Great Yarmouth oil and gas inspection firm secures $7m of overseas contracts

Chris Bolton and Matt Chapman at Inspection Verification Bureau (IVB) Great Yarmouth. Picture: TMS M

Chris Bolton and Matt Chapman at Inspection Verification Bureau (IVB) Great Yarmouth. Picture: TMS Media Ltd - Credit: TMS Media

An oil and gas industry inspection company has recovered from a tough trading year, brought on by the falling price of oil, to secure $7m of overseas contracts.

Great Yarmouth-based Inspection Verification Bureau (IVB) has travelled the world to meet with businesses at trade shows in Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam and South Korea, sealing deals with companies in the Middle East and the Netherlands in the process.

Director Chris Bolton said the low price of oil and a shrinking sector had made 2016 a difficult year for the company, which employs eight full-time staff.

'The next few years will be significantly better,' he added. 'The oil price has crept up and will continue to rise slowly, and this has resulted in renewed optimism and an increase in activity.

'When things were slow we got out there and did some concerted marketing to get ourselves in pole position for inspection and verification work when things turned around.


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'In October and November we were at trade shows in Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam and South Korea, where were are looking to build on our inspection, verification and asset integrity work.

'You can never rest on your laurels in this business and when times are hard you have to work harder.

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'This has certainly paid off for us and we're looking very positively at the next few years.'

Mr Bolton partly attributes the firm's success to changing tender prices and pitches depending on the part of the world it is hoping to operate in.

He said: 'It's no use trying to win work in the Middle East with typical northern European prices. You won't get anywhere.

'You have to pitch your tender to suit the individual client and the location in which they're operating.'

IVB, which provides inspection and verification services onshore and offshore, has started, or is about to start, on seven new contracts – a €1m verification services commission for 24 offshore platforms in Dutch waters, verification work on three offshore and two onshore developments in Egypt worth $2m and a $4m contract to provide asset integrity systems for a client elsewhere in the Middle East.

The falling value of the pound against the dollar and euro has increased the profitability of these contracts, which were quoted in one these currencies.

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