AOS Orwell is the only African oilfield services provider in the entire African continent. It was established in 2011 through the merger of two Nigerian companies, AOS and Orwell, which previously dealt in different aspects of oilfield services. The merger pooled their areas of specialisation, allowing for expansion through provision of more comprehensive services—although it is not yet in the same league as much bigger oilfield service companies such as Baker Hughes, Schlumberger and Weatherfield.
The company now offers drilling services such as ‘fishing’ (retrieving stray objects from a well, especially during open hole operations) welding, construction and fabrication, hydro surveys, cement bond logging, ‘pigging’ (a technology for inspecting and cleaning the inside of pipelines), and hire of equipment to oil operators and contractors. Equipment available for hire includes drilling jars (a tool use to amplify the force used at the surface to release a stuck component) and fishing grapples—mechanical implements used to recover devices lost down-hole during drilling operations. The company has 15 production lines producing such specialised equipment.
AOS Orwell’s clients include oil companies such as ENI, CNOOC, and Exxon Mobil, as well as larger oilfield services firms such as Schlumberger and Weatherford. Headquartered in Nigeria, the company also has offices in Ghana, Sao Tome and, now, Uganda.
Orwell, before the merger with AOS, started operations in Uganda in 2008, winning contracts from Dominion Oil and Gas and Neptune Petroleum in 2009 and 2011 respectively. Specialised tool rental and ‘fishing’ services are the mainstay of its work in Uganda.
A recent bid for a contract with TOTAL was, however, lost to ITS, based in Aberdeen, UK.
AOS Orwell is nevertheless hoping to expand to Kenya, establishing a regional hub and positioning itself better to ship in its tools.
The company runs its own training academy, the Kanfish International Training Centre School, in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. This offers practical oilfield courses, including Basic Oilfield Technology, Tubular Design, Rig safety, Drilling Essentials, Fishing and Workover.
For more, see the company website. Report by Allan Sempebwa