A diversified portfolio in AngolaJuly 5, 2021
David Parker, business and operations director for Ocean Atlantic Petroleum (OAP), talks to The Energy Year about the company’s work in refurbishment, maintenance and inspection in Angola and the opportunities it sees for expansion in the market. Oil and gas services provider OAP offers products and solutions for onshore and offshore developments.
What are your thoughts on the resilience of the Angolan oil and gas market?
In Ocean Atlantic Petroleum, we’re in a lucky situation where we’re an Angolan company and most of our employees are Angolan. For most of the global services companies, the Covid pandemic sent so many people home that there was no expertise left in-country.
We found that we had more requests coming through because we were still here and our workforce could provide whatever was required. Because our portfolio is diversified, we can take every service opportunity. We managed to get through the crisis, getting work from the service affiliates of the operators.
What are OAP’s current contracts and what is your value proposition?
We are doing FPSO chain inspection with Welaptega for Total, deploying our Angolan personnel offshore and utilising Welaptega’s specialised tooling and expertise. Now we’ve extended that to chain inspection jobs for all fields on Block 17. Based on the good work we’ve done there, we’re trying to expand beyond Total to work for the other operators as well.
We’re getting a lot of the work because our overhead is less than that of the main service companies like TechnipFMC and Baker Hughes. A lot of these companies are having to do some of the work outside the country, which adds to their costs. We can do the same type of work, but cheaper and in-country. I think that’s been our competitive advantage.
What are the challenges related to FPSO maintenance work in this market?
Think of Total’s Girassol FPSO: it was supposed to be a 10-year project, but the asset’s been there for 20 years now and it will increasingly need maintenance and repair as it keeps on ageing. They want to keep it operating because there’s still oil there to recover.
Inquiries are coming through about the project and how to extend the life of the Girassol FPSO. We want to get involved in that, for instance by employing innovative composite repair methods for reinstating integrity.
We are looking forward to getting to extend some of those capabilities to other FPSOs, since both the assets and the oil lasted a lot longer than was initially anticipated.
What is the current state of OAP’s workshop in Luanda?
We provide maintenance services with a special expertise in hydraulic and valves and cold repair technologies. We are the certified local partner of MasterFlo Chokes, Bosch Rexroth and Tritorc in Angola – for example, we have a MasterFlo customised container in our workshop which allows us to perform subsea chokes refurbishment in-country. For control modules we are doing quite technical activities such as integrity testing, insulation, blasting and coating – all in-house. We are planning to take over the facility next to us and doubling the size of our workshop footprint.
Is OAP planning to provide light well intervention (LWI) in Angola’s offshore fields?
We would depend on a partner to do that, as the cost of doing LWI is quite high. But it’s an up-and-coming service. The opportunity to bring the wells on line relatively cheaply and quickly is always an advantage. It’s cheaper to add production by intervening in a shut-down well than it is to drill a new one.
How does OAP’s structure in Angola enable foreign companies to operate here?
Because we are an Angolan company, we can support the workload and personnel needs of foreign companies that come in. They don’t just use the OAP name; they use our people in offshore operations and we are building local capability through our partnerships with foreign companies.
With the new local content decree, this year there are more inquiries coming through, and we are trying to support that. Vertech, another of our partners, has won a remote inspection contract with Total that starts in Q3 2021. In general, we’re aiming to supply the Angolan workforce to support these new contracts as they come through.
What are OAP’s long-term objectives?
We’re looking at a growth of 20% per year and hoping to gain a lot of market share and expand on our refurbishment and maintenance services. We want to grow organically.
We’ve done good work with Aker and TechnipFMC and work is continually coming through. They keep us pretty busy, and we want to have the same thing for OneSubsea and Baker Hughes and any other clients that come in.
We’ve recently done a big job supporting a vessel mobilisation, which went well. Now we have the lessons learned from that and the track record. That’s a bigger scope and we are keen to take more of that on board as well.
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