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Aker reinforces regional presence
A GLOBAL oil firm which employs 100 people in the North-East is set to ramp up its presence in the region by doubling its staff over the next three years.
Oil services group Aker Solutions will create up to 100 jobs in its new Stockton engineering office by increasing the drilling technologies side of the business.
The region has been chosen for investment by the company because of its industrial tradition and skilled engineering base.
The office will house product engineers who will be working on topside drilling equipment for the company, which supplies deepwater drilling packages for offshore drilling rigs and drillships around the world.
Alf-Rune Sorvollen, regional manager of the company’s drilling technologies business in Stockton, said: “We are well aware of the excellent oil and gas engineering competence in the North-East of England.
“We are experiencing significant growth, so we want to tap into this market to further support both our UK and international customers.”
The company, which has 3,200 employees in the UK and reserves of £3.9bn, aims to recruit 30 staff in Stockton by the end of the year, with a long-term ambition to increase this to 100.
The firm, which employs 25,000 people globally, has been in the region since 1986, with the office providing support services to the firm around the world, including IT, finance, accounting and human resources.
Up to 20 employees will be added to the global business services operation over the next two years.
The premises also houses a team that provides engineering support on platform upgrade and maintenance projects on both the UK and Norwegian continental shelves.
The group’s specialist recruitment consultancy, Aker Advantage, also has an office in Stockton.
Aker Solutions will move into its new office, which is next to existing premises at Preston Farm, at the end of next month.
Earlier this year, Aker Solutions announced that it is looking to develop its Aberdeen operation with 500 jobs over the next two years.
Additionally, the company aims to build up a 1,700- strong London engineering hub, creating 1,300 new jobs, by 2015.
Mr Sorvollen said: “The North-East region has a proud industrial heritage with a huge engineering competence base.
“Additionally, it contains several excellent educational institutions that produce exactly the type of competence we need, for example structural and mechanical engineers.
“We also know that many engineers commute from the North-East to other parts of the UK. Hopefully our plans will make some of them consider Stockton as an even more attractive option.”