Client cost-reductions of up to 30% drive growth at Step Change Engineering

Step Change Engineering from left  Managing Director John Wilson, Technical Director Colin Bruce and consultancy director Satnam Shoker
Step Change Engineering from left Managing Director John Wilson, Technical Director Colin Bruce and consultancy director Satnam Shoker

A newly-established Aberdeen-based engineering and design business is enjoying rapid growth as it changes the way oil and gas engineering projects are delivered, whilst providing the industry with significant cost savings.

Since launch last year, Step Change Engineering has gained £250,000 of contracts and is on target to turnover £1.5million in 2015. 

It has expanded its workforce to manage the growing workload and the recent appointment of managing director John Wilson and consultancy director Satnam Shoker has taken the workforce to 20. This is anticipated to double to 40 by the year end.

Step Change Engineering is changing how engineering projects are delivered by efficient use of engineering applications, new technology, and challenging non-essential work that does not affect the asset’s overall integrity or safety. 

It is also working closely with fabricators to reduce project lifecycle costs and schedules. This method has in the past six months seen the firm achieve a minimum of 30% cost savings on projects for clients.

In order to accommodate this growth the firm last week relocated to new offices at Aberdeen harbour, with room to expand to 5,000sq. ft. Step Change Engineering plans to increase turnover to £5 million in 2016 with a 60-strong workforce, while its long-term aim is to employ a maximum of around 130 staff.

Established in November last year by chartered engineer Colin Bruce, Step Change Engineering is taking an innovative approach to delivering design and engineering projects for clients.  It has identified a gap in the market for an engineering and design firm to deliver smaller projects and repair orders for oil and gas assets with significant cost and schedule savings.

With the oil and gas industry currently facing a balancing act of investment to extend the operational lifespan of North Sea platforms to maximise exploration – while meeting stringent health and safety legislation – and cost cutting to improve efficiencies, innovation is needed. 

By collaborating with clients and fabricators, utilising new technologies such as hand-held scanning technology and more effective use of engineering software, Step Change Engineering is delivering this. 

Colin Bruce, founder and technical director, said: “The North Sea oil and gas sector has entered an interesting phase of its development, one where both investment and cost savings need to be delivered hand-in-hand to ensure a sustainable future. “

“Unlike tier one engineering and project management contractors, we take an innovative approach to repair orders and minor modifications to reduce both project schedules and costs by removing non-essential engineering activities and maximising the use of fit-for-purpose technology.

John Wilson, Managing Director, added: “The changes to the tax regime announced in the budget will put confidence back in the market, but all sectors have a role to play in helping to reduce costs.  It is in everyone’s interest to increase the longevity of North Sea exploration and production and as an industry we need to look at all the potential efficiency savings that can be made. 

 “We are already making a huge difference to at least six North Sea assets. Our approach is dramatically reducing costs by changing both technical and commercial approaches to delivering the project lifecycle. This is an exciting time, where making a difference in this time of uncertainty is extremely rewarding for all parties. We are keen to make a step change in engineering across the whole of the North Sea’s assets.”


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