Head on straight
Cranium Offshore provides quality ship management services to ship owners, ensuring the smooth and profitable operation of their vessels.
Its range of ship services includes sales and purchasing, chartering, cargo broking, commercial operations, technical support and crew management. Co-operating with President Marine Shipyard in Singapore, Cranium Offshore also offers ship repairs and fabrications for a number of offshore structures, process equipment and modularised skid mounted packages.
“The company provides chase boats to offshore seismic survey companies,” Robert Nathan, managing director of Cranium Offshore, explains. “It provides the backup service to this industry sector by providing these boats, which assist in the operation of bigger survey vessels. It also provides towage and anchor handling operations to the oil industry along with buying and selling vessels for third party clients. Cranium Offshore has customers all over the world mainly located in India, China, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Korea.”
Focusing on the work Cranium Offshore partakes in with oil companies, Robert has found the biggest demand from clients is for specific support vessels: “Customers come to the company and ask for support boats such as standby vessels and those that can be used to supply fuel for their offshore operations.”
With the recent purchase of a second hand anchor-handling vessel, the company’s fleet now numbers seven and the purchase represents the need to expand operations to support the oil and gas markets as demand for these services increases. This fleet also includes two landing craft, one 1400 BHP survey vessel, a crew boat for ferrying passengers to and from oil fields and a smaller vessel used to transport people from ashore to larger boats. Future growth plans also include the potential purchase of a shipyard, as Robert states: “The intention is to purchase a shipyard at some point in the next five years. The investment in such a move will require a vast sum of money and the company is in the process of acquiring this capital to own and operate a yard, most likely based in Batam, Indonesia.
“The reason for this is that first and foremost it will allow the company to accommodate its own vessels rather than sending them out to other shipyards, which doesn’t provide too many benefits. Having its own shipyard will allow the company to do its own repairs and thus cut costs and ensure a better quality of work is carried out on its vessels. Running a shipyard will diversify its business model, will increase the range of services that can be provided to oil companies and will provide an alternative source of revenue by providing clients with docking and repair services.”
Being a moderate sized company operating in one of the industry’s fastest growing markets, Cranium Offshore has found the best way of maintaining a successful business model is to play to its core strengths: “The price the company charges for its services is not high, the rates it sets are not too great and it provides a number of services that provide real added value,” says Robert. “These services are the sort that clients are looking for and they also have the knowledge that any repair work carried out will not take too long, thus it shortens clients’ down time, getting the vessel back into service as soon as possible.”
Of all the recent projects Cranium Offshore has undertaken, an increasing number are coming from oil companies. This includes jobs like the transportation of pipes and oil products to be used in the treatment process. The company’s crew boat has recently been chartered to another oil company for the transportation of both personnel and equipment to oil rigs and two vessels are being tasked with supporting seismic operations as of April 2011.
Investments have not just been made in vessels and equipment, they are also being made in the training of staff, who are often sent on courses or to government training schools to get a hands on experience of the markets they service and to become familiar with the latest technical advances.
As the signs of a recovery within the industry continue to grow, Cranium Offshore is actively pursuing a lot of enquiries from oil and gas companies, however as Robert explains, the company will not rest on its laurels in pursuit of increased business: “There are a lot of opportunities in the market, but today companies have to work very hard and not just sit around and wait for the business to come to them. Once Cranium Offshore has its shipyard in place it will begin branching out into the fabrication of oilfield equipment, in particular coolers, heat exchangers, skid mounted units and pressure tanks.
“In two years time the company will be buying its own office unit for expansion and within five years time it is hoped the fleet will have grown from seven to 50 vessels. Financially this will involve a lot of investment, but the company is very ambitious and believes this is a target that can be achieved.”
Cranium Offshore PTE Ltd
Services: Ship management services for seismic survey companies