Bahrain-based Global Remote, a leading global service provider involved in ‘Inspection, Maintenance and Repair’ (IMR), for the energy, marine and civil sectors, sees solid prospects in the region and specifically with the oil and gas titans of the Middle East.
Global Remote provides cost effective, versatile and time efficient solutions for a vast range of IMR works with access-related issues, utilising the internationally approved Industrial Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA) rope access systems. ‘We service a growing client base, delivering comprehensive range of services, from industrial rope access, conventional and advanced NDT inspection services, tank calibration and surveys, PWHT Services, subsea diving services, training and HR services,’ says Tony Nellicken the group’s Bahrain-based director. ‘We serve different segments of the industry such as energy (onshore and offshore), marine, civil and geotechnical.’
The technology that Global Remote utilises in its industrial rope access applications, is a system that was developed by the company’s member association IRATA, which is based in the UK. IRATA started in the mid-80s, promoting exceptionally safe and agile systems for access to difficult structures.
‘We are registered with IRATA, as we recognise it as the premier accreditation globally. The IRATA systems are particularly well renowned, and are now statistically recognised as up to four times safer than any other work-at-height systems on the market. That’s a great testament to the years of hard work and dedication of IRATA members,’ says Global Remote’s co-founder and operations director, Boyd Boxshall.
Since the group’s inception in early 2007 in Hong Kong, the operation base was relocated to Chennai, India in 2009, and partnered with the co-founder and managing director, Jaison PI. The company has since seen its footprint continuing to expand across the globe, and specifically the Bahrain office in 2013, Boxshall adds. ‘We have expanded the brand in the Middle East over the last four years with company offices opening in Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE. We are now focusing on consolidating these offices, and expanding into the US, Canada and Saudi Arabia in 2018,’ Boxshall says. Global Remote is currently servicing the Americas, Asia, Middle East and Africa through its established and partner offices in Azerbaijan, Bahrain, India, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Oman, Qatar, Turkmenistan, UAE, and the US.
‘We have always strived to be industry leaders and innovators, and that has kept us ahead of the game,’ says Boxshall. ‘This includes being the first IRATA accredited Trainer and Operator members in India in 2010, and we remain the only IRATA accredited member within Bahrain,’ Nellicken adds. ‘Despite the GFC in 2008, for example, we have seen solid growth for the group, year on year of 20-30 per cent, and in nine short years, the group has grown as the region’s leading specialist service provider in all the sectors we operate,’ says Boxshall.
‘The level of growth speaks for itself, there continues to be an ever increasing demand for our specialist IMR services. Two years ago, we also made a very strong push into the civil sector and that has been going well. That was a necessary move for us, when we started seeing a downturn in oil prices, and the expected knock-on of reduced contracts in oil and gas sector,’ he says.
‘Being a system driven organisation, we maintain international standards of operations and strictly comply with many international safety standards. All these compliances are being regularly audited by several associations and our group is accredited by external bodies such as IRATA, ABS, IADC ISO, DROPS, BSC etc.,’ says Nellicken.
Regarding Global Remote’s clientele in energy sector, Naresh Kumar, the group’s operations manager in Bahrain, says within the kingdom the company is actively engaged onshore with Bapco, Banagas, GPIC, and Alba; and onshore and offshore outside the country with clients such as RasGas, Qatargas, Qatar Petroleum, Dolphin Energy and Maersk Oil in Qatar, Petroleum Development Oman, Saudi Aramco in Saudi Arabia, and the likes of Total, Petronas and Reliance.
Directly and through Asry (Arab Shipbuilding & Repair Yard) the company has served many marine and offshore drilling companies such as Shelf Drilling, Nabors, Saipem, Arabiyah, Ensco, Rowan Drilling, Transocean, KOTC and Maersk.
The company is seeing an increase in the utilisation of combination of advanced NDT and ropes access within the oil and gas industry. ‘Advanced inspection modalities such as LRUT and ACFM are becoming increasingly popular with clients both on an off shore, as the possible applications of rope access is better understood’. ‘We have also developed a specialist technique to inspect sphere tanks internally and externally utilising a combination of rope access methodologies, and believe we are the only service provider throughout the Middle East and Asia who has this capability. The possibilities for rope access applications in the oil and gas sector are yet to be fully realised,’ adds Boxshall.
Referring to the competition within the market Boxshall remains circumspect: ‘Competition in the market remains a positive challenge for us. We see many new operators, new to the industry, who have limited experience, drive down prices and of course, drive down the quality of their deliverable. This only serves to strengthen our resolve in providing our clients with industry best practice solutions, where safety and quality is not compromised.’
Boxshall remains positive and expects the demands for Global Remote’s services in the oil and gas and civil markets to improve. ‘Along with the recent upsurge of price for crudes, we can see a significant increase in infrastructure projects in Bahrain, UAE and Saudi Arabia. Additionally the civil infrastructure boom in Qatar will prove rewarding. That will all translate in time to better prospects for our brand. We are looking ahead to continued positive growth.’