Durham firm tapping into global growth

A Durham firm specialising in pressure analysis for the oil and gas industry is tapping into overseas markets in a bid to secure global growth with the help of UKTI.

Ikon GeoPressure, of Durham, was established in 1997 as Geopressure Technology Ltd (GPT), a spin-off from a research group at Durham University led by Professor Richard Swarbrick. GPT became part of Ikon Science Ltd following a merger in 2006 and is now branded as Ikon GeoPressure.

Since its launch Ikon GeoPressure has grown to offer training and consultancy in pressure problems as well as a suite of niche software designed to manage and visualise pressure data and now boasts customers around the globe.

Keen to explore potential in Nigeria and the Far East, the company signed up to UKTI’s Gateway to Global Growth (G3) initiative to develop and implement an export strategy.

Professor Swarbrick, Global Director at Ikon GeoPressure, explained:

“We provide what is a vital service for the oil and gas industry to predict subsurface pressures that they will come across during drilling and exploration operations.

“If not handled properly, pressure can cause blow outs such as that seen at the BP Deepwater Horizon drilling rig that caught fire and sank causing a major oil spill off the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010.

“We’ve also been involved in developing and using technology to inject carbon dioxide into the ground – a process known as carbon sequestration – that helps offset and reduce greenhouse gases.

“With the support of UKTI we organised an event at the British High Commission in Lagos to meet those in the oil and gas sectors to promote what we do. It really was a brilliant event and gave us an important step into that market.

“UKTI also provided funding for us to explore opportunities in Malaysia and we now have enough work going on there that we’ve set up an office in Kuala Lumpur.

“We’ve also seen enormous growth, with UKTI support, in Australia and Canada with business there now in excess of £500,000 and we’ve been developing business in Egypt too.

“Our global turnover is now around £3m a year and exports play a very large part of that, with the new business in Nigeria providing a lot of new work.”

Geoff Young, one of UK Trade & Investment’s International Trade Advisers who has been working with the company, said:

“The North East is well-established in the oil and gas sector and our skills and knowledge are often in high demand.

“Ikon GeoPressure has developed a range of niche products that are proving a hit with companies around the globe and we’re delighted to have been able to support the company in promoting itself in new markets.

“We hope Ikon’s experience will inspire others to take up the export challenge and we’re aiming to help create 500 new exporters by 2015. We offer a wide range of support services for companies and in November we’ll be hosting an Export Week to put the focus firmly on the benefits of exporting.”


For more information about the wide range of support services available through UK Trade & Investment to help your company succeed overseas contacts:

North East International Trade Team

Tel: +44 (0) 845 05 05 054

Email: enquiries@uktinortheast.org.uk

You can also follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/UKTINorthEast.

Find your nearest International Trade Advisor via our postcode search facility in “Contacts in your region”.

Story links

Ikon GeoPressure

Gateway to Global Growth

Export Week

Sectors: Oil & Gas
Countries: Far East, Malaysia, Nigeria, and North East England
Export Action Plan