Gulf Marine Services designs, builds and operates Self Elevated Support Vessels (SESVs), also known as jack-up barges. These SESVs are four-legged self-propelled vessels with a large deck space, crane capacity and accommodation facilities. They can be used for a wide variety of purposes, supporting the installation, maintenance and refurbishment of offshore oil and gas platforms and wind turbines, together with well intervention work.
One of the vessels’ most important features is that they are able to move independently, with no requirement for anchor handling or tug support. This reduces both the time taken to be ready for deployment at the required location, and the costs of getting there. GMS’ current fleet of fourteen SESVs is technically advanced and amongst the youngest in the industry, with an average age of seven years.
GMS has been active in the Arabian Gulf and the North Sea for many years. However, looking ahead, growth opportunities exist in less mature markets, such as Asia, where the low cost, OPEX-based solutions we offer have so far gained less traction. We see particular opportunities to use our innovative solutions for reducing operating costs in South East Asia. We were in Kuala Lumpur in March, and were very pleased to encounter a high level of interest in our services and vessels.
How has the flat oil price affected the SESV business?
There is no doubt the low oil price is impacting the industry as a whole, and it is clear customers are under increasing pressure to minimise lifting and maintenance costs. However, we can help our clients achieve this through the provision of our low cost, flexible and efficient vessels. We are also developing new cost-effective solutions targeting a broader market share by supplanting more expensive and less-flexible non-propelled drilling rigs. We are confident that our OPEX-focused business model, our state of the art SESV fleet and leading operational expertise will ensure the group navigates through the current challenging market conditions.
Can you tell us more about the cantilever system agreement with Dwellop?
GMS’ new cantilever system gives clients a much greater range of options in the way they use our barges to service their offshore assets. This innovative new system offers new cost-effective solutions for work that has traditionally been performed by more expensive non-propelled drilling rigs.
The drivers behind this were a desire to increase the capabilities of our vessels in order to maximise utilisation. This opened up a new area of the market which had previously been predominantly served by drilling rigs, at a greater cost to operators. The new cantilever system will be able to replace them, offering greater efficiencies, quicker servicing times and lower costs: they can deploy sooner, have no requirement for tugs and the time spent rigging up, rigging down and lifting backwards and forwards will be removed. Basically, large amounts of non-productive time can be saved, both for ourselves and for our sub-contractors.
We are also finding the platforms we are servicing are located mainly in shallow water and were installed quite some time ago, so that a lot of the infrastructure is well advanced in its useful life. This creates asset integrity issues, which traditional servicing methods will struggle to resolve, because only smaller weights can be transferred and handled, a function for which the new cantilever system is ideally suited. Both the technical and commercial cases for developing the new system are therefore highly compelling.
The first system to be delivered under the agreement with Dwellop will be for well intervention with wireline and coiled tubing, the second, ready for operation at the end of 2016, will be equipped with the workover rig. This complete system is designed to perform operations such as plugging and abandonment, light drilling, change out of submerged pumps and completions.
What do you hope to gain from ADIPEC?
GMS has been attending ADIPEC for many years. Its most recent presence was a spectacular mock-up of a jack-up barge set over two floors, with stairs, gangways, a pantry, a meeting room, high tech video screens, tables and chairs. The concept was based on an amalgamation of our E Class and our S Class vessels, which both represent the future in terms of our ability to deliver efficiency and improve productivity, to the highest possible standards. They are state-of-the-art, versatile and adaptable and that was very much the theme of the stand.
ADIPEC is now firmly established as a global event for the oil industry and in a low oil price environment, it assumes even greater significance. The industry is looking to services companies such as GMS to bring innovative solutions to support it and help drive cost management and efficient process. ADIPEC is the perfect place for companies to showcase their capabilities and it will, as usual, be a great opportunity for GMS to show what it can do for its customers. Our stand always receives visits from existing and prospective customers and even potential recruits, so we are looking forward eagerly to the next instalment in November.