Commentary by Espen Sørbø, CEO, Ace Well Technology
When I summarized 2022 a full year ago, one of my hopes was that the market would develop a real understanding of our downhole products. Were my hopes fulfilled? Yes, beyond my wildest dreams! Our commitment to innovation and hard work has led to global market breakthroughs for ACE Well Technology.
In the five years since I was appointed CEO for ACE Well Technology, every year has brought with it a diverse set of challenges, wins and learnings that we have used to grow our business. As we approach year-end, I find it rewarding to reflect on the past year and look ahead to 2024 to see how we can help our clients grow their business by utilizing our game-changing technology.
From the very beginning of 2023, we knew we were entering a year of transitions. It started with our name change from ACE Oil Tools to ACE Well Technology, reflecting the company’s ambition to offer our technology across the entire spectrum of the energy industry. And at the end of the year, projections show that we have doubled our revenue from 2022. We are a company in growth, and we intend to continue our upward trajectory in 2024.
Breakthroughs in Latin America and Asia Pacific
2023 stands out as a year when we fully commercialized a number of our products and made important breakthroughs in several key markets.
Our ACE Ratchet Collar (ARC) is the cornerstone in our product portfolio, both for the well construction and completion segments. Small in size, but big on strength, our portfolio is designed with versatility and flexibility in mind, from mass production to tailor made solutions for specific applications, delivering unrivalled holding force under all operating conditions.
A fun fact is that the term “ratchet collar” is now growing to be synonymous with “stop collar” in the trade jargon. We find this to be an extremely satisfying reaction from the market to a product that is simpler, more robust and efficient than the equipment it is meant to replace.
In terms of our global operations, Brazil has been one of our greatest successes in 2023, solidifying our initial offerings in the Latin American market from 2022. The offshore Brazilian market is the fastest growing in terms of repeat deliveries from our completion portfolio. So important is Brazil that we will strengthen our sales team with a Brazilian representative early next year.
Asia Pacific is another promising region. Following in the footsteps of Brazil, Asia Pacific - with a predominantly Australian component - is growing fast. Our well construction portfolio is popular product in the region, and there is considerable interest in our whole product portfolio. Expanding our sales team with a regional Asia Pacific rep is a natural development.
Yet another breakthrough is the Middle East, where a large order for the ARC Slim from a major national operator has kickstarted our exposure in this region. Building on the success of our products, Ace Well Technology has successfully expanded its global footprint in 2023. We have delivered in 40 countries globally, up from 30 in 2022.
Focus on automation and recruiting in 2024
As is evident from the market summary above, our sales team has been instrumental in developing markets and delivering results based on our tried and tested products. In fact, our whole organisation has delivered beyond expectations the past year. Recognizing the pivotal role our employees play in our success, we will be focusing on recruiting and growing our global employee count by 30-40% next year. Our 2024 budget projects a considerable revenue growth, and we need dedicated and passionate people to strengthen all our teams.
Last year I talked about our focus on automation on the drillfloor, and how we believe our technology for automating installation of control line clamps will revolutionise this critical procedure. The ACE Control Line Clamps (ACLC) will be our main technology focus also in 2024. We have been met with considerable interest and engagement from major operators.
This serves to remind me to thank all our clients for their interest, engagement, and willingness to share their requirements with us. Client feedback helps us develop our core technology further and enables us to create products that meet the evolving needs of our customers.
Environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues continue to be high on our agenda. We will continue to provide online digital training for our customers in the use of our simple installation tool, saving on travel needs. Our logistics and shipping organization is now keyed to supplying clients directly from our manufacturing base, keeping our carbon footprint as small as possible. In Q1 2023 we calculated emission savings to be approximately 170.000 kilos of CO2, proving the sustainability of our approach.
Looking ahead to 2024, Ace Well Technology is poised for even greater achievements. Our strategic roadmap focuses on continued growth in our developing markets, expanding our winning team to overcome growth pains and closely monitor new markets. We expect to see an uptake in geothermal drilling in the years to come, and we are aligning our technology and R&D to be able to contribute to the energy transition in geothermal.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank our employees for their considerable contributions to our success in 2023, and likewise thank our customers and partners for their adoption of our technology. As we reflect on the successes of 2023 and chart our course for the future, Ace Well Technology remains dedicated to the principles of innovation, sustainability, and customer satisfaction. With a resilient spirit and a forward-looking strategy, we are confident that 2024 will bring even greater achievements and continued growth for our organization.
I wish you all a happy and relaxing season to take care of yourself and your loved ones. I look forward to collaborating with you all in the New Year.