The Fleet of the FutureWed, 01/22/2020 - 08:52
Q: How would you describe your involvement in Mexico’s offshore sector?
A: We have now two of our Stingray class new-build subsea support vessels (SSV) operating in Mexican waters for PEMEX as end-client. The first vessel has been in Mexico since October 2018 and the second one arrived in September 2019. Despite Maersk Group’s extensive overall presence in Mexico, Maersk Supply Service division’s office currently only has two people (plus some 50 local seafarers working on board our vessels), but our plans are to continue increasing our local footprint in line with the rest of the Maersk Supply Service regional offices, where Maersk Supply Service has a significant and long-term presence. This means that we are aiming for a larger regional office that will likely include crewing departments and a finance department with a strong focus on hiring local seafarers. Other divisions of Maersk, such as Maersk Line and Maersk Drilling are also consolidating its presence in Mexico; this last one is expanding its presence in Mexico significantly through Repsol’s contracting of the drillship Maersk Valiant, which will begin work in 1Q20.
When I started out at Maersk Line back in 2005, all functioning managers were expats; today, the organization is much larger and most of the functioning managers are Mexican nationals.
Q: What role are you playing in the Mexican oil and gas industry and what do you expect to contribute to Mexico’s offshore development?
A: PEMEX is using our vessel mostly for stimulation, as well as inspection, maintenance and repair of its offshore facilities, which the vessel can do very well due to the high capacity and technological standard of its crane. However, the sophistication of these assets goes way beyond these simple tasks. They can be used for Light Well Intervention (LWI) applications, which can include modifications to well completions. They can also be used for abandonment and decommissioning of wells, just to mention a few. These vessels can avoid the use of Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODU), which makes them an incredibly convenient, cheap and faster option for operators performing certain interventions offshore. In this case, we are only talking about the type of vessel exemplified by the one currently working in Mexico. Our fleet has 44 vessels that can greatly contribute to all aspects of Mexico’s offshore development. Our vessels average less than 10 years of age. In fact, 10 out of those 44 vessels were acquired no earlier than 2017, so we are talking about a new technologically high spec fleet. The largest Anchor Handling Tug Supply (AHTS) vessel working in Mexico has a bollard pull capacity of around 150 tons. Our smallest AHTS vessel has a capacity of 180 tons and the largest one is close to 300, so we are talking about very large assets that could make offshore operations in Mexico safer and more efficient. In Mexico, local companies are identified by us more as potential customers than competition due to the differentiation in the size of our assets. Efficiency is key here. PEMEX will be looking at all of its options to make offshore development as cost-efficient as possible, and we believe our fleet can play an important role in contributing to that objective.
Q: How do you expect your offshore and field development activities to be distributed and structured in Mexico?
A: In Mexico, we will focus our efforts on offering integrated services. While our bread and butter will continue to be the chartering of our fleet, we will also continue to expand by offering integrated solutions to our clients. This means that we will take on duties such as project management and resource planning linked to larger work scopes for construction, installation, hookup and commissioning of offshore infrastructure, among others. In this area, Maersk Supply Service has already consolidated its experience by completed integrated projects in the North Sea for towing, mooring and installation of offshore facilities, and we were recently awarded a similar project in Equatorial Guinea for a large American IOC scheduled to begin soon. The structuring of our service portfolio is in line with PEMEX, considering that it wants its suppliers and service providers to assume some operational risk in their contracts.
Maersk Supply Service is a division of Maersk Group focused on the provision of offshore integrated services and on-time chartering of our fleet of specialized vessels. The company is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark.