Subsea Expo

The voice of the UK subsea industry

Aquatic Growing Americas Business

Aquatic Growing Americas Business

View directory entry for:

21 April 2016

Aquatic Engineering & Construction, an Acteon company, has expanded its team based in Houston, Texas. Bob Terrell joined Aquatic last month as regional manager, focusing on growing Aquatic’s business in the Americas. OE spoke to him about the business environment, recent projects and a new collaborative back deck package offering.

"There is one major issue that senior managers of service and supply chain organizations like Aquatic are facing right now: cost control and focus on effectiveness and efficiency within their organizations,” says Bob Terrell, Aquatic Engineering & Construction’s new regional manager for the Americas. ”The changing face of our industry means the task of keeping operations cash-positive and technology-ready is not easy for operators and installers alike, and therefore calls for appropriate considerations.”

Aquatic’s response has been expanding local resources, employing local people, and redistributing - as well as developing and growing – its strategic assets, to meet its technical and operational commitments to the industry. It has a range of in-country equipment based in Morgan City, Louisiana, but the modular nature of its assets means they can be easily transported to where they are needed as required, also helping to iron out the demand requirements of a region which spans from shallow to very deep water.  

Indeed, the firm is now gearing up for a string of contracts it has recently won in the Americas. "In the first six months of 2016, we have won six key projects - all brownfield and all involving major installation companies and operators,” he says.  "One significant project we’ve performed in the Gulf of Mexico involves installing steel flying leads from our 120-tonne modular Powered Reel Drive System. We have completed Phase I and II and we complete Phase III later this summer.

"In another project, which has recently concluded in Venezuela for IMR Global and PDVSA, Aquatic was tasked with installing 9in-diameter subsea flow lines, using multiple reels and a 50-tonne tensioner spread.”  

For some projects, when a specific piece of equipment is required for a project, equipment is brought in from another region. For example, says Terrell, on a recent project in the Gulf of Mexico the firm mobilized its 50-tonne Tensioner system into the region for use with a locally-based 500-Tonne Powered Reel Drive system. This project also saw Aquatic partner with fellow Acteon company InterMoor, to provide local personnel.  

"This project focused on some unique applications for installation of an umbilical tie-in, with water depths of 3800ft,” says Terrell. "Aquatic’s modular design allowed for our components to be installed in a tight deck layout on the vessel allowing the installer to complete the project in a single campaign, which provided for lower OPEX costs to the project.”

Other projects Aquatic is due to start from late April 2016 include mooring line installations in 8200ft water depth and umbilical installation in 1500ft water depth, using its 500-tonne Powered Reel Drive system, 80-tonne Powered Reel Drive system, 20-tonne Tensioner system and 15-tonne Tensioner system.

To help drive down costs Aquatic has been working under a joint agreement with James Fisher Offshore to offer complete back deck packaged solutions. By collaborating, the two companies have been able to offer lower OPEX costs by reducing offshore personnel and providing for a single point of contact.  

Looking at the market, Terrell says, for the Americas at least, it’s brownfield type work which will be driving activity, albeit still with a need to be at costs which operators can afford in the "new normal.”

"When we consider the economic context, CAPEX for most of our clients has been reduced or limited and OPEX has become an essential element in preserving and extending the life of field capability of projects across The Americas region,” he says. "Brownfield, inspection, repair and maintenance, subsea tiebacks and economically driven expenditures on current projects and reservoirs are the mainstream opportunities in the current market along with decommissioning work in the GOM over the next three to four years.

"However, all of these will come at a cost and the industry needs more effective and creative solutions through the entire supply chain as the market adjusts to a ‘new’ normal.”