Victor Manuel Rodríguez

Non-destructive Testing for Oil and Gas Infrastructure

Tue, 01/22/2013 - 11:41

As a company focused on o†ering technical support, engineering, maintenance, and consulting services for the Mexican oil and gas industry, one of RICCSSA’s main strengths is that its workforce is largely comprised of retired Pemex personnel. As a result, the company holds a great wealth of knowledge of the functioning, needs, and processes of the NOC, which enables RICCSSA to anticipate opportunities in various di†erent fields at an early stage.

Besides o†ering consulting, maintenance, and technical support for the Mexican oil and gas industry, RICCSSA’s main strength is non-destructive testing technology for maintenance and inspection of oil and gas infrastructure. The development of the company’s non-destructive testing expertise and experience in implementing the associated technological solutions was initiated when RICCSSA was hired to solve storage tank issues at Puerto de Dos Bocas, Tabasco. “During our study on the storage tanks we searched for international best practices and technologies that o†ered the optimal solution for Dos Bocas and we eventually identified to most suitable technology in Germany and applied this at the port,” recalls Víctor Manuel Rodríguez, CEO of RICCSSA. After acquiring the technology and adapting it for storage tanks, the company obtained a contract to inspect 60% of all 500,000 barrel storage tanks in Mexico, which made the company realize not only the potential of their discovery, but the impact it could have on the industry.

It was then that RICCSSA began applying non-destructive testing technology on pipelines and other oil and gas infrastructure. During the process of adjusting and optimizing the use of this technology for di†erent types of infrastructure, the company’s engineers and technicians – with the help of Mexican technicians, engineers, and university research centers – were able to not only improve the technology, but also succeeded in creating a methodology to reduce the cost of inspection and maintenance in the Mexican oil and gas industry.

As a result, RICCSSA was able to win multiple contracts with Pemex as well as both national and international private companies, which created the foundation for the company’s expansion into consulting services. Building on the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of its founders, RICCSSA moved forward by entering into technological and consulting alliances with both British and Mexican companies, and currently o†ers consulting services such as pipeline risk analysis to reduce maintenance costs. “Many companies stayed behind in this respect, focusing on standalone challenges and required technologies rather than system solutions and an integral approach to pipeline maintenance, while we are consistently striving to develop and implement new technologies and solutions that enable us to o†er Pemex 98% certainty that their installations and infrastructure are in good conditions,” Rodríguez adds.

The above mentioned strategy has not been the only pillar of RICCSSA’s expansion, the company also capitalized on the introduction of the integrated service contracts. These contracts have opened the Mexican market to private sector operators under a fee per barrel remuneration scheme that also attracted a new wave of international service providers that are today presenting serious competition for Mexico’s pool of domestic small to medium sized service companies. “Fortunately, we are in a position in which we can compete with any international company in Mexico because of all the opportunities available. Competition is not only driven by the knowledge and technology that international companies are introducing to Mexico and are sharing with their Mexican counterparts. Our extensive experience working in Mexico has allowed us to understand the operating environment, operational needs, and administrative and bureaucratic processes of Pemex, which is something international companies currently lack.”

To pursue further growth, RICCSSA is currently creating an alliance with a well-established Canadian oil and gas company which will open up the possibility of acquiring larger contracts, even to the point of being responsible for design, engineering, and construction of an o†shore platform. “We expect to make this dream a reality over the coming decade,” concludes Víctor Manuel rodríguez.