Aker Kvaerner Offshore Partner, headquartered in Aberdeen, is to open a satellite office in Stockton-on-Tees, UK. The office will be responsible for a range of upstream oil and gas projects, and modification work. The office is located within the existing Aker Kvaerner premises at Ashmore House, Stockton-on-Tees and will be operational from January 2006. "In addition to servicing work arising from current and future clients, Aker Kvaerner intends to develop the office as a center of engineering excellence to execute cross-border work for our Norwegian sister companies and clients," said Richard Strachan, operations director with Aker Kvaerner Offshore Partner Ltd. Based in Stockton for more than 100 years, Aker Kvaerner has a long-standing commitment to the Teesside area. With a workforce of approximately 1,000 based in Stockton, Aker Kvaerner's Engineering Services business provides life cycle services to a wide range of industrial clients, including chemical, nuclear, water, energy, pharmaceutical, refinery plants, and nonferrous metals and minerals processing. Initially, there will be around 15 employees within the office, servicing the upstream oil & gas sector, with plans to increase this to some 50 employees in the early stages of 2006. There will be a small number of people relocated from the Aberdeen office with most of the recruitment coming via new employees from the region.