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Analysis

Growing Market for Pipeline Trenching Solutions

Tue, 01/22/2013 - 12:23

“In the next year there are 40 opportunities available for pipeline trenching solutions in Mexico, out of which we plan to sign at least 16 contracts, which is around 40% of the existing opportunities,” José Luis Oviedo Acosta, Business Development Manager for the Americas at Ocean Engineering Systems (OES), says. However, OES is not the only company o† ering pipeline trenching solutions in Mexico; Reef Subsea, previously known as Rotech, already o† ers services to clients such as Technip, Swiber, Cal Dive, and Protexa, and is planning to increase revenue by 25% by participating in Pemex projects in 2013, according to Reef Subsea’s Country Manager, Edgar Álvarez.

Currently, Reef Subsea is using T8000 equipment for pipeline trenching in Mexico, which generates a large column of water travelling vertically down to the seabed at a velocity of up to 10 meters per second. The e† ect of up to 8 cubic meters of water per second hitting the seabed at this speed creates a powerful excavation force capable of breaking up sti† clays. Reef Subsea also o† ers T2000 and T4000 equipment, which are mostly used in the US because of less demanding conditions. Oviedo Acosta, from OES, emphasizes that despite the fact that there are multiple technologies and equipment available for pipeline trenching solutions in Mexico, most of the trenching machines available are copies of machines designed by John Lincoln, the creator of OES. “OES pipeline trenching technology, in comparison to other technologies and because of its jetting nozzles at the bottom of the tool, allows you to dig trenches at the exact required depth, which prevents the tool from cutting more than what it is calibrated to,” he adds.

However, one of the largest complications Reef Subsea is encountering in Mexico is establishing and importing all the necessary equipment. In the past the company brought equipment into the country for projects on a temporary basis, but now they are attempting to attack the Mexican oil and gas industry more aggressively. “We have to make proper arrangements to move the equipment from the US to Mexico to perform the service, to import and export the equipment, and deal with all the logistics issues of this process,” Álvarez explains.

As Pemex focuses on more deepwater and shallow water exploration and development projects in the Gulf of Mexico and the Bay of Campeche, more opportunities will open up for subsea trenching solutions, and due to their innovative technology, experience, and growth strategy, OES and Reef Subsea are expecting to acquire more contracts with both private domestic and international companies as well as with Pemex.