Engineering Services with the PEMEX Quality Stamp, ASISPETWed, 01/21/2015 - 12:58
Francisco Ruiz Galván, Director General of ASISPET, used to be PEMEX’s Head of Maintenance and Production for the marine region near Ciudad Del Carmen. This experience made him highly sought after by foreign firms, seeking either to recruit him or to solicit his advice. After using this as a ramp to work in the American oil and gas industry for 15 years, Ruiz Galván was again contacted by PEMEX in 2003 when it asked him to carry out certain equipment inspections. This led the former executive to enter a new chapter of his career: technical consultancy. After hiring a small team which included a petroleum engineer and an industrial safety engineer, he began offering operative audits. “We analyzed how and why equipment was operating in a certain way and we found many areas of opportunity where we could help PEMEX,” he comments.
A year after the team started operations, it faced so many requests that its three-man roster could no longer cope. The company swiftly grew to seven engineers, all former PEMEX employees, and ASISPET as it is known now was founded. Today, ASISPET has almost 500 engineers offering different services to PEMEX, including a pressured container verification unit, a mechanical integrity team, a reliability team, while the seven original engineers now lead the service areas. “Our team has specialists for compression, measurements, wells, industrial safety, and maintenance. We are all partners with the same level of participation and everyone is as important as the next person,” says Ruiz Galván. For its founder, the fact that ASISPET is composed of former PEMEX employees places it above other technical consultancies. This enables its members to far more easily understand the language and the needs of the NOC. “We always comply with the quality standards and requirements of PEMEX and our other clients. If there is a situation where we cannot offer the best solution, then we can lean on our different alliances,” explains Ruiz Galván.
Rather than offering specific maintenance and repair services, the firm focuses more on engineering, equipment, construction, and installation supervision. According to Ruiz Galván, these collaborations always begin with conceptual engineering before moving into more detailed engineering. Rather than being limited by the duration of the maintenance contracts, this method allows ASISPET to be involved in a project from its conception and learn about different requirements first-hand. This means ASISPET can supervise the entire construction process and select the proper equipment to ensure a successful project. Ruiz Galván also points out that by detecting problems in the early stages of a project, ASISPET can reduce overall costs considerably for its clients. Furthermore, due to its specialized nature, the company has not been severely affected by PEMEX’s budget cut, unlike other suppliers. “There have been some cancellations, but our most important projects have carried on, including the Ayatsil- Tekel project. The important thing is that we have not had to let go any member of our staff,” says Ruiz Galván. In fact, ASISPET has continued to grow in numbers to meet the needs of its new construction, installations, and field development projects.
Ruiz Galván runs his company according to a simple motto: “renew yourself or die”. With this in mind, the company constantly pursues certifications to keep up with market requirements. For instance, the company’s container verification unit is used to analyze the integrity of tanks and ducts. In addition to having an alliance with Amerapex, the leading company in non-destructive inspections for such equipment, ASISPET has the credentials to determine if a container verification unit is fit to operate in any condition. This is but one example of why alliances are so important to ASISPET’s strategy. In fact, Ruiz Galván tells that his firm has an alliance with Kavin, an Indian company that develops engineering solutions around the world. “We work alongside Kavin in creating new basic engineering for FPSOs. Similarly, we work with Alliance Marine on solutions related to vessels and human capital.” ASISPET develops these partnerships with Mexican and foreign companies in order to innovate and keep up with the current trends in technical support and consultancy services.
Ruiz Galván explains that the Energy Reform is forcing every consulting company to increase its competitiveness in the market. “We will have to promote ourselves and form new alliances with the foreign companies that are going to arrive in Mexico, and we will work to offer them the best quality in our services.” In order to prepare for fierce competition, ASISPET is currently developing an upstream team of 15 engineers, which are being trained in the software and business practices being used by potential new entrants. “Because we want to continue growing, we try to stay connected with all the new developments of the industry, which entails improving our human capital,” says Ruiz Galván.
However, training its staff in the precise processes that are becoming commonplace in the industry has backfired somewhat for ASISPET as it has lost a number of people to other companies. Ruiz Galván explains that when his company finishes a project, some staff may have become experts in areas that will not be needed for future contracts. This means that they can either remain with the company and work outside their new field of specialization or leave and seek out other opportunities. “This is a continuous process and we are sad to lose that investment, but we understand that this is how the industry is operating nowadays,” states Ruiz Galván.
Now, ASISPET wants to contribute to the implementation of the Energy Reform. “It is only natural that we maintain a strong commitment with PEMEX, given our background. Contributing to the development of the Mexican oil and gas industry has always been a priority, even after we left PEMEX. This priority has allowed ASISPET to develop projects that we could have not done before,” shares Ruiz Galván. “Collaborating with PEMEX is very important to the seven founding members of ASISPET, as this allows us to give something back to the company that trained us.”