieve ever greater confidence in managing the up and coming opportunities of developing tomorrow's safer and sustainable energy supply. This includes nurturing technology breakthroughs to overcome increasing economic and operational complexities that our customers face. The new world of business and technical assurance, safety and integrity has a challenging contribution to make in today's energy markets and cost-sensitive climate."

Lloyd's Register is moving office

The LR Kingswells facility is one of a series of significant investments that LR is making to secure its future growth in the UK, and in its many overseas markets where it has also made considerable investment in areas such as Oslo, Dubai and Singapore.

"We appreciate that current market conditions are challenging. But this new facility is an investment for the future and Aberdeen's future, and we are fully committed to supporting both the energy sector in the UK and our global energy operations with the talent available here in Aberdeen and across Scotland.

"We are beginning to see hints of recovery in the global market, including an increasing number of rigs being brought back in to operation and heavier activity in mergers and acquisitions."

Over the years, LR acquired a number of companies to expand its range of technical assurance and consulting services to the oil and gas sector, including Scandpower, Human Factors, West Engineering, ModuSpec and more recently its largest ever investment in global energy services company Senergy. The case for co-locating its technical staff has been compelling.

Buchanan says: "By bringing together all of our expertise and disciplines in to one building, customers will be able to receive a truly cost-effective and integrated range of services. Critically the new building will drive significant cost efficiencies and economies of scale which will be passed on to our clients in the form of better quality services."

The new facility will house teams of experts in survey and geo-technical disciplines plus reservoir, drilling wells, asset integrity, decommissioning, risk management and inspection and compliance services. It is one of the largest LR offices worldwide in terms of headcount.

The scale of investment made by LR in Scotland underpins the company's approach of ensuring that its expertise can be used to help drive improved performance of UK oil and gas assets whilst effectively managing risk for the sector, as well as the low carbon power generation sectors of renewable and nuclear energy. The sole shareholder of LR, UK charity Lloyd's Register Foundation, is also supporting the University of Aberdeen with a grant of £1,185,000 for a research programme on Safety and Reliability Engineering lasting over 6 and a half years. The grant is helping to research a number of initiatives in to safety and reliability engineering, and with a particular focus on the effect of human factors as well as new technology for extreme environments, and the reliability of renewable energy infrastructure.

Buchanan believes the new building is an inspiring facility that will stimulate innovation and help to progress LR's drive in to current and emerging technology themes across the energy industry.

"The new facility allows us to dedicate more resources and expertise to research and development in areas such as advanced inspection technology, unmanned systems, Enhanced Oil Recovery and asset life extension," says Buchanan. "We are positioning LR to become the 'super-surveyors' of the future; giving operators greater control by reducing the gap between operational assets and the data they generate, which will help us successfully improve how assurance is applied through transformational technology to reduce OPEX costs and risks.

As the findings from LR's global oil and gas survey (www.lr.org/technologyradar) highlights; over the coming three years technology innovation will focus on increased recovery, developing cleaner and more efficient hydrocarbon technologies, and new forms of energy provision. Subsea robotics, autonomous underwater vehicles and other ultra-deep water advances are seen as key areas of advancement.

"The opening of our new facility is essential for us to add real value for our customers by playing a fundamental role in helping to advance the implementation of new technologies and innovations that will be key to the UK and global economic development. Technology that helps improve productivity, reduce costs and enhance quality are today's pressing issues, and initiatives that nurture technical innovation must be central to any organisation's strategy for sustainable growth and market leadership. They are central to our growth too! We have the in-house expertise all under one roof to help industry remain competitive," says Buchanan.

LR will join major energy operators Statoil, Apache, Nexen, Transocean, OneSubsea and Premier Oil, and accountants Anderson Anderson Brown, at the Kingswells site known as "Prime Four". It is expected to play a major role in generating hugely significant economic activity for the region in to the foreseeable future.

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