Manuel Mariscal
Director General
O&L Offshore
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View from the Top

Preparing for the Future Now

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 00:05

Q: How has the Energy Reform redefined O&L Offshore’s business strategy in the Mexican market?

A: PEMEX will not be the only player and we are preparing for that. We are meeting frequently with incoming companies to understand their needs and how we can help them. Right now is a good time to invest in Mexico. The main challenge for new companies is to understand how business is done here in terms of regulations. It can be unclear which regulatory body to approach, since there is CENAGAS, CNH and CRE to choose from.

Q: What factors do you take into account when deciding who to work with?

A: We work with companies from the Netherlands and the UK and the main reason for this is our focus on quality. O&L strives to work with the best companies in the field to ensure every job is completed to extremely high standards. Recently we traveled to the UK to have a conversation with different British companies. We believe some of the best offshore technologies are found in Aberdeen due to the area’s extensive experience in the North Sea. We always strive to find new technologies and ideas, focusing on new companies that are experts in what they do.

Q: How do you convince new companies that O&L is a reliable alternative to global oilfield service enterprises?

A: When companies do construction work onshore something is bound to go wrong. But when companies do construction work offshore the problems are 10 times worse. When there is a problem to solve, an expert with  the correct knowledge must be sourced to help. This is where O&L comes in. Whether it is a particular piece of equipment, an extra vessel or more divers, O&L ensures that the expert satisfies the client’s needs.

We can assure companies that O&L has substantial experience – around 15 years – working with large, international oil companies. With this in mind, they can be assured that we are a reliable partner for their entry into the Mexican market. We have been in conversations with a big US company about a potential partnership. It chose us because it knows we have been doing business in Mexico and we have delivered. We always take care of all details of a project, ensuring everything runs smoothly.

Q: How will Mexico’s oil and gas market evolve in the upcoming rounds and what role will O&L Offshore play?

A: O&L Offshore has the same strategy for the upcoming rounds as we did in the previous ones: to observe which companies win the blocks and determine which ones we wish to work with. We are not operators, so we will not be getting involved beyond this. We believe that now is a very important time for the Mexican oil and gas industry. The key is cooperation. PEMEX’s strategy is still unclear but there are also many doubts surrounding the upcoming licensing rounds. Companies have bid on the rounds and it could take them a while to start. Some winners are waiting to see what other companies are going to do before they begin projects in earnest. Winning the field is one thing but many issues follow. Logistics, operations, security and environmental issues still need to be addressed.

Q: Fast-forward five or 10 years. What will O&L Offshore’s portfolio look like?

A: In five or 10 years, we expect our portfolio to resemble our current one, which focuses predominantly on shallow- water and deepwater projects, even though projects in the latter require completely different services. For example,weassistedPEMEXwiththebasicconceptual engineering for the offshore fields that resulted in farmouts. We believe O&L Offshore can be a strategic partner for new players.