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Drilling waste specialist TWMA plans for growth with new owner

Wed 10 May 2017

Drilling waste specialist TWMA plans for growth with new owner
Demand for bulk and waste handling systems has been adversely affected by the steep fall in orders for new vessels

Drilling waste management and solutions provider TWMA has agreed a partnership and substantial investment with Buckthorn Partners

Formed in 2000, TWMA is well known as a provider of integrated drilling and environmental solutions to the onshore and offshore oil and gas industry. The company acts as a single-source provider for managing waste materials throughout the full project lifecycle, from exploration to decommissioning, and employs more than 500 people at its office, processing, manufacturing and service bases in Europe, the Americas, North Africa, West Africa and the Middle East.

In late April, the company confirmed that it had secured an undisclosed funding package from Buckthorn, a specialist oil field services investment firm, which will allow TWMA to accelerate its plans for growth and product and service expansion and invest further in research and development.

Ronnie Garrick will continue as chief executive officer of TWMA. Tony Branch will join the management team to support the planned development, growth and expansion of the business. Prior to joining TWMA, Mr Branch was president of regional operations at Weatherford where he was also an officer of the company. Nicholas Gee from Buckthorn Partners joins the company as chairman.

Mr Garrick said “We are very pleased to welcome Buckthorn as investors – it will allow us to embark on the next stage of our global growth plans. Our commitment to research and product and service development is the key to our success, and this investment ensures TWMA will continue to provide innovative technology and industry-leading solutions. We are delighted to have Tony joining our team and are really looking forward to working with him on further building TWMA.” 

Mr Branch said securing the investment “demonstrates confidence in our business”. He said that, despite the downturn in the offshore oil and gas industry, TWMA has grown significantly over the past few years, particularly in the Middle East.

“This initial investment, together with access to further capital, will allow the company to expand its expertise and its geographical footprint, ensuring we continue to offer the safest and most effective drilling waste solutions to the industry,” Mr Branch said. “Our international expansion plans in new and existing regions are crucial for long-term sustainable growth, and the TWMA team look forward to driving these further.”

Commenting on the investment, Nicholas Gee, a partner at Buckthorn, said “As a leader in the provision of drilling waste management solutions, TWMA has built a strong international profile, centred on a clear commitment to high quality and tailored client solutions that drive effective and efficient operations for customers. Our objective is to further develop the business both organically and through M&A to expand further geographically and bring new products and services that will add further value to our customers.” The institutions supporting this Buckthorn transaction included BMO Global Asset Management (EMEA), Souter Investments Ltd and Aberdeen Asset Management.

The market for bulk and waste-handling systems for the offshore oil and gas industry has been significantly affected by the downturn. Whereas before the oil price crash large numbers of offshore vessels were being ordered that needed bulk-handling systems, since the crash, very few have been ordered. This has forced leading manufacturers to look to new markets.

A few recent deliveries have been announced, however, with CargoMaxx in the Netherlands supplying integrated drill-cutting storage and handling systems for Bluewhale 1, one of the largest ultra-deepwater semi-submersible drilling rigs in the world. The equipment is installed in the legs of the semi-submersible, avoiding the need for drill-cutting skips and freeing up deck space.

Among recent deals announced by PG in Norway are liquid mud-handling solutions to six 64 m Conan Wu-designed anchor-handling tug/supply vessels that were ordered from PaxOcean’s Zuhai shipyard in China. On completion, the vessels will enter into a long-term charter for Saudi Aramco and will be operated by Singapore-based PACC Offshore Service Holding. Another recent order for the company saw Stanford Marine in Dubai upgrade a number of its vessels with liquid mud-agitation systems based on PG’s Submix 80-2000 hydraulic agitators, hydraulic power pack and control system.

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