Private equity boost for oil and gas tech firm

An oil and gas technology firm has secured new investment from a private equity company to grow the business, following a 'challenging time' in the industry.

Deep Casing Tools (DCT) is to buy out a major shareholder as part of a strategic plan to re-energise the business and expand its global footprint after securing the $5 million (£3.7m) package from EV Private Equity.

The Aberdeen-based firm, which makes drilling tools for wells around the world, also plans to extend its product range with the development of several new technologies and has has replaced its management team in a bid to drive the new growth strategy.

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Steve Kent, the new chairman of DCT, who is an oil and gas executive with more than 20 years’ international experience in industry firms Schlumberger and Weatherford, said: “This multi-million pound investment from EV Private Equity creates an exciting opportunity for Deep Casing Tools to drive growth in the UK, Middle East and North America. It also enables the company to accelerate the development of several new technologies which we plan to bring to market in the coming months.”

Mr Kent replaced Douglas Sedge, who stepped down as executive chairman last year, while former chief executive Magnus Wardle, who left the firm in January, has been replaced by David Stephenson.

The growth plan includes expanding DCT’s reach on the UK Continental Shelf and in the Middle East, the US and Canada. The company said it is already delivering “encouraging growth”, having recently signed a major agreement with a significant national oil company in the Middle East, with further new contracts in the pipeline.

Greg Herrera, senior partner at EV Private Equity, which specialises in the energy sector and has offices in Stavanger, Houston and Aberdeen, said: “Our continued investment in Deep Casing Tools recognises its proven technology, unique position in the global market and ability to add further innovative solutions to its strong portfolio. We’re delighted to have Steve and David on board to drive the company’s growth strategy and deliver value for customers.”

EV first invested in DCT in March 2008.

Mr Stephenson, who has had a 20-year career in oil and gas the UK, Europe, Middle East and South East Asia, including a previous position as global account manager at DCT, said: “Like many businesses in the oil and gas industry, the last few years have been difficult for us. With this investment and restructure we’ve created a sharper focus on the needs of customers and how our technology solutions can deliver value by reducing costs and increasing efficiency.”

Deep Casing Tools offers a range of tools designed to land casing and completions at target depth in oil and gas wells, providing significant cost and time efficiencies, as well as minimising risk.

The last set of accounts for the year to December 2016 showed that DCT, which was founded in 2008, did not include a profit and loss account in its filings to Companies House in accordance with rules applicable to small companies. Four directors have quit the firm over the past twelve months.