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Queen’s Award recognises RSK Group’s environmental operation in Iraq

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Oilfield Technology,

RSK Group has announced that it has been awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade, the UK’s highest accolade for business success. The award recognises RSK Group’s success abroad, particularly as one of the major British companies that has played a role in helping rebuild Iraq.

The company has worked throughout Africa, Europe and the Middle East since 2002 and now employs over 1200 staff. However, it is the bold move made in 2013 to establish a team in Iraq that has principally led to the honour.

Working with clients such as Shell and BP, RSK Group undertakes environmental clean up operations, environmental impact assessments and geotechnical analysis on major infrastructure projects and oil and gas sites. RSK Group has conducted hundreds of geotechnical investigations across the Majnoon oilfield, and is working on cleaning up a 4.5 km2 area of Iraq’s largest oilfield, Rumaila. The growth in demand for geo-environmental services locally led to the setting up of the fully accredited RSK Group Iraq laboratory in Iraq Energy City, Basrah in May 2014. The team on-site has grown rapidly since, with an emphasis on employing both international and local talent.

The growth in demand for geotechnical services, particularly from the country’s burgeoning oil and gas industry, led last autumn to a partnership with the University of Basrah. Together they will train the next generation of engineers, providing practical experience that will prepare graduates for careers in the Iraqi oil industry. 50 technicians have already been trained in key engineering skills and safety.

Harnessing new technical advancements to enhance their services, in January 2016 RSK Group’s Iraq team undertook its first Unmanned Ariel Vehicle survey. Drones are revolutionising environmental survey operations by allowing the RSK Group team to inspect live assets such as flare stacks without shutting them down or risking staff in dangerous conditions.

“We are deeply honoured to have been granted a Queen’s Award,” said Dr Alan Ryder, RSK Group’s founder and CEO. “At a time when others were reluctant to work in the Middle East, we saw an exciting opportunity. Our long-term commitment to working in the region is bearing fruit. With recent advances in our technical capability and investment in new partnerships, we continue to see potential to achieve more.”

RSK Group Director and Iraq country manager Sean Gamble said: “This Award recognises the skill, dedication and integrity of our excellent team, and the contribution we are making to Iraq. We are proud of our laboratory, which is the first laboratory accredited to ISO standards in Iraq, and of what we have achieved in the region. This inspires us to continue to rise to the challenges and opportunities offered there.”

Queen’s Award winners in the international trade category have demonstrated that their business has achieved outstanding growth in overseas earnings and commercial success. The Queen’s Awards were instituted by Royal Warrant in 1965. The Award is formally conferred by a Royal representative and winners also receive an invitation to a reception hosted by The Queen at Buckingham Palace.

Adapted from a press release by David Bizley

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