Luis González
Board Member
View from the Top

Cutting-Edge Technology for a New Industry

Sat, 12/09/2017 - 12:00

Q: What are the keys to Drebbel’s success in the Mexican market?

A: Drebbel provides turnkey solutions that encompass different elements of a project. The niche in which we are involved entails the integrity of pipelines, particularly in high-temperature and high-pressure operating conditions. Due to our experience and highly specialized services, we can foresee crucial aspects that determine the success of pipeline construction projects. These are sometimes harder for our client’s personnel to identify.

We are the first company in Mexico to implement concrete mattressing as opposed to the typical rock dumping. The advantages of concrete mattressing is that it is more cost-efficient and easier to work with over the life of the infrastructure because it is removable and allows for inspections and any required maintenance. Drebbel works with top-of-the-line technology, equipment, procedures and personnel. We believe that the only way to work is by employing the highest standards, rather than looking at our bottom line and then building from there.

Drebbel was the first company to introduce world-class ROVs to Mexico. Our partners are not only used to working with ROVs in Mexico, but also in other regions, such as the North Sea and West Africa. Nevertheless, our experience in the market is extremely important because the ROV is just a vehicle that carries the sensor, tool or camera that will provide the information that is needed to perform maintenance, construction and inspection operations.

Q: How do Drebbel’s partnerships ensure the Mexican industry receives excellent service? A: Some of our most important partnerships are with UTEC Survey, SEA Trenching and ROVOP. SEA Trenching is a family-owned business whose owners are always available for work and to answer any question we might have. We are also in the process of partnering with other players to increase our range of services, allowing us to provide more solutions and to make our turnkey packages more robust.

Until now, our main customer has been PEMEX. We have worked on the newly installed pipelines since the beginning of 2016, along the coasts of both Tabasco and Campeche. We hope to do more work with international players, but we also want to continue our contribution to PEMEX’s projects. Being a local partner is especially challenging, but at the same time satisfying. We help international companies, not only to comply with Mexican requirements but also to understand the country’s way of doing business. Likewise, we have also helped PEMEX get to know the different requirements and cultures of the companies coming to Mexico. Overall, we have been in win-win situations where everyone gets the best out of each and every business relationship.

Q: How are you preparing for an uptake in deepwater activities?

A: Most of our strategic partners and the bulk of our activities have always been in the deepwater area. Our work in the littoral of Tabasco represented a challenge. It involved between 20 to 30m of water depth, which is almost a puddle compared to the 800 to 1,500m of depth with which ROVOP is used to working. In fact, most ROVs and certain survey procedures, such as LBL technology, are meant for use in deepwaters rather than shallow waters. For this reason, the upcoming deepwater activities in Mexico are extremely interesting for our business. We are ready to take part in these activities.

We have strengthened our alliances in the subsea-technology community, which has given us access to cutting-edge technology that has never been seen in any market other than perhaps the North Sea. This technology will help to shorten times and costs while offering more accurate results than the current acoustic technologies that are widely available in the survey market. Drebbel has also taken steps to work in the geotechnical field and we will be offering geotechnical, alongside geophysical services shortly.