Innovation in Offshore MobilityTue, 01/21/2020 - 17:39
Q: What characteristics of the company’s fleet make it ideal to service Mexico’s oil and gas industry?
A: MexMar owns and operates a modern and versatile fleet comprised of 33 offshore support vessels worldwide, with the latest technologies and providing services of the highest standards to our clients. We provide our services in the Gulf of Mexico, mainly from Ciudad del Carmen, Dos Bocas and Tampico with 22 Mexican-flagged vessels.
MexMar was a pioneer in Mexico in providing services in deepwater fields and today we have the largest fleet in the area for deepwater supply. I am proud to say that some of our deepwater PSVs were recently upgraded with hybrid electric propulsion and classed with Battery Li notation, which represents savings in fuel consumption of around 30 percent. Additionally, this technology represents a significant reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases. MexMar also operates in Brazil through our subsidiary UP Offshore, which has a strong presence in the Brazilian market and a long-term relationship with Petrobras.
Q: How has your client portfolio changed over the last year and what have been the reasons for this?
A: We have been operating in Mexico since 2003. From that time we have completed over 35 long-term charter contracts with PEMEX and we still have almost half of our fleet chartered to them. However, in recent years and with the opening of the energy industry to private players, we have invested a lot of effort in developing relations with the IOCs and private companies that have ventured into the Mexican upstream market. It has definitely been an interesting challenge to reconfigure and innovate the way we operate to also be a qualified and respected service provider for international players. Although we recognize the huge potential in this segment, our intention is always to continue to foster our great and long-term relationship with PEMEX.
Q: How was MexMar able to stay nimble during the downturn?
A: I consider that the quality of the services we provide speaks for itself. MexMar has always been adamant in operating over and beyond industry standards and our efforts were not taken for granted. Not only do we have a great fleet, but our employees are loyal and very hard-working people who are committed to maintaining MexMar at the highest levels of quality and safety in our operations. Of course, there were concessions we had to make, such as reducing our rates, but our utilization remained very high through this period. We indeed had to restructure our business in order to incorporate optimal solutions to reduce costs, but never losing sight of our core values.
Q: Which of your business lines is seeing the most demand, and how do you expect this to change over the next two years?
A: More and more, we are seeing opportunities for larger supply vessels to operate in deepwaters and a strong preference for diesel electric, fuel-reducing type propulsion. Historically, Mexico had not had much activity in deepwater, so there was large need for bigger vessels. We believe this trend will continue through the coming years as the IOCs begin their operations in the Perdido Fold Belt and Cuenca Salina areas.
Q: How does the JV between SEACOR Marine and Operadora Transportes Marítimos strengthen the services that MexMar provides?
A: SEACOR Marine is one of the largest offshore support vessel operators globally, and they are a highly renowned company in the industry. It has been a pioneer in incorporating different technologies in offshore support services for offshore wells and windfarm facilities. Its entrepreneurial spirit permeates everything it does and is central to its drive to deliver greater efficiencies, comfort and safety. SEACOR Marine has set the level of standards under which we operate and has provided MexMar with experience and know-how. Operadora de Transportes Marítimos brings to the table all the know-how of the Mexican market. It was crucial when incorporating MexMar to establish the company in full compliance with the national legal and regulatory requirements needed to be a legally established operator. OTM also provides the qualified Mexican personnel for the management positions in Mexico.
Q: What industry-leading technologies does the company use on its vessels?
A: Most definitely, the hybrid technology installed on our larger Platform Supply Vessels (PSVs). Hybrid marine-electric propulsion plants offer flexible usage alternatives to traditional electrical plant configurations, providing vessel operators with more options for optimizing the electrical plant configuration. They also enhance safety in emergency scenarios where all main power is lost, or in situations, such as explosive natural gas buildups, when internal combustion engines or other rotating machinery cannot be operated safely.
Q: MexMar was the first maritime company to bring PSVs to the Mexican market. How would you characterize the impact of PSVs on the company’s growth?
A: PSVs are to this day our main business, and we have been keen in investing resources to have the best fleet in the market. We will continue to expand our operations and if need be, grow our fleet. Nevertheless, MexMar is a company that is willing to take risks and innovate, so wherever we can find a good opportunity, we are always willing to explore it. Our success in service diversification comes from finding the best partners, teaming up with them and learning from them.
Q: What infrastructural developments could Mexico’s API system make to extend its port services?
A: There is much potential in Mexico’s coastlines and ports; for example, the project for developing Matamoros as an offshore port has been ongoing now for several years and it would be a strategic port as it is the nearest shore base to the offshore oil provinces of the northern area. Today, Ciudad del Carmen, Dos Bocas, Veracruz and Tampico are the largest ports for offshore operations, and so far, the APIs have been doing a good job in determining opportunities for innovation and improvement, such as the dredging of Ciudad del Carmen to increase the draft and allow larger vessels to berth there.
Q: What role does MexMar hope to play in the revitalization of the country’s oil and gas industry?
A: MexMar has a very ambitious growth plan. We are continuously looking to diversify, innovate and grow by seeking new business opportunities. We recognize the enormous potential Mexico has and we as a company are determined to be a key driver and promoter of the development of the oil and gas industry.
Mantenimiento Express Marítimo (MexMar) is a Mexican company established as a JV between Seacor Marine International and Operadora de Transportes Marítimos. MexMar focuses on the safety and efficiency of its operations.