Sven Feldhaus
Swiber Offshore

Swiber Sees Mexico as Latin America New Oil Hub

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 13:34

With Mexico among the high-stake markets in Swiber Holding Limited’s global portfolio, demand for integrated construction and support services from the country’s offshore industry has resulted in significant business opportunities for the group. Having worked with PEMEX for just over two years, Swiber’s long-term commitment to the country is focused on new developments in Mexico’s shallow water areas. This global engineering, procurement, installation and construction services provider offers a wide range of integrated offshore construction services, enhanced with marine support and engineering capabilities. Its three business units are Swiber Offshore Construction, which already has its subsidiary Swiber Offshore Mexico, Vallianz, which operates in Mexico under the name Vallianz Marine Mexico, and PAPE Engineering. Swiber Offshore Mexico has already been delivering offshore construction services in shallow waters, while Vallianz Marine Mexico is primarily focused on bringing in a modern and technologically advanced fleet to support marine operations.

“Swiber Holdings Limited started with a very strong engineering component and we have leveraged our positioning from an engineering perspective to become more effective in our construction approaches,” says Sven Feldhaus, President of Swiber Offshore Mexico. “We are able to develop unique solutions in-house that are adapted to our clients’ specific requirements. This flexibility allows us to unleash new ways of looking at projects, which is a critical factor in the group’s success worldwide.” Setting up a solid project-driven team is a no-brainer for Antonio Villegas, President of the Board at Swiber Offshore Mexico, who has fostered the company’s project execution adhering to very strict standards. Constructing the 77km Línea 5 subsea pipeline to connect a shallow water platform in Litoral de Tabasco with Dos Bocas stands out as a landmark of Swiber Offshore Mexico’s participation in PEMEX’s developments. Similarly, laying another 9km pipeline at Sinán in 2014 required all of the firm’s procurement, construction, and installation expertise, proving the company’s capability to meet PEMEX’s standards. Not only have these solutions been delivered on-time, but the Línea 5 and Sinán projects were completed with over four million man-hours free of Lost Time Incidents (LTI). Another highlight of Swiber Offshore Mexico’s project portfolio is currently underway at Ayatsil-Tekel. “We were awarded the engineering, procurement, manufacturing, and installation contract for two manifolds at the Ayatsil field. We are currently at the engineering phase of this project, to be followed by the construction of the PLEMs and then their installation,” Feldhaus details. In order to successfully complete projects like these, the capacity of the vessels used by Swiber Offshore Mexico depends on a combination of the size of the pipe and the depth at which it must be laid. The firm’s involvement in Mexico had not previously required work beyond 100m, but Ayatsil is the first project to do so and most likely not the last. “We could be laying pipe down to 250m depending on the size of the pipe. Even though Ayatsil is the first project for us in Mexico that goes beyond this country’s standard project depth, our equipment is fully capable of going deeper,” states Feldhaus.

Boasting a large shallow water construction fleet, Swiber Holdings Limited focuses its operations on Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and Latin America. With 16 construction barges and a fleet of 49 support vessels, the group is well- equipped to take on a variety of projects in the Gulf of Mexico. As of today, five vessels are fully Mexican while an additional one is joining Swiber Offshore Mexico’s in- country assets. “We know that in order to be effective in Mexico and show our commitment to the country’s oil and gas industry, our vessels must be flagged here. I am sure that Swiber’s bet on Mexico is the right way to go because within the scope of our business lines, this country is the biggest market in the world,” Villegas explains. While the group is commonly regarded as a shallow water construction and installation expert, one of its subsidiaries, PAPE Engineering, has extended its reach by devising technologies to cater to deepwater developments. “We want to explore certain opportunities in deepwater within three years,” Villegas describes.

Villegas not only expects his company’s services to thrive, but he also aspires to play a crucial role in what he deems to be “Latin America’s new oil hub.” As PEMEX has been awarded most shallow water fields in Round Zero, it will be able to continue working together with the strengthened national oil company. At the same time, Swiber Offshore Mexico foresees business opportunities for its fleet by offering its services to the winners of blocks in Round One. “We will provide our experience, technology, and modern fleet to the reshaped Mexican oil and gas industry. Swiber Offshore Mexico is already a leader in shallow waters and we are preparing our move into deepwater. By designing and starting to build a new vessel with deepwater piping capacity, we plan to take our operations to a whole new level,” Villegas asserts.