Erick Velasco
Sales and Marketing Operations Manager
View from the Top

Preventive Maintenance, a Struggle for PEMEX, a Must for IOCs

Fri, 05/12/2017 - 12:38

Q: What was the idea behind the creation of SETEIN?

A: SETEIN started 21 years ago in Coatzacoalcos as a small, family-owned company that offered leak-sealing services for the refining and petrochemical sectors. SETEIN would later start offering maintenance services to ensure pipeline integrity. Leak-sealing services are needed when there is an emergency, making response time crucial. SETEIN is available around the clock throughout the year. We specialize in rapid response times and client services, and for that we keep a stock of necessary raw materials and workers available to perform maintenance services as needed.

Q: What is SETEIN’s strategy to ensure it provides a rapid service?

A: When SETEIN responds to an emergency, the company sends a technician to scout the area where the leak occurred and to take the necessary measurements. The technician will then send that information to the company’s workshop. SETEIN then manufactures its own split sleeves, clamps and metal reinforcements upon receiving these measurements. It will usually take a day to produce everything that is needed to seal the leak. When the project has special requirements, it may take longer. For instance, producing a welded split sleeve will take a week. Once it is finished, we will deliver the product and install it where needed. 

Q: How does SETEIN recommend and introduce new products and technologies to its clients?

A: The company can suggest and introduce new products when there is enough time. However, emergencies can be too critical and we must get whatever the client tells us and adapt to the client’s needs. For instance, Petrofac may like a certain brand and Lindy another one, so SETEIN must be flexible enough to cater to the client’s needs. We do not like to stick to a single brand. Being aware of the quality expected from suppliers is a determinant factor in SETEIN’s selection process so we can present options to clients according to their needs.

Q: In which project does SETEIN take the most pride?

A: We once sealed a leak that was 60m underwater. SETEIN manufactured the clamp and coordinated the installation with a diving company. This project was successful because we did not need to install an expensive habitat to seal the underwater leak. Our client company was losing in terms of production and there was environmental damage, but we mitigated those problems by responding quickly.

Q: Have you seen any change in the types of problems that SETEIN helps PEMEX solve?

A: The restructuring that PEMEX is undergoing is affecting us, and we see this most in PEMEX’s petrochemical sector. Coatzacoalcos has two large petrochemical plants that suffer from lack of appropriate maintenance due to the fact that there is less money allocated for preventive maintenance, which makes it deteriorate and lose its value faster than it should. SETEIN has seen more corrective maintenance than preventive maintenance as a consequence of this problem. We have noticed an increase in the number of valves we have had to replace for PEMEX but we have also seen emergencies become more common than planned works. Maintenance is not like production, since production can be halted in a low oil price environment but maintenance is required at all times. 

Q: How is SETEIN adapting to the changes introduced by the Energy Reform?

A: SETEIN focuses on predicting needs and catering to them as they come. Before the liberalization of the market and the entrance of large integrators everything was ruled by PEMEX’s standards. International companies have their own standards and although the end user is still PEMEX, SETEIN needs to cater to these new companies by complying with their standards. To ensure our market presence we took a step ahead and invested in certifications that PEMEX did not necessarily need but that are required by these new companies. These include ISO and OSHA.