What Plexus does
POS-GRIP, invented by the company’s chief executive Ben van Bilderbeek, is designed to prevent gas leaks, particularly methane, in wellheads and other connectors. The system had been used in more than 300 wells worldwide.
In June, a new joint venture vehicle,Plexus Pressure Control (PPC) was set up to supply surface production xmas trees and wellhead annulus outlet valves.
The unit will be majority-owned by Plexus and its partner is BEL Valves Limited, a subsidiary of Newcastle based British Engines Group.
The AIM-quoted company will control the intellectual property, design and manufacturing. PPC will operate out of the Plexus facility in Dyce, Aberdeen.
Its aim is to enable Plexus to offer customers a full package of production trees and valves, together with Plexus’s flagship POS-GRIP wellhead systems.
• In its first-half results in late-March, the company reported an underlying (EBITDA) loss from continuing operations of £1.5mln for the six months to 31 December, less than the £1.88mln loss a year ago, while sales revenues jumped to £1.3mln from £40,000
• The company paid out £1mln in interim dividends to shareholders
• In early March, Plexus said its Russian licensee, Gusar, had secured its first major contract to supply POS-GRIP wellhead gas exploration equipment to Russian energy giant Gazprom
Looking forward, van Bilderbeek said the outlook for the company was “very positive”, given a recovery in oil prices and “growing calls” for operators to prevent methane gas leaks in their supply chains.
“It has been a long time since favourable cyclical and structural drivers have coincided with significant developments at the corporate level. We now have industry partners, a cash-rich balance sheet, and we are being invited to tender for large surface production projects.”
Speaking to Proactive, van Bilderbeek said gas-proof technology like POS-GRIP was “ever more important” as it is now known that methane gas is “84 times as bad environmentally as carbon dioxide”.
“Methane is extremely damaging, so the race is on to improve the leakage rate before the gas is burnt … we have a technology that we can take to customers and say we are leak-proof and we guarantee it for the life of the well.”
He adds that the market the company is now in is worth “over US$2bn each year” and expects gas exploration in the sector to triple in 2019.
“The Exxon’s and Shell’s of the world are all bulging with gas assets because they know that eventually, gas will drive the future. For us, this is really good as we have a technical solution that will make gas cleaner than it is now ... .we are very bullish about where we might go from this.”
“We have the only metal seal that is genuinely gas-proof, and that’s the key.”