Total signs up to Plexus project

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French oil giant Total has signed up to Aberdeen-based engineering firm Plexus’ project to design well-heads that will help prevent the types of blow-out that caused the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Shares in Aim-quoted Plexus jumped 5 per cent in early trading after Total was unveiled as the seventh major oil and gas company to join the development programme.

The other companies already signed up to the joint industry project (JIP) – which will use technology developed by Plexus – are Eni, Maersk, Oil States Industries, Shell, Tullow and Wintershall.

Plexus’ chief executive Ben Van Bilderbeek said: “This is yet another significant milestone and nod of industry approval for our subsea initiative to develop and commercialise a new and safer subsea wellhead, utilising Plexus’ patented technology.

“Recent well-control incidents around the world have highlighted the need for robust, high performance, subsea wellheads in oil and gas operations, particularly in extreme and hostile environments. Plexus, with its patented and proven technology, is ideally suited to deliver a range of innovative features.”

He added: “This is the first time Plexus will be working alongside Total and we are delighted to welcome them on board this project.”