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Karl Farrow New

“Set you phasers to stun” … Slovakian Star Trek Technology for the Oil & Gas Industry

Karl Farrow has joined the growing Oil & Gas team of experts in GA Drilling.

With over thirty years of international experience Karl is known in the industry for his love of a challenge and entrepreneurial leadership. A Career across national and private operators, service companies, business growth and field operations has given Karl extensive experience in developing complex execution strategies for EPC delivery, asset & contract management, project funding, IPO’s, and M&A.

 We are delighted Karl is joining GA Drilling to hasten the commercialization of our breakthrough Plasmabit technology for the well P&A market.

 Karl explains more….

 You recently joined the GA Drilling team as a Commercial Director Business & Strategy. What attracted you to the company?

I am amazed by the technology and the far-reaching impact it will have on the industry. Moreover, I want to be part of a team that is innovative, has a real entrepreneurial spirit and a clear vision to help significant step change. I have always been passionate ambassador for knowledge transfer within the Industry our long-term responsibilities to safely and cleanly exit non-commercial assets. This is a responsibility we have for future generations.

Helping GA commercialise a technology that is a step-change approach for the industry is a challenge I am looking forward to, it’s a green-tech approach, blending the traditional accepted and proven practices with a bit of Star Trek futuristic technology.

What could be better?!

 PLASMABIT technology is already known to many people in the P&A sector, what is the current state of the art?

Well, considerable milestones have been achieved in 2018.

We have proven the continuous milling process of 30 ft and we expect to achieve 100ft in the next few months.

We will take delivery of our new rig designed and manufactured in conjunction with NOV-Hydrarig and Rmec before the end of 2018. This will be deployed over our own 70 meters pressurized test well. This is unique in the industry. There is nothing like this anywhere else and it will enable us to simulate any downhole environment during pre-deployment testing of various well formations and conditions prior to actual field operation activities.

Significantly, we are working with several operators now for Field Testing onshore in 2019 and Testing Offshore is planned after that.

Obviously, there are many different challenges in P&A due to well complexity, different completions, depths and sizes, things were done a lot different 30 years ago, when many of these wells were originally commissioned. Working closely with different operators enables us to broaden our tool capability and further improve efficiency in time and cost benefits as part of a forward work planning and campaign approach with operators.

 You say you are in discussions with your future customers, O&G Operators. What are their expectations of the technology and what do they see as its benefit?

Well P&A is not a work scope our clients can gain revenue from, it’s a financial and operational burden, that our clients must undertake with no upside. Costs of P&A are considerable and can easily represent 50% of the total Decommissioning cost, so the ability to offer alternative solutions that reduce cost, time and reduce risk in any operation, is always welcome in the industry and by the regulators.

That said the industry has traditionally be slow to adopt and accept new technologies, which is why our approach has been fully focused on the PLASMABIT application using accepted deployment possesses, which are considered standard practice within the industry today.

Working closely with the operators and our operational partners we can mitigate deployment and operational challenges highlighted during the pre-engineering pre-planning phase. We can then demonstrate within a safe working environment within our facilities actual simulated working environment pre-deployment to the field which has huge advantages. 

Ultimately the expectation is to reduce costs by >35% and to provide a through tubing P&A solution to secure the highest environmental standards.

 GA Drilling has branches in UK, as well as in USA and UAE. Do you have any plans for expansion?

Our key focus at present is the UKCS and North Sea, but naturally we are in discussions with operators globally and as a result we have established some strategic branches and collaboration partnerships in Houston, The United Arab Emirates and Brazil.

Our key focus is our deployment and operational and environmental value to clients and we want to perfect this and replicate the model wherever we have the opportunity to take the technology as an integrated service. This will add considerably more value to our clients in the long term.

This is a step by step process, strengthening alliances with the best partners to offer best practice. At the same time developing our internal expertise and international team of experts and advisors ensuring that Quality, Health, Safety and Environmental excellence are at the forefront of our operational growth.

 What attracts an internationally experienced professional to join a company at the technology commercialization stage?

We have a great team and we continually seek to attract experienced dynamic people. Experience is one thing, but I think attitude is everything. Our business is pretty out-of-box thinking and attracting people, who can bring that to the business, is important to enable us to continually challenge the application and sectors that PLASMABIT could be applied to. We have already identified many applications outside the Oil and Gas sector, which enables us to continually enhance, perfect and diversify as the business grows, which from a commercial perspective is always a nice position to be in.

Getting through anything is not just a marketing strapline for our technology, it is a way of life for our diverse and talented team.

 What’s life like in Slovakia, working at GA Drilling?

Bratislava is certainly not in top ten places you would think of when talking about Oil and Gas technology development and innovation, that’s for sure! That in itself is a great help because we can align the naturally innovative engineering mindset here with O&G thinking.

I haven’t had the opportunity to explore much outside Bratislava in the short while I have been with the company. But the city itself has a great vibe, lots of history, culture, it's boutique with a bit of everything.

The people here are warm, welcoming and very motivated to succeed. I couldn’t have asked for more as a new recruit.

We have a great facility at GA Drilling fortunate location surrounded by nature, a working environment, that gives you that feeling that you’re always in touch with nature inside the offices and outside, which is a slightly different environment to most of the places I have work over the years. It’s a relaxed environment, green-tech atmosphere. I liken it to what I have seen in the Silicon Valley environment, the “disruptive force” of the drilling sector if you like. It’s very apparent to me, that a lot of thought has been given to building a working environment, that is very family and people orientated, a sort of love brand from an external perception, which is very refreshing.

 See more of GA Drilling in the Decom North Sea Web Site and at www.gadrilling.com

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