Certifying Safe Operations in Unsafe TimesBy Pedro Alcalá | Tue, 03/23/2021 - 11:25
Q: How has ModuResources' strategy and outlook on the global oil and gas industry changed in the last year?
IR: We have six offices worldwide and our strategy has always been focused on helping customers reduce their NPT. This means listening to the clients and fully understanding their issues/needs to ensure we provide the right solution through our highly skilled technical field personnel. With our worldwide presence and involvement in many different projects and situations, we have seen a variety of scenarios during our decade in this business. This provides us the opportunity to share our global lessons learned with other regions. In 2020, we had to get creative to deliver this same quality service in a locked down world without increasing our prices. We were able to employ experienced local personnel and setup strategic alliances with other companies. Through our strategic alliances and in-country personnel we were able to address the environment we were faced with, without increasing our rates while still providing a first-class service, as well as develop and implement new options such as remote inspections. Things have changed and become more challenging, but now, uncertainty about the future of the industry and its normal functioning has dissipated somewhat, but we continue to stay adaptive as the circumstances fluctuate.
Q: What are some of the areas of opportunity in the Mexican oil and gas industry?
IR: We definitely see a lot of activity in the Mexican market, especially now that the former PEMEX monopoly has turned into a much more diverse market with international companies. This has made it a hotspot. The US side of the Gulf of Mexico is becoming increasingly difficult to work in due to potential government restrictions, so many our clients have their eyes set on Mexico. We work with all the major operators, drilling contractors and even service companies. Day rates for both drilling vessels and specialized vessels have obviously decreased considerably, not only due to the pandemic; they have been in a generally downward trend over the last several years. The drilling vessels went from half a million dollars a day to the more frequent US$120,000. Nevertheless, all of these parties are still interested in reducing cost and downtime as much as possible to maximize profits. The demand for efficiency and safety services are as high and even sought after by local governments (i.e. Mexico) who want an appealing options and assistance.
MG: We have been operating in Mexico for the last 12 months, which turned out to be great timing, since we started just before the pandemic hit. We were very uncertain in our observations of how the market would react to the events of 2020, but we were also surprised to see that things like exploration activities, even in harsh environments such as deepwater and ultra-deepwater fields, did not completely stop. In fact, some operators like Shell and CNOOC took advantage of reduced day rates and offshore service prices to push their exploration, and drilling campaigns went ahead as scheduled in 2020. We were able to support some of those operations with rig inspections and selection services, among others. This has shown us that Mexico’s deepwater sector is likely to continue to offer opportunities to us for years to come. The more general offshore sector also presents opportunities. We are accustomed to working with public institutions and regulatory bodies all over the world, and in Mexico we identify many opportunities in the support of regulators like CNH and ASEA, perhaps even as issuers of third-party independent reviews and opinions. Specialized training for drilling operations, well control and even deepwater well intervention could also represent exciting opportunities for us.
Q: How do you highlight additional savings, rather than expenses?
IR: When you do rig selection, the drilling contractor will provide the information; they will tell you the degree to which a rig’s characteristics comply with all existing and applicable regulations. As an operator, you have a responsibility to make sure all of that information is true and verifiable. It is up to all of us to make sure that you are working in the safest way possible and that you are current in compliance when it comes to all the necessary maintenance activities. The upfront expense that this assurance represents, which we provide, generates long-term savings not only in the form of reduced or completely mitigated downtime but also in the form of safe employees and smoother transitions from the exploration phase to the development and production phase of your projects. Our services can move you quickly and efficiently from drilling to production, so you can start seeing a return on your investments sooner and faster. This is extremely relevant for operators. However, it is true that some mindsets must be changed to get this message across, especially among drilling contractors, as there is an added benefit for them too, when marketing the rig.
ModuResources provides independent third-party technical consultancy services to provide the drilling contractors, operators and service companies more efficient operations and reliable assets to reduce total cost of ownership.