Surface Data Leader Sees Future in Remote Operations CentersBy Cas Biekmann | Mon, 12/14/2020 - 12:16
Q: What were the most important items in your agenda when the pandemic started?
A: March 2020 was a very chaotic time for all the industries. I became Country Manager just as employees were being sent home to work virtually. One of the challenges we have had this year has been maintaining the continuity of our business. Our vision is to become the specialist in Geo-data for our clients in oil and gas, infrastructure and other markets. Our goal is to deliver solutions that enable design, construction and asset monitoring in a safe and sustainable way. It has been an atypical year marked by COVID-19 and our main priority has been to maintain the health and safety of all our employees and stakeholders. Safety has always been a priority for Fugro. We believe all incidents can be prevented and we are continually reviewing our safety standards and protocols to reduce risk exposure as much as possible. Although the pandemic introduced difficulties, such as working virtually, Fugro and other companies have learned to take advantage of this situation. For some time now, Fugro has worked with digital tools and innovating in remote working processes, for instance, Fugro has accumulated seven remote operations centers worldwide, which help us run some of our equipment and solutions without the need of personnel on-site. This has helped to improve the concepts of safety and sustainability since it helps to reduce the exposure of our personnel to hazards and to maintain operational efficiency.
Q: What changes in demand did Fugro experience as a result of the pandemic?
A: Some of our projects have been postponed until 2021. Nonetheless, the level of work we are currently undertaking has made this year a very busy one, with many projects for both of our business lines of site characterization and asset integrity. Fugro has over 20 years of experience working in Mexico and maintaining continuity in the business has been key to our ability to help our clients develop their projects.
Q: What sets Fugro apart from its competition?
A: One of our main assets is our people. Fugro has very experienced members in its family, whom the company nurtures and develop further. It is difficult to find people in our area of expertise, so it is through this approach that we distinguish ourselves from the competition. Furthermore, Fugro aims to fully understand the needs of its clients. It is important to listen to their needs so that we can offer solutions that will be key to their success.
Q: How is Fugro responding to the changing discussion surrounding the importance of data in the sector?
A: Fugro is incorporating new technologies worldwide and working to integrate them into digital solutions for our clients which are quickly changing the environment. At the moment, Fugro is using many tools based on visualization, robotics, data analysis and connectivity, amongst others, and this is giving us an advantage to provide more efficient and safe services to a higher quality standard. We would like to enhance our current approach and utilize all these technologies in Mexico. Fugro is investing heavily in remote operations as well. We are trying to minimize the risk exposure of our personnel, while promoting the sustainability of our planet. Fugro’s remote operations centers are a good example of this. Here, we can manage our operations from a center without having any crew in the field. We have worked as well with virtual software and hardware that allows clients to visit and supervise installations without actually being physically there. Furthermore, Fugro has technology to remotely operate underwater vehicles and other unmanned vehicles.
Q: What is the balance in Fugro’s Mexican portfolio between exploration, field development and EOR/IOR?
A: We have very balanced operations for both of our business lines, site characterization and asset integrity. In Mexico, the entirety of our operation is dedicated to the oil and gas sector where we support exploration, field development and construction. What we are seeing at a global level is that the oil and gas sector accounts for half of our revenue and we are seeing a rapid worldwide increase in the area of renewable energies like wind, solar and others.
Q: How can Fugro provide added value during the transition of oil and gas companies toward sustainable goals?
A: There has been a gradual transition in many parts of the world where some traditional oil companies are changing their portfolios towards renewable resources and Fugro has quite a lot of experience worldwide participating in this market, especially in Europe and the United States. Mexico has started its transition and advancing in sustainable energy goals, we know it is a long road but we expect to see the development of more projects in this industry like offshore wind farms where Fugro is in a great position to bring this experience to the country.
Q: What are Fugro’s development plans for Mexico’s oil and gas market in 2021?
A: The pandemic has paused our business development to some degree; however, our plans continue to move forward with our vision to be the specialist in Geo-data solutions and become the preferred provider for our clients in this regard. Fugro can provide appropriate solutions at every stage of the project. We have the resources and technology to participate from the initial design through the construction phase and thereafter, when assets need to be monitored. Our plan is to take Fugro to this level so clients will be able to fully rely on our data through the project’s lifecycle to make it a success.
Fugro is the world’s leading Geo-data specialist, collecting and analyzing comprehensive information about the Earth and the structures built upon it. Adopting an integrated approach that incorporates acquisition and analysis of Geo-data and related advice, Fugro provides solutions. With expertise in site characterization and asset integrity, clients are supported in the safe, sustainable and efficient design, construction and operation of their assets throughout the full lifecycle.