RSL sees increased demand from oil & gas industry


A north east company is licking its lips at the prospect of growing demand from oil & gas firms after receiving a number of enquiries for the ultrasound technology currently being used by Italian sports car maker Lamborghini.

Last year, Aberdeen-based RSL agreed to become a UK reseller of DolphiCam, a type of camera that can assess impact damage on carbon fibre-reinforced plastics by creating 2D and 3D images through the material.

DolphiTech has developed a novel ultrasound transducer design that produces high-resolution images, and utilises advanced technology developed by a team of experts in ultrasound, analogue and digital electronics.

Made in Norway by DolphiTech, the camera is currently being used by Lamborghini and aerospace giant Boeing, and RSL believes the technology can also be applied in the subsea sector.

Oil & gas firms are increasingly trying to develop new types of subsea pipework that are sturdy enough to withstand harsh environmental conditions, but light enough to let them cut costs by using smaller, cheaper surface vessels.

Reinforced plastics could be the answer for these companies, but the materials need to be tested before any roll-out takes place, which explains the interest in DolphiCam.

RSL General Manager Mike Dempsey said: “Carbon fibre-reinforced plastics are being used increasingly around the world and we see the testing of it as a big growth market for us.”

RSL, which also has bases in Glasgow and Sheffield, has shown signs that it has avoided the worst of the fallout from the oil price drop, recently hiring four new employees based in Aberdeen.

Furthermore, its sister firm, independent chemical supplier Apex Industrial Chemicals (AIC), has taken on six new members of staff to help meet the demand for its products.

The recent recruitment drive takes the total headcount across both firms to 50.

Mike Fergusson, who was appointed Group Operations Director of RSL and AIC in November, said: “Despite the fall in oil price, we are still experiencing growth thanks to our diverse client base.

“That being said, the oil & gas industry is still a busy market for us both in the UK and abroad.”

Mr Fergusson, who had spent 25 years at the Royal Bank of Scotland, added: “We have developed more than 20 new products this year and both RSL and AIC are real success stories for the north east.

“I am confident we will be in a position to announce even further growth in the not too distant future.”