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Target the main players

“We need to focus on the major industry players to promote induction heating technology and its many uses in the oil and gas sector”, says Jon Philpott in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

"Things are slowly getting better, but the low oil prices we have seen over the recent years have severely affected the market and level of investment by the big oil and gas players", says Jon Philpott who was appointed manager of EFD Induction’s office in Malaysia in June this year, after the operation in Penang was discontinued.

EFD Induction oil and gas services is based in Kuala Lumpur and will take responsibility for all IPS and SAS business in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines and will serve as a regional hub for equipment rental services supporting the oil and gas and power generation industries.

The new office based in Thailand will take care of IHM for the ASEAN area, with support from Malaysia.

Jon Philpott will also assume a role working for EFD Induction Group under Johan Larsen as manager for commercial heat treatment field services globally. This will involve supporting subsidiaries on large oil and gas projects and targeting the right multinational companies for future projects.


NEW MANAGER IN MALAYSIA: Jon Philpott brings his oil and gas expertise to Kuala Lumpur.

Prepare for opportunity

Jon left his hometown of Shrewsbury, England, to go to Malaysia sixteen months ago, bringing with him his extensive expertise from pioneering EFD Induction UK’s oil field service.

"I worked with oil and gas related services for EFD Induction in the UK for many years and then I started travelling to the far east for various offshore projects in 2013", he says.

Jon has seen up close how the oil and gas business has taken a hard hit.

"No doubt, this slump is reflected in the level of our activity both in Malaysia and the UK, especially so in the pipeline industry", he says. "The pipeline bases in the UK have had very little work for the past years, which is impacting our post weld heat treatment business that has had no projects for the last two years."

However, signs are positive that investment is slowly returning and Jon thinks that things are on the up and up.

"EFD induction should be prepared to maximise the opportunities when they come", he says.


Despite the current flat market, things are hectic for Jon and his six co-workers in Kuala Lumpur.

"Lots of interesting things are happening. We have three offshore jobs at the moment and there are good orders coming in", he says. "In fact, we’ve just trained two extra guys to go offshore."

Jon himself recently completed the helicopter underwater escape training, making his certificate valid for another four years. He probably didn’t mind getting wet, seeing as he swims a kilometre every day anyway. Adapting to office life is more of a challenge for this self-professed adventurer. "I’m usually the guy who goes out to do the weird and wonderful jobs", he says.


FUN AT THE OFFICE: KK, Yameen, Hanis, Jon, Shuhada, Azim and Zul are obviously feeling victorious.

Identifying markets

The biggest job at hand is getting the business in.

"We need to approach the big companies and find the right people to talk to. Plant the seeds, so to speak", Jon says.

Pro-active sales initiatives should be directed not just towards the oil and gas operators but also the main contractors to that market, as well as pipeline contractors and chemical and fertiliser plants.

The possibilities for utilising induction heating here are varied. Applications include pre and post-weld heat treatment and pre-weld heating for subsea hot tapping, to mention a just few. Coating alone offers pre-heating, curing and removal.

Organizing a joint effort is vital in order to be successful, Jon thinks.

"We definitely need more communication and cooperation between EFD Induction offices with potential in the oil and gas sector," he says. "Italy, France, USA, India and China all have good potential for future projects, and we should expand the training and knowledge sharing to build a larger base for offshore trained staff."

Equipment development

The Minac 25/40 is undoubtedly the preferred weapon of choice for the oil and gas industry.

"It can cover a very wide range of shrink fitting applications as well as small OD pipe PWHT operations. For large pipe PWHT jobs, we can use the Minac 50/80", Jon explains, adding that he’d like to see the Minac converted into an air cooled unit

"It’s possible to make a 40kW unit with one or two air cooled heating cable outputs relatively easily", he says. "This would support cable lengths up to 30 metres and the heating cables would connect directly to the front of the Minac, giving a very simple and straightforward process."


OUT IN THE FIELD: Asia has always been a favourite for Jon Philpott who likes going offshore to meet the customers.

Further potential

"In the past few years we have catered for some very niche and new application areas. This is something EFD Induction is very good at and the profit potential is also very high", Jon says. "At the moment we’re looking at new ways of heating and coating pipelines in the same machine for customers in the UK; PIH and Serimax FJC. They are launching and marketing their own heating coating equipment powered by EFD Induction power."

"Also, Saipem France would like us to trial pipe heating with induction rather than using trace heating", he adds. "This could have huge potential."

Jon is confident that the oil and gas offshore business can bring in good revenues for EFD Induction.

"We make a good profit margin from all the oil and gas service figures", he says. "And there are many future applications we can look at if we target the main players efficiently."