Petroleum Development Consultants (PDC) was established in 1988 with the intention of providing a service to oil companies to bring oil and gas fields into production. David Aron, the Managing Director of PDC, had been part of a development group at Marathon Oil UK which was responsible for bringing into production the Brae complex of oil, gas condensate and gas fields in the Northern North Sea. In particular he was involved in the preparation of the development plan for North Brae which was the first offshore gas condensate field to be produced using gas recycling. He also prepared the development basis for the East Brae gas condensate field – also developed through gas recycling.
Initial clients of PDC were Bow Valley, Marathon and Sun Oil and work mostly involved development and production studies based in the UK, although some oil and gas fields were outside the UK. In 1992 the company started providing support to the development of gas competition in the UK and provided management for two gas marketing companies. The company started in 1993 providing consulting expertise in both upstream and downstream, particularly in the Former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. A particularly interesting assignment in 1998 was working with Petrom in Romania and leading the preparation of the business plan covering extensive exploration assets, service stations and two refineries.
In 1999 PDC won its first large international World Bank contract helping PetroVietnam negotiate a gas purchase contract with BP for the offshore Nam Con Son field and gas sales contracts with power station buyers. The successful conclusion of these negotiations led to $2.5 billion investments in Vietnam at a time when total foreign investment was $200 million per year. PDC also became involved in its first large scale expert witness case acting for the Republic of Kazakhstan in a $600 million case involving a production license.
In 2000 PDC won a contract with Ofgem, the UK gas regulator, to help to evaluate the efficiency of the Transco gas transmission and distribution facilities. This involved around 6,000 km of transmission system and around 250,000 km of distribution pipe. The following year PDC won another large World Bank contract in Croatia helping the gas regulator with an economic model in order to calculate distribution charges.
In 2003 the company won a World Bank contract to assist the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development in Uganda in downstream oil pricing and standards. In 2004 the company completed a pre-development project for the Ministry of Energy, Kenya covering a supply and demand model for LPG and carrying out preliminary design of required import infrastructure. The Government of Kenya is currently preparing a tender for the construction of these facilities.
In 2005 PDC prepared a development plan for three onshore gas fields in Romania and managed the design, procurement and construction of the project which came into production in 2006. At the same time PDC prepared a Field Master Plan for the giant offshore Umm Shaif and Zakum fields for ADMA-OPCO in Abu Dhabi. These fields had been in production since 1960 and are expected to produce for a further 30 years. The Plan also incorporated the development of four additional large fields. ADMA-OPCO is planning to increase its production from 600,000 bopd to 1,000,000 bopd.
In 2006 RepsolYPF announced that they intend to invest $4.3 billion in the upstream oil industry in Argentina. PDC was asked as part of this process to prepare a re-development plan for the Lunlunta Carrizal onshore oil field in Mendoza in production since 1950. This was successfully completed and PDC prepared a detailed plan for incorporation of its proposals for additional horizontal and vertical wells and workovers. PDC has been awarded a further contract to conduct a regional study in the Nequen Basin.
PDC has been advising the Natural Gas Authority, Israel on gas transmission and distribution since 2004 and conducted a pre-feasibility study for a LNG re-gasification terminal. PDC has also carried out studies on gas storage, both on a depleted gas field and the possible development of salt caverns. PDC advised the government on the development plan for the giant Tamar gas discovery. Most recently PDC has been advising a government inter-ministerial committee on gas exports.