The last few years have been a tough time for the Oil & Gas industry globally and particularly within Aberdeen. With thousands of redundancies and multiple business closures you could be forgiven for thinking Aberdeen would be a grey and miserable place to work. However, having survived a number of downturns, one company has even more reason to rejoice this year; Wellahead Engineering, based in Dyce, is celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year.
Mike Coutts Managing Director tells us what it takes to run an Oil & Gas SME and what he has planned for the future.
How did Wellahead Engineering start out Mike?
“Wellahead was formed back in 1998 with only 3 staff and after several knock backs from the bank for funding I ended up taking a personal loan out for £5k which was supposed to fit a new kitchen, much to my wife’s disappointment it was destined to start Wellahead and from then on in we have grown from strength to strength over the years “
What was your ambition in the early days?
“My ambition in the early days was to be able to supply oil companies with a precision machining facility offering a quick turn around and service second to none. We have delivered this and have grown the company to a decent manageable size.”
As a youngster, what did you want to be when you grew up?
“All I wanted to do was be a chef (master)”
What have been the high/low points of running your own company?
“Highs – Working with very talented machinists/engineers who have made the company what it is today, without them we would not be able to produce such bespoke parts and we are proud of what we deliver to our customers.
Lows – Having to go through 3 recessions and having to deal with redundancies. It’s never nice having to make people redundant especially in a small business.”
What’s your proudest moment as a company owner?
“Receiving great customer feedback for our on-time deliveries and quality machining. Also, purchasing a 5- Axis Milling machine at the height of the latest downturn, to make sure we kept up with the latest technology to better our capacity”
What does the future hold for Wellahead?
“Wellahead will continue to produce quality parts, invest in new machinery and people, while keeping our strong presence in the Oil & Gas Industry.
“Wellahead have a number of events planned over the next few months, which started with a charity fundraiser on the 15th April (Coffee & Cars) raising over £5000 for Pancreatic Cancer this will be followed up with more Anniversary celebrations in May.
“We have heard over the last few years that the oil price may remain lower for longer, if not life, but Aberdeen and Wellahead Engineering are most certainly open for business.”