Developing a Solid Deepwater Technology PortfolioWed, 01/25/2012 - 15:30
Pemex must face a number of technological challenges in deepwater exploration, development and production, as the company is now entering this arena as a relative newcomer. In order to overcome potential technology and experience gaps, the NOC is looking for partners with tried and tested technologies to bring to Mexico in order to develop a deepwater technology portfolio that can help it exploit its deepwater resources successfully.
“There are a number of areas where companies with experience in deepwater projects in other parts of the world can work with Pemex to bring tested technology into Mexico, mainly focused on exploration activities,” explains Rossy Perez, Sales Manager in charge of Central and South America for Kongsberg Oil & Gas Technologies. In general, potential partners can be split into offshore and subsea solution providers. In offshore, Kongsberg has a suite of technologies that are designed for use on seismic vessels. It is this technology that has led to a large portion of Kongsberg Maritime’s activity in Mexico, through partnerships with specialized seismic companies like Fugro. Indeed, in August 2011, Kongsberg announced that it had secured over US$1.5 million in orders from Fugro for a range of high-resolution cameras and Mesotech scanning sonar systems as part of Fugro’s 2011 ROV sensor refurbishment and new-build programme.
Kongsberg’s business in the seismic segment was bolstered in July 2011 by the acquisition of Evotec AS, a company specialized in marine handling technology that deals with the design, engineering, fabrication, installation, commissioning, start-up and service of products in the areas of seismic, offshore supply and subsea. Some of the products Kongsberg has in its portfolio as a result of this acquisition, that could prove advantageous to helping Pemex collect better exploration data on its deepwater projects, include winches and handling systems, cranes, launch and recovery systems for ROVs and AUVs, spooling devices, overboard handling equipment, control systems and hydraulic power packs. Kongsberg also offers eBird, its seismic cable control solution, which can control the lateral, vertical and roll streamer control for seismic vessels. In March 2011, Kongsberg Seatex, the company that designed the eBird system, was presented with the prestigious Award for Design Excellence from the Norwegian Design Council.
Remote subsea vehicles will become an increasingly important tool for Pemex, and Kongsberg is eager to participate in this development. “We have a line of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), which we manufacture and design ourselves. Its REMUS and HUGIN vehicles can be acquired with extremely short delivery times, and have been used by many different offshore operations by a number of different industries,” says Perez. “However, AUVs are particularly useful for deepwater exploration, as the water depths do not allow human divers to reach the seafloor, and remote vehicles are therefore one of the few options left for capturing visual data of the seafloor. They are also useful once deepwater production begins, when once again visual data is vital.”