SLR Consulting has acquired UK-based upstream consultancy Challenge Energy. The deal is SLR's fifth in the oil and gas sector this year and reinforces the company's strategy to provide high quality consultancy services on a global basis.

Challenge Energy, founded by Nick Hooke in 1997, has established itself as a leading provider of integrated upstream oil and gas solutions globally with particular focus in the UK, NW Europe and Africa. Recent clients include Chevron, Det Norske, OMV, Africa Oil and the Government of Kenya.

With an in-house team of 16 professionals comprising geoscientists, reservoir and petroleum engineers, economists as well as commercial and financial experts, the company has experienced rapid growth, working across 48 different countries and for over half of the FTSE 350 listed oil and gas producers.

Under the terms of the agreement the companies' upstream teams will merge, working out of Challenge's Guildford base. The newly-expanded team will be led by Nick Hooke, who continues as managing director of Challenge, with the management team augmented by SLR's Technical Director, Hamish Wilson.

Commenting on the deal, Nick said: "Merging with SLR's team allows us to strengthen our offering across the upstream value chain, particularly in exploration-related services.

"We also gain access to SLR's wider global oil and gas offering, including environmental and regulatory compliance. The move affirms SLR and Challenge as the obvious partners for providing multidisciplinary global advisory services, at all stages of the hydrocarbon value chain – from exploration through to decommissioning."

SLR's CEO Neil Penhall added: "Our acquisition approach is to select complementary businesses that provide supplementary expertise and strengthen our global offering. Like SLR, Challenge prides itself on offering an integrated service that delivers value-added insight and solutions to clients."

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