Jonah Margulis
Country Manager
Aker Solutions
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View from the Top

Engineering Solutions for Deepwater

Tue, 01/21/2020 - 18:27

Q: Where does Aker Solutions apply its services in the Mexican market and how does its global experience aid its operations in Mexico?

A: In Mexico, Aker Solutions focuses on the front end and early engagement with our clients. This includes concept, pre-feed and smaller feed engineering work. Most of our work in Mexico is centered on offshore with IOCs that are already in, or are moving into, the drilling phase. We are working on early concepts, screening ideas and guiding our clients toward a decision gate that allows them to make an investment decision on their blocks. For example, one of our clients, BHP, is working on the Trion field. We are discussing various concepts with them, including a number of floater projects. Also, we continue to work closely with Cotemar.

Q: How does the role of Aker Solutions change as the life cycle of a field transitions from exploration to production?

A: Aker Solutions follows our clients throughout the process of planning, into drilling and production. We are at their side for each stage of the life cycle and can further refine their processes as each stage progresses. We have worked with BP for just over two years and provided the pre-planning for the drilling that began last year. Now, we are refining their process. The selection of a floater is an integral step in the development of this project.

Q: Which technologies is Aker Solutions introducing to enhance oil recovery at Mexico’s mature fields?

A: We pride ourselves on our use of innovative techniques. Subsea boosting, pumping and gas compression are some of our core service offerings; we are market leaders in these areas. We have recently announced a major contract for a FEED study for a subsea compression station for the Janszlo field in Western Australia, with Chevron as operator. And the world’s first subsea compression station we delivered in 2015 to Equinor’s Asgard field in the North Sea has been running smoothly. Both these subsea compression trains are huge, at 11.5MW each. This is a core piece of technology that we can offer to gas fields in Mexico. Additionally, we have been working on multiphase pumping technologies that could certainly be put to use here. We are in the process of qualifying an exciting technology that will be useful for Mexico’s deepwater areas, including the ultradeep water of the Perdido belt, where artificial lift and boosting will be necessary. Other traditional technologies, such as water-alternating gas injections, will be interesting to consider for PEMEX’s mature fields like Cantarell.

Q: How can Aker Solutions aid hydrocarbon transport on the Mexican side of the Gulf of Mexico?

A: The US side of the Gulf of Mexico has a highly developed pipeline network that makes installing a facility in deepwater a simpler undertaking. Operators can easily plug into the pre-existing pipeline network and quickly bring their product to market. But on the Mexican side, this is not the case. Therefore, in the short to medium term, we expect to see more storage and offloading in these areas, with FPSOs being the predominant method of storage and transport. This is an area in which Aker Solutions has a great deal of experience and we are talking to several operators to define their FPSO designs.

Q: What would constitute a successful 2019 for Aker Solutions?

A: On the brownfield modifications side of the company’s operation, we would like to see PEMEX commit to EOR activities to rejuvenate declining oil field production. Showing that ability to push a major project forward would be great for the Mexican industry in general. In deepwater, we hope to see the continued commitment from operators to drill wells in Mexican waters. Aker Solutions will keep working with operators to define their engineering concepts and to continue progressing toward greenfield deepwater projects. The proxy for Aker Solution’s growth is activity in the field; if wells are drilled then we are confident of growth. This is already happening – Murphy has just finished a well and Shell will be drilling this year, so we are optimistic about our business in Mexico.

Aker Solutions engineers products, systems and services for the energy industry. The company offers solutions for every stage of a project’s life cycle, from concept development to asset integrity management and decommissioning.