Noble Denton and Germanischer Lloyd have joined forces to form a fully integrated technical assurance and consulting company. Unlike other mergers that are taking place these days, this joining of forces is one that will lead to expansion, not consolidation. “It’s a real feel-good deal,” John Wishart, group managing director of Noble Denton, told attendees at a press conference to announce the merger in Houston in early April. “We’re not downsizing,” he said. “We need people.” Both companies serve oil and gas companies, contractors, shipyards, ship owners, consultants, designers, and financial institutions across the marine and energy industries. The joint workforce will amount to more than 6,400 employees in 80 countries. In Houston alone, the two companies will jointly operate with a workforce of more than 200 engineers and technical experts serving the US oil and gas industry. The new entity will provide assurance, inspection, and consulting as well as project management on a worldwide scale. It will focus its services along the entire life cycle of oil and gas (upstream through downstream), renewables, and energy installations onshore and offshore, including safety, integrity, reliability, and performance management. “The merger is a reflection of the needs of our clients who increasingly face challenges in technology, environment, and asset integrity,” said Pekka Paasivaara, member of the Germanischer Lloyd executive board. “This is a holistic service offering.” One of the primary focus areas for the company will be upstream, which Paasivaara defined as “the largest segment in the oil and gas value chain.” Together the companies plan to address the technology challenges presented by frontier E&P. “Frontier areas drive demand for advanced technology support and solutions,” he said, “Deep water is driving growth, and deep water is introducing a new dimension in complexity and technology.” According to Wishart, one of the greatest strengths of the new company will be the combined personnel resources. “We are now able to provide an even more comprehensive service offering to our clients with access to a greater number of technical experts. This will enable us to enter developing markets,” Wishart said. David Rowan, managing director of project management and execution for Noble Denton, agreed. “What differentiates us and gives us the edge is that we have a high level of technical expertise as well as real-world experience. No one else has that same combination of skills.” Equally significantly, perhaps, is the optimistic mood of the merger. “This is an ‘up’ story at a ‘down’ time,” Wishart said. “We’ve got something that is going to be very special and interesting. We’ve got ambitions plans for growing our business. We’re giving people opportunities to develop their careers.” At a time where the word “merger” has come to mean “downsizing,” the industry needs some good news. On the surface, it certainly looks as if the Noble Denton/Germanischer Lloyd merger fills the bill. The company has plans to expand into growing markets in Russia and Vietnam and hopes to establish a local presence in Australia soon. To accomplish those goals, the company will need to add people. Wishart welcomes that challenge and is hopeful that others will see the value of the combined company and the opportunities that will inevitably arise. “We want to become the organization where the talented engineers in the marketplace want to work,” Wishart said.