Leading the way
BW Offshore’s principal activity is the development and operation of oil and gas FPSOs (Floating Production, Storage and Offloading units).
The company’s fleet consists of Berge Helene, Sendje Berge, YUUM K’AK’ NAAB, Berge Okoloba Toru, Belokamenka, BW Endeavour, BW Nisa, BW LPG FPSO I, and BW Pioneer. Operating across the world, BW Offshore is a dependable contractor for long-term lease arrangements, as well as a provider of shorterterm solutions. A philosophy combining modularisation, standardisation and flexibility by design with hands-on project management ensures that a variety of customer needs are met. The company also offers versatile solutions for mid to large-scale projects, both for oil and gas.
Elisabeth Barstad, director of business development for BW Offshore explains: “One of our key strengths is that we have a long track record in the industry. We have been involved in FPSO operations for more than ten years now, which has helped us gain invaluable experience. We also have an excellent workforce who are extremely skilled and knowledgeable when working on any project.”
BW Offshore believes that the key to achieving its overall objectives is continual investment into its personnel. BW Offshore is committed to having a competent, well-trained and motivated workforce in order to continually meet its goals. Elisabeth continues: “In the past few years we have spent a significant amount of time and effort on improving our human resources. We believe this is a very important part of establishing ourselves for future success.”
BW Offshore has been at the forefront of the industry for many years. It was the first company to operate an LPG FPSO with its operations in Angola. Later the company converted and installed the first and only Arctic oil FSO, and more recently, BW Offshore won a tender to build and operate the first FPSO in the Gulf of Mexico.
BW Offshore will supply the FPSO in Mexico for the Mexican oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex). The vessel, Folk Moon, formerly the BW Enterprise, will be the largest FPSO ever converted (in deadweight tonne terms), while the contract for 15 years is BW Offshore’s longest to date. Pemex’s development in the Gulf of Mexico is made up of the three fields Ku, Maloob and Zaap (commonly referred to as KuMaZa). The field installation consists of nine platforms with the FPSO serving as a hub in the area and acting as an export terminal – it will be placed 105 kilometres northwest of Ciudad del Carmen. Folk Moon, renamed YUUM K’AK’ NAAB, which means ‘ruler of the seas’ in 2006, will be ready late April 2007. The vessel will have the third largest oil production capacity, as well as the largest throughput of oil of any FPSO today.
The vessel differs from other FPSOs in the company because it will have larger oil production and gas compression capacity. Another of its differences is its function as a blender of heavy crude in order to export a more commercially attractive mix. The contract heralds the beginning of new and exciting times for BW Offshore and represents an entry into a new area in terms of both geography and operational and technical magnitude.
Erik Svendsen, general manager for projects at BW Offshore comments: “From our point of view the Mexico project has helped us to move in the right direction. We hope to gain many benefits from the execution of this project, including unrivalled experience, which can be used when managing contracts elsewhere. This project has also enabled us to increase our presence in the US market and will hopefully lead to similar contracts.”
With an increasing interest in new markets, the company relies on the successful execution of past projects to enhance its reputation within the industry. This plays an important role in securing projects for the future. Tom Arne Kristiansen, director of the technical division for BW Offshore explains: “We are keeping a close eye on the US market, with particular interest on Brazil at the moment, as this is the main focus for us right now. We are also constantly monitoring technical developments on the market to ensure we remain an important FPSO provider. We work closely with many oil and gas companies to ensure we are focusing on the right areas.”
Looking to the future, the company has a challenging few years ahead, as Elisabeth explains: “As part of the BW Group of companies we have been set specific targets for the future. Our owners have stated that within the next five years we should be amongst the top two companies operating in our area. This is a very ambitious target for us and we cannot rely solely on organic growth.”
To help the company achieve this, BW Offshore is an active participant in the consolidation of the FPSO industry. The company currently has shares in both Prosafe and APL, which operate in the same area as BW Offshore, and has plans to increase these shares in the future. Furthermore, the company has recently acquired the FPSO Crystal Sea, which has subsequently been re-named BW Carmen. This is a dynamic positioned FPSO and forms part of BW Offshore’s long-term goal to broaden its product offering in the oilfield services market. With the purchase of FPSO Crystal Sea and interests in similar companies, BW Offshore is moving a step closer to becoming one of the leading players in the industry.