Mexican Applications for a Wide Portfolio of Norwegian Solutions

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 15:09

Although in comparison to other countries around the world, Mexico is not considered to be advanced in its deepwater activities, companies specialized in deepwater and subsea activities still see the potential of the Mexican market. Aker Solutions has been active in the Mexican market for the last two years, in an effort to be recognized by Pemex as one of the leading players in the subsea industry. The contracting model for deepwater has yet to be defined, and companies specialized in this area are pressing hard in order to be the one partner to Pemex as the NOC considers an integrated approach, with one company executing deepwater contracts in order to minimize risk and interfaces. According to Alejandro García Enríquez, Business Development Manager Latin America of Aker Solutions, explains that this business set- up runs differently to the way that Aker operates in many other markets, where subsea and deepwater companies frequently work in cooperation with one another, either as partner or subcontractor.

When asked which projects in Norway best demonstrate the capabilities of Aker Solutions, and how they might apply to the Mexican market, García Enríquez points to the Ormen Lange field as the showcase for the company’s abilities: “Ormen Lange demonstrates what Aker Solutions is capable of, particularly in the area of subsea compression. We built a pilot compression station, which is currently being tested, and represents a huge leap for the industry. Åsgard in Norway is another good example; the first subsea compression station will be installed in the field in this project. On the KG-D6 and MA-D6 fields for Reliance in India, we executed full subsea projects in record time, from FEED to delivery.”

García Enríquez goes on to explain that these are the projects that the company is presenting to Pemex in order to demonstrate the company’s capabilities and experience in executing major subsea contracts. However, García Enríquez reiterates that as Pemex has not yet decided on a contracting methodology for its deepwater projects, the market in Mexico is far from concrete for companies like Aker. “Despite this,” says García Enríquez, “the company’s belief in the Mexican market is strong, as the potential for growth in the deepwater segment is great, and the portfolio of products and solutions for both drilling, field development and production means that we have many opportunities to grow our Mexican business throughout the life cycle of Pemex’s deepwater projects.” Already, Aker Solutions has drilling technologies and products in place on two of the deepwater drilling rigs that Pemex is using for exploration, and the company hopes to participate in any new deepwater drilling rig projects that Pemex may launch in the future.

The way that Aker Solutions hopes to develop its business in Mexico is through demonstrating a long-term commitment to the country, according to García Enríquez. “One of our main strategies is to come to the market to stay. We are not coming to Mexico for one project and then heading back home. We have demonstrated this philosophy in other parts of the world, such as Brazil, West Africa, and Asia Pacific, where we have built facilities, hired people and initiated local operations. I’m convinced this formula can be applied in Mexico, where we can find skilled labour that we can even use for supplying global sources. There is certainly a lot of planning ahead and we are developing a comprehensive business plan,” he explains.

García Enríquez says that the short-term development strategy for Aker Solutions in Mexico is to continue to learn more about the organization and needs of Pemex. However, the company is also looking for growth opportunities through participation in the private sector: the Drilling Technologies business unit of Aker Solutions is strengthening its relationship with Grupo R, and is planning a long future of working together in order to supply the demand for deepwater drilling rigs that Pemex will need as it ramps up development of its deepwater assets.

Working with local companies is an ideal way for an international company with a relatively small presence in the Mexican market to satisfy the national content requirements of Pemex tenders, bringing technological expertise and experience that local Mexican companies lack, particularly in the deepwater arena. Aker Solutions hopes to follow the development of the industry by initially focusing on providing technologies that Mexico needs for deepwater exploration, before following Pemex into development and production projects as the NOC’s deepwater activities develop.

“With our wide portfolio of products, systems and services stretching all the way from the reservoir to production, and through the life of a field, we are looking forward to materializing opportunities in Mexico, supporting the development of its offshore assets and overcoming Mexico’s deepwater challenges,” García Enríquez says.