Guildford: Oil specialist Opus seeks further growth with American push

Surrey-based oil and gas specialist firm Opus is targeting new markets in the US as part of its ambitious growth plans that will create new jobs and almost double the value of its environmental and ecotoxicology services.  Opus, which has its headquarters in Guildford, and testing/development facilities in Orkney, is already internationally recognised for its expertise in consultancy, process equipment supply and environmental services, having won contracts in Australia, Norway, the Middle East and the Far East in recent months.

The firm specialises in oil separation and treatments for produced water, which is a by-product of offshore oil production, as well as value-adding solutions for oil and gas producers, including fluids analysis, process upgrades and specialist environmental testing and monitoring.

The environmental and ecotoxicology work is done by a team of scientists based at Opus’ laboratories in the Orkney island of Flotta and contributes around £600,000 to the company’s annual turnover. It is hoped the laboratory work can be increased to over £1 million in the next 2-3 years and create additional employment within the community.

Opus, whose motto is ‘results delivered’, currently has 40 staff, including 24 in Orkney. In the last year the firm has increased its workforce by seven at Flotta and four at Guildford and is currently seeking nine recruits.

Glen McLellan, Opus’ director of strategic operations, said the firm is targeting US companies seeking help to ensure chemicals they intend using in the North Sea oil and gas industries comply with regulations.

“America is one of our priority areas this year. It is not the only direction in which we are pushing, but it is a definite target. We feel it is a natural progression having successfully entered other areas around the world but at the moment the bulk of our clients are European based.

“We know there are a lot of US companies out there who are trying to get into the North Sea market. We are seen as being one of the best ecotoxicology companies in the industry worldwide and so we need to match up our expertise with that demand.”