Dynamic Positioning Innovator Sets to Pounce On MexicoWed, 01/21/2015 - 22:59
Q: How much success has Kongsberg’s Maritime division found in Mexico?
A: Kongsberg is a large consortium divided into four departments: Defence, Protech, Oil and Gas, and Maritime. The first two deliver military solutions while the oil and gas department offers management of drilling processes in real time, allowing decision-makers to oversee and run the drilling as it is taking place. Finally, Kongsberg Maritime, which I represent, carries the most weight within the consortium along with Defence. Kongsberg Maritime provides support to ships that use our technology, including dynamic positioning systems, bridge and deck systems, engine room and automation systems, sensors, and transmitters. Today, out of all deepwater ships operating globally, 90% carry Kongsberg technology. In Campeche, a fleet of about 140-150 boats operate with Kongsberg technology. This is up from around 60 in 2008-2009, which shows how our numbers have increased exponentially in Mexico. One of the reasons for this market share is that Kongsberg provides exceptional customer support. Being part of a global industry, our ships could be in Mexico one month and in Russia the next, so we must be available to offer constant support to operators, wherever they may be. Offering customer support wherever our clients are is key to our business. Furthermore, our systems respect the most rigorous international standards. All the ships and platforms that carry our technology are supervised by independent organizations that carry out tests each year to make sure international standards are kept up. Finally, our dynamic positioning technology has had a major impact on the development of the oil and gas Industry worldwide, as it has allowed operations to be carried out more safely and efficiently. For Mexico, one of the major contributions of this technology is to improve drilling in deepwater.
Q: How will Mexico grow in importance within your portfolio following the Energy Reform?
A: We are indeed expecting an upturn and Kongsberg is making important investments in Mexico in anticipation of such growth. When our Mexico office was established, we were only five people. That has now grown to 25, which will keep growing in the next two years. We have also established a rapid response office in Ciudad del Carmen, and we are putting together a team for the new training center that will open later this year. This center, which will join several other training centers that Kongsberg has around the world, will certify deepwater operators and offer training for the maintenance of our systems. In terms of clients, Kongsberg Maritime does not work directly with PEMEX as it does not have its own dynamic positioning ships, but we do work with its providers.
Q: Why is Kongsberg opening a training center in Mexico, and do you plan to collaborate with the Deepwater Technology Center in Veracruz?
A: Clients find it important to have their own personnel well- trained, as there are many simple problems that engineers can solve by themselves. Other problems that deal with more sophisticated equipment require specific training for the electrical engineers on board. In order to solve these situations, or even to operate the ships, engineers need to be certified by Kongsberg. We would be pleased to consider a collaboration with the Deepwater Technology Center, especially because we are in a favorable position to do so, since our solutions work in outer space as well as at depths of up to 4,500m.
Q: Will you be affected by PEMEX implementing budget cuts and renegotiating contracts with some of its suppliers?
A: Kongsberg is guided by long-term goals as we would not be growing if we were overly concerned with what is going on today. We are thinking long-term and we have reasons to be confident. First of all, the oil price will probably rise and stabilize. Despite the current situation, we are also seeing increased demand from clients that will participate in Mexican projects. Ultimately, even without new or big projects, PEMEX will have to continue operating its present assets, and that will create a need for technology that Kongsberg can offer.
Q: As Mexico’s oil and gas projects venture into new areas, do you anticipate a rise in demand for your product portfolio?
A: The rise in deepwater projects will certainly lead to increased demand for subsea products, including our autonomous underwater vehicles, which can be used for different purposes. Moreover, our new laser reference system, Spot Track, will be coming to Mexico in 2015, as well as our latest high resolution scanning sonars and our compact acoustic positioning system, among others.