A New Focus in Mexico From Offshore VeteransBy Pedro Alcalá | Tue, 06/14/2022 - 15:49
Q: Which of your business lines have been getting the most attention over the last 12 months and why?
A: As a British company with a global presence of 50 offices across all continents and over 169 years of history as the world’s largest vessel brokerage firm, we have to be very precise when defining what exactly we can do for our clients. In the Americas, we work through three main offices located in New York, Houston, and Rio de Janeiro. We offer four business lines. The first is vessel brokerage. We provide broker and commercial advisory services to companies involved in offshore vessel procurement, usually as an intermediary and mediator between an oil company or Charterer and ship owners, in addition we also assist in fleet or vessel acquisitions or newbuilds with shipyards. We support our clients’ businesses from idea to delivery, to ongoing maintenance campaigns, for example, for the renewable industry. The second is focused on financial services from full investment banking services to project finance. We support companies that are looking to raise funds to invest in the shipping, renewables, and offshore markets.
The third business line is port services, mostly as agents. That service is only offered in select locations, such as the UK and Egypt, although we are interested in expanding it to the Americas and even Mexico, specifically, as part of our future growth plans. Finally, the fourth business line is research and market intelligence. Clarksons Research is respected worldwide as the most authoritative provider of intelligence for global shipping and is one of the strongest differentiations against our competitors.
One of our business lines that has gained a lot of traction during the last 12 months is our consultancy services in the offshore renewables market. We have been involved in some of the most important vessel transactions in the US, Europe and Asia and we will continue to increase our presence and leadership in this market.
Q: How would you characterize your operations on the Mexican side of the GOM compared to the American side?
A: There are obviously differences between both markets, the US Gulf has been focused mainly in Deepwater drilling activities and Mexico has been historically more focused on shallow water drilling, the technical requirements and port infrastructure are different and it plays an important role in terms of size and quality of the vessels needed. The US is a mature oil and gas market, with more players involved and that of course plays an important role in the demand for offshore services. On the other hand, Mexico will become a shallow water player mainly with PEMEX and also a Deepwater player mainly with IOCs, that’s a huge potential for the company and for any O&G player.
In addition, having our office in Houston, the so-called energy capital of the world, has allowed us to provide real local knowledge, to operate as true experts and to give the best possible service to our clients by always dealing with a specialist in each market.
Q: How do you see the Mexican market developing in the near future?
A: We see the Mexican market as an important market to follow especially since the demand for vessels from international companies has been increasing year over year. It has represented an enormous switch within the last five or six years. PEMEX remains the most important oil producer and charterer of vessels in the country. However, now we are looking at as many as 14 oil and gas companies with some degree of activity in the country which will see an important increase in their demand for offshore assets and services as soon as their production phases begin. That is an important change that happened in such a short period of time and we are very proud to witness and be part of such a huge change in the country. I think that if the country provides the right conditions to the market, then we can expect a market that could flourish as the Brazilian market did some years back.
Clarksons Platou is the world’s leading provider of integrated shipping and offshore advisory services.