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Mexico's Position in a Global Drilling Strategy

Fanel Hahui - Grup Servicii Petroliere


Wed, 01/25/2012 - 09:36

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Despite the increasingly stringent regulations regarding drilling rigs in Mexico, including five-day cancellation options, day rate caps and a ten-year age limit on rigs, Mexico was an interesting market for Grup Servicii Petroliere, as its dynamism contrasted strongly with the stagnation in its traditional markets of the Black Sea and South East Mediterranean markets. Fanel Hanui, CEO of the Romanian company, says that “Pemex, besides Gazprom and TPAO at this moment, is one of the most suitable clients in order to continue GSP’s growth on a healthy foundation. Dynamism of the business environment is the key, one of the attractive elements that brought us here. At the establishment of the company the stakeholders intended GSP to become globally active in the shortest possible time and to hold a solid position in the top of the list of oshore service providers, we consider Mexico a necessary stage. And drilling is just the beginning. In answer to regional market demand, GSP intends to bring in the expertise in oshore construction, shipping, well services, hydro-technical constructions, engineering and subsea installation services. The Mexican oil and gas market creates an oshore industry revolution right under our eyes, and is looking at the global market for solid partners.”

GSP brought two jack-up rigs to Mexico, the Orizont (constructed in 1982) and the Atlas (built in 1985). Hanui explains that the rigs underwent serious overhauls before arriving in Mexico, costing a total of US$20.7 million. However, Hanui believes that this should be viewed as a positive trend. “Tightened safety standards must be perceived by everybody as an advantage. This way we are supported in our eorts to guarantee the safest and healthiest work environment for personnel, and to assess and mitigate the eects of our activities in the marine environment. We perceive Pemex’s new safety standards as the most positive traits of our commercial relationship. The concern shown by our client must be answered with the same high regards every minute of our contract. By modernizing GSP Atlas and GSP Orizont oshore drilling rigs we aimed at improving the main technical parameters and raising the operating safety level by replacing physically or morally aged equipments. The GL regulations, as well as the regulations and IMO, MODU CODE, SOLAS, MARPOL recommendations were closely monitored in their compliance with the whole modernizing process on the mobile oshore drilling rigs,” says Hanui.

In 2010, GSP set about the modernization and upgrading of its Orizont drilling rig. The activities were carried out by Lamparell Energy at its shipyard in the UAE. GSP’s usual equipment and service providers, Euroned, Upetrom 1 Mai, and ICPE ACTEL were also involved in completing the upgrade.

The drilling rig was built at Galati Shipyard, and in 1999 the rig underwent a major upgrade and reclassification project. The scope of work in 2010 consisted of improving the main technical platform parameters and safety operating processes onboard through the renewal of aged and outdated equipment. The upgrade project took into consideration the electrical power generation and supply system, the drilling equipment, main deck navigational equipment and the radio system. The hook load capacity of the rig was increased to 450,000kg. The equipment that was not replaced underwent a technical examination, identifying, repairing and overhauling every item that did not meet the required technical standards.

GSP Orizont was endowed with a new SCR and Power Management System; five new diesel generators were installed, as were the adjacent systems such as fuel, air launching, exhaust, and cooling water. The existing mud pumps were replaced with 3 new 5000 Psi Triplex pumps; the high pressure mud pump discharge piping modifications together with valves/strainers and high pressure pipes & Demco valves for mud manifolds were designed, manufactured and mounted.

GSP Orizont was also endowed with a new Lidan Wichita draw works brake system. A new travelling block and crown block were installed; an electric top drive replaced the hydraulic one and a new driller’s cabin was installed. The upgrade project also aimed to eliminate all the irregularities in the rig through piping and cabling optimization, overhauling the crane system and general refurbishment of the accommodation.

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