Engineering company’s expansion to support offshore industry

WITH more than 30 years experience in the offshore industry Tony Sneesby is excited to be providing solutions to some of the world’s biggest names in the sector.

In his previous roles in the oil and gas industry he’s worked all over the world - West Africa, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Gulf of Mexico, Texas, California, and all over Europe.

He’s been responsible for running several multi-million-pound contracts a year, working his way up from starting at BAE Systems through 25 years at Oil States (and its predecessors) and more recently at SN Group.

For the last 12 months he’s been operations manager for pioneering engineering solutions company Forth, and in the last six months has set up and grown a new arm of the business.

Tony has recruited an 11-strong team of design engineers, technicians, and mechanical engineers, to work out of Forth’s new base in Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria.

Seven of the team have extensive previous experience of the sector with Oil States, and others through their work with Centrica and SN Group.

Their first project is with One Subsea, preparing and testing subsea umbilical pipelines and connectors.

And due to the team’s expertise and experience, and Forth’s collaborative approach to help businesses through innovative solutions, their order book is growing.

Tony and his team are already working with Spirit Energy, Orsted, Boultings, Kimberly-Clark and BAE Systems.

Given the team’s extensive connections with the oil and gas industry Tony is also talking to the likes of Shell, BP and Total.

“Offshore oil and gas is my background. Innovation and research and development is what I have been involved in with these companies for a long time.

“I know what they are missing and what service they are getting. I know the gaps in the market that we can provide through a new way of looking at things, through our innovative approach.

“Repairs and inspections of platforms, for example, is a global issue that we can help with through our innovations.

“Even when we talk about the North Sea we’re not just talking about Scotland, the UK, or even Norway. There’s Sweden, Denmark, Holland, and Germany.

“Then there’s the Baltic and the Caspian Sea and that’s before we talk about the rest of the world,” said Tony who will be attending the Oil and Gas Show in Aberdeen on behalf of Forth at the beginning of September.

“Through a collaborative approach we’re talking to the likes of Shell and Wood Group about asset integrity and how we can help provide solutions.

“Through the team we have assembled at Forth we have vast offshore experience. We know what will work and what won’t.”

Without Forth setting up a new operation in Barrow, when Oil States centralised its operations to Bathgate in Scotland, those offshore skills and experience were set to be lost from the area, and potentially from the industry as a whole.

But Tony could see the potential of pulling a team together - and retaining, and developing those capabilities - and praises Forth’s management team, led by managing director Mark Telford, at the company’s Maryport HQ, for backing the opportunity to expansion.

Tony said: “That support made a big difference. It meant we could quickly all turn our vision into a reality.

“We are proud of what is going on here, what we have done in such a short time and where we will be going.

“It’s all about the team and their vast experience. Everyone in the team has an integral part to play in the business. It’s testament to everyone involved,” said Tony.

Forth prides itself on delivering engineering, maintenance and decommissioning excellence to processing, production and manufacturing industries.

Its business in Barrow concentrates on servicing the oil and gas, renewables, subsea and civil nuclear sectors.

It offers a holistic approach with solutions for complete engineering life-cycles through design; manufacture and assembly; installation, commissioning and maintenance; decommissioning; supply and project management.

From 3D design to a finished product, the Forth team also manufacture and assemble bespoke tools. The Barrow-based team have already manufactured for clients a bespoke hydraulic swaging unit and vacuum oil bath with tilt and elevation function, and have just received an order to supply more units.

The company also offers plant services, and has a fluid power team available for on-site services across the UK involving a range of specialisms including hydraulic and pneumatic systems, and oil filling and filtration.

*Business and organisations interested in finding out more about how Forth’s innovations can help them are invited to attend an open day on September 18 at Forth’s headquarters in Maryport organised in conjunction with Atkins. Contact Martin Lewis at Forth 07949-384343 on for further details.

Photos: Tony Sneesby outside, and in the workshop, at Forth's Barrow base, and (left to right) in the office, James Howson, Rob Sneesby, and Tony Sneesby.