OE13: OneSubsea VPs give an insight

OneSubsea, the newly formed subsea partnership between Cameron and Schlumberger, is making its first major show debut this week.

The company, which started trading on June 30, has already announced a US$500 million contract with Chevron on the North Sea Rosebank development.

Chief executive John Carne and Justin Rounce, VP, marketing and technology, took time out to talk technology and business with OE@OE.

How did the matchup between Cameron and Schlumberger come about?

(JC) We began discussing how we might work together to optimize the various components of a subsea production system, incorporating critical information from the reservoir and the well to improve production and enhance recovery for our clients.  We had many ideas and could see a number of opportunities to do this. We discussed various options in order to develop and deliver these ideas. It did not take very long before we came to the realization that the creation of a new company, which brought together the necessary expertise from both Cameron and Schlumberger, would be the best approach and would be unique within our industry.

What was it about both companies that seemed like a natural fit?

(JC) Cameron is an industry leader in design capability, manufacturing excellence and successful installations. Schlumberger brings a deep understanding of the reservoir, and industry-leading well completions, subsea processing and integration platform. Through the integration of these strengths, OneSubsea offers best-in-class subsea solutions.

Werner Menz recently advocated standardization in the subsea industry. Why do you feel it has taken so long to standardize requirements? How well did the industry receive this comment?

(JR) I think that both operators and services/equipment providers have long seen the need for some degree of standardization. There are many good reasons why some equipment needs to differ depending on geography, subsea environment and well conditions. However, notwithstanding these needs, there are many other areas where equipment can and should be standard. Focusing on these specifics can only bring value in terms of faster delivery times, lower cost and lower risk. It’s also important to say that discussions have begun, led by the major oil companies and service/equipment providers, so there is some progress being made. However, we are at the beginning of this journey and have some way to go.

Read more: Standardization: A hot topic at UTC - http://oedigital.com/component/k2/item/3683-standardization-a-hot-topic-at-utc

Cameron has been noted as saying the creation of OneSubsea will allow for the company to expand its subsea business. How does OneSubsea intend to do this? Will there be increased staff, more facilities or product lines to come?

(JC) OneSubsea will provide a far more comprehensive portfolio of subsea technologies, compared to that which Cameron or Schlumberger have individually.

Through the significant investment in and expansion of existing facilities, and the development of new facilities over the past three years, OneSubsea benefits from an almost doubled capacity in Brazil and the United States. It has also added new facilities in Asia and Australia. Additionally, we have a state-of-the-art subsea processing systems facility in Bergen, Norway. We have also invested in growing and developing our workforce. We are confident we are well prepared for the future growth of the subsea market. 

What areas of technology does OneSubsea see as ripe for being developed and brought to market?

(JR) Without getting into specific technology programs, we are focused on several key areas. Firstly, subsea processing. We believe that subsea processing holds significant potential to increase production and enhance recovery for our clients. This includes existing, mature brownfields and also new greenfields. Furthermore, there are new field developments currently in the concept/development phase that require subsea processing to be economical. We already have a strong technology portfolio in this area, but have many ideas and several research and development programs that will expand and enhance the ability to process on the seabed and in the subsurface.

Next, we see opportunities to reduce complexity of the subsea system and simplify the interfaces between the subsystems. Being able to better connect the reservoir, well, and subsea production systems, and to control, automate and optimize them together, in real-time, will again bring significant value in terms of operability and reliability over the full life of the field. It will also be necessary to maximize our ability to enhance recovery.

Finally, there are many opportunities to leverage both existing and emerging technologies that allow operators to continually maintain and optimize production over the life of the field, be it by means of rigless well intervention, autonomous technologies, such as underwater vehicles, or unified, intelligent control systems coupled to real time simulators. This is where the support of our parent companies will significantly enhance our ability to develop and deliver such systems and technologies.


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