Rising demand for technical and engineering services in AngolaDecember 16, 2022
Kapassui Canungue, ALTRAD - Prezioso’s managing director for Angola, talks to The Energy Year about the rising demand for technical and engineering services in Angola’s upstream and the company’s strategy for positioning itself in relation to the local content regimes. ALTRAD - Prezioso provides technical and engineering services, mainly for the oil and gas and power generation sectors.
What general trends do you see in upstream activity offshore Angola?
We have passed through very difficult times during the Covid period, and with the oil price decline. We had a lot of reductions in terms of POB [people on board] offshore, but today the impact of Covid has been reduced. The point is that the oil price is increasing, and the demand for services such as ours is becoming very high. Many upstream projects which were frozen during the pandemic have been released now, all at once.
How are service and maintenance companies responding to this uptick in demand?
We are going after this demand. The only difficulty we are facing today is in ensuring the capability to respond to it because the suppliers that used to provide us with products and raw materials have not been able to respond at the pace this demand requires. It’s setting us back in terms of operational performance.
Work volumes will increase because operators have to keep Angola’s oil production up. We are now adapting ourselves in order to match with the current environment.
How does the need to optimise costs relate to the demand for more integrated services?
The demand for maintenance services is already high and increasing. Within the Altrad group, we’re matching up with our sister companies in order to make sure that if we don’t have the required scale or discipline to get a certain contract, we can partner with others within the group able to provide the type of service we cannot provide ourselves. In this way we aim to deliver fully integrated solutions.
Today we are focusing more on innovation in the technical aspect. We aim to find innovative and cost-efficient solutions in order for our clients to see that Prezioso is evolving on par with what the industry demands.
Angola’s local content decree is now being implemented. How is Prezioso reacting to these new conditions?
The three regimes of local content mean that we have to adapt our structure in such a way that we match with these regimes. We have regimes of exclusivity, preference and competition. As Prezioso, we are asking ourselves, “Where do we stand with these regimes? What do we need to do to ensure that we keep going?”
Local content definitions are a little bit uncertain today, and people don’t know exactly what is going on. It’s somewhat confusing. Another key question is whether we have available multiple local companies to provide the services and supplies in each regime, companies that are ready and able to perform. Thus, people keep asking: is this model really sustainable?
What are the key takeaways in Prezioso’s reorganisation process?
We have to transform ourselves to adapt to the new era and restructure the company’s ownership in order to match local content regulations and continue to be the leaders in our sector. We are reorganising the company in order to maintain our leading position as service providers here.
The competition is becoming more and more aggressive. This is one of the reasons why we decided to look at ourselves and see how we can restructure to be in the right local content position, so that the clients prefer to work with us over the competition.
How does this impact the company’s operational strategy?
In general terms, we are hiring people back and increasing the workforce because we need to. We are training a lot of people to make sure that they can match our workload and projects. We plan to acquire some companies here, likely within the next two years, with a focus on mechanical and fabrication capabilities. We are investing in our own capabilities to be prepared for large-scale contracts. We also aim to make the organisation more proactive: to go after the projects rather than being reactive.
What are your most important contracts today?
Our main focus today is offshore, with just a few onshore projects. We are focused, first, on keeping the contracts we are running today, and making them efficient. We are doing painting services for all the FPSOs at TotalEnergies’ Block 17. This is a key contract for us.
With Chevron we have services contracts for rigging, lifting and painting, but also mechanical services. There is a big opportunity with Chevron next year with several short shutdowns that will take place on different fields at same time, for which we have to prepare ourselves. The challenge lies in investing in materials and equipment in order to be capable of working in separate fields at the same time. Our objective is to see how we can better respond to these types of contracts and to make sure that the client is happy with our service.