Mike Morrison, head of cable and pipe lay solutions, highlights the advantages of collaborative working in a lower oil price market
The oil and gas industry has seen some tough times in recent years. The drop in oil price has led to cost-cutting, job losses and restructuring, while the focus has become how the industry can operate more efficiently in a lower oil price market.
Phrases such as ‘lower for longer’ and ‘the new normal’ have become common place as the industry reacts to the changing environment. Collaboration has been identified as a practice which could aid a shift in the industry culture as it recovers, and this is something that we at the Sparrows Group have already seen the benefits of.
Partnering complementary services
As part of our commitment to delivering results for clients on time and within budget we are always looking for ways to utilise the latest technology. In the cable and pipe lay systems (CPLS) division, we developed a 62.5 Te electric tensioner which is the first of its type on the rental market. It provides the highest high level of speed and torque control, including fast response and fine adjustment when compared with hydraulic models. It is also more efficient as it uses less power from the vessel - ultimately delivering a saving on fuel for clients.
In order to offer clients the best and most effective service, we have developed a partnership with leading engineering and manufacturing firm INNOVO. Teaming our own range of electric tensioners with INNOVO’s electric drive 700 Te multi-reel drive system means we can supply the offshore industry with the first rental fully electric-drive flexible cable and pipe lay system. As OEM’s of the equipment the collaboration is a natural fit and enables us to provide bespoke rental solutions to the market.
As well as improved efficiency and power advantages, the tensioners and reel-drive system are fitted with the same control systems - providing easy synchronisation between the equipment. This improves control of lay operations and makes the system more autonomous, decreasing the number of personnel required to operate it. In turn, this provides the client with benefits in reduced costs and alleviates the pressure on bed space without impacting the safety of operations.
Going beyond technical benefits
In addition to the technical and operational advantages, working together also means that clients can have one point of contact for the whole contract and negates the need for them to deal with multiple suppliers. During operations, we work as one team and the client receives the same high-quality service no matter who they have engaged with. The ability to work in tandem enables better reaction to changing conditions and dramatically reduces the risk of any damage to the flexible, avoiding delays or the need for repairs.
Not only are there advantages to clients by us coming together, both companies have also seen the benefits of collaboration. Tendering for projects together has introduced us to new clients that we haven’t worked with before.
Collaboration also helps reduce risk and promotes knowledge sharing. Where previously companies would be willing to make CAPEX investments and retain intellectual property, in the current market there is less appetite to spend money when there is no guarantee on return. By joining up with a complementary service there is the opportunity for an expanded offering without the need for additional investment.
Future for the oil and gas industry
Collaboration offers numerous advantages, both to companies and their clients. Our partnership with INNOVO enables us to offer locally supported or supplied equipment for a reduced cost on a more compact and manoeuvrable system.
The current predictions for the oil price expect it to remain steady for 2017 and into 2018. Most businesses will have already made cost-cutting measures but they must start thinking differently and looking for new opportunities to remain competitive. Collaboration is a crucial tool to driving operational efficiency, capitalising on existing investment and opening the door to new opportunities.
To speak to Mike, contact us.