Expansion to create almost 200 jobs at town facility

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A GLOBAL oil field service provider based in south east Northumberland is expanding its premises and creating new jobs.

Archer, which already occupies one floor of Eddie Ferguson House in Ridley Street, Blyth, has signed a ten-year lease agreement for the entire 22,000 square foot property, doubling its floor space and increasing employee capacity to more than 200 engineers.

The base currently houses an experienced team of 50 multi-discipline engineers who provide engineering and design expertise on drilling installations around the world to support platform drilling operations.

Now the company plan to increase their workforce to 120 engineers in 2013 with a further recruitment campaign next year to bring this figure to 180.

The news comes as the firm celebrates its seventh year operating in the town.

Nick Oates, Archer’s general manager of engineering at its Newcastle base, said: “Reaching the seven-year mark in Blyth is a great achievement and signing a further ten-year lease reflects our firm commitment to our employees and to the area.

“We have a very strong team here which is down to the strength of the local engineering and industrial workforce and environment.

“Expanding our office capacity is an exciting step as we look forward to growing the team further in the coming months.”

Archer, one of the largest operators of platform drilling in the North Sea, has long term contracts with Statoil, Conoco Phillips, Seadrill, Shell, Marathon, BP many other major operators.

In the past 12 months the Blyth-based personnel have supported drilling operations for several of these clients in Brazil, Korea, Singapore, Aberdeen, Stavanger, Nigeria, Ghana and Dubai. The engineering team will be involved in the project for Archer’s second modular rig, the Archer Topaz, which has been contracted by Statoil for the Heimdal field in the Norwegian North Sea.

The engineering will be completed in Blyth, with the assembly of the modular unit being executed by Max Streicher GMBH in Germany.