Building for the future
Siemens has recently strengthened and bundled its offshore expertise in Siemens Oil & Gas Offshore AS, creating an organisation dedicated to serving offshore customers across the globe.
Using its vast experience, and large product portfolio, the business develops tailored process solutions for a vast range of offshore requirements.
“Siemens is a huge organisation – it has operations in 190 countries, and is steeped in tradition and experience,” says Are D. Dahl, president of Siemens Oil and Gas Offshore AS. “Siemens Oil and Gas Offshore is responsible for all of the offshore activities within Siemens I&S, which in turn is a division of Siemens. We take Siemens equipment and systems and through a range of engineering processes, develop them into total, packaged process solutions for our clients. These include power distribution systems, automation solutions, and telecommunications and water cleaning systems.”
Are elaborates further on the recent move to make Siemens Oil and Gas Offshore an independent business: “Siemens bundled all of its offshore expertise into Siemens Oil and Gas Offshore AS, which is now headquartered in Norway, in a bid to secure future energy supplies, and to strengthen its position in the oil and gas sector. Traditionally, Siemens has kept its power base in Germany, but that has changed in recent years in a bid to improve the business for the future.
“By bundling our expertise into Siemens Oil and Gas Offshore in Norway, we are now closer to one of the key areas in the oil and gas sector,” Are continues. “It is a question of competency – Norway is one of the key centres of competence in the oil and gas sector. Additionally, the people of Norway have a great deal of knowledge in this industry, so it makes much more sense to operate out of this location.
“However, we are not merely focusing on the Norwegian sector, but are dedicated to serving the global market,” says Are. “To this end we are looking to work closely with other Siemens organisations around the world. Siemens’ global presence is enormous, there are around 2000 oil and gas people stationed around the world in areas including Brazil, Singapore, Houston, China and Holland. Consequently, support is available everywhere our customers are located, which continues to be a huge bonus.”
Are believes that the move will have considerable benefits, both for the business, and its customers: “It means that we will be able to offer our customers a great deal more from a single, focused source. Furthermore, it will benefit us in working to expand our portfolio, and in providing customised, end-to-end services for the entire life cycle of the projects.
“From this, we hope that the business will continue to expand,” he continues. “We are transferring competencies and technology out to the other Siemens offices around the world, and are currently mobilising and training people in order to expand around the globe to improve our service.”
Innovative designs, excellence in engineering, and maximum lifetime value are common denominators of all components, products, systems and services of Siemens’ oil and gas portfolio. Are believes these products, and the manner in which the business develops them into total solutions are key to its success: “There are no competitors in the sector that have such a broad scope of supply as we do. We can draw on the considerable experience of Siemens, and use its vast product portfolio better than anyone else.
“What makes us unique is the way that we take these products and engineer complete, tailored solutions,” he says. “Unlike some companies in the industry, we do not just sell products, but rather sell a total solution. This often includes carrying out the initial conceptual studies, the engineering work and the commissioning work.”
Because of this tailored, individual solution approach, Are explains that working closely with its clients is essential to the company’s operations: “Customer co-operation is very important to us. What makes each project special is that we are together with our clients from the start of the project, right through until the project is completed, to ensure everything works the way it should do.
“An increasing number of customers that approach us are previous ship owners who want to go into the oil and gas industry and are looking for an efficient way of making a floating production storage and off-take ship,” Are explains. “If they are to do this efficiently then they don’t want to go to the big EPBs. They want suppliers like ourselves, who will do part of the engineering to save them time and money.”
Siemens’ solutions for offshore applications include platform propulsion systems, ballast control systems, gas injection, export gas compression, control and instrumentation packages for gas/oil separation. Other applications such as drivers for pumping applications, including seawater injection and seawater lift, subsea transformers, subsea well enhancers, crude oil storage instrumentation and control solutions, also feature in the Siemens portfolio.
The company’s range of products, and its total solutions capabilities has allowed it to gain a number of high profile contracts: “The capabilities, and reputation of the systems that we develop means that we supply to approximately 50 per cent of the total global market for semi-submersible drilling rigs,” Are explains. “Furthermore, it has enabled us to enter into co-operation with companies such as Rolls Royce and Kongsberg Maritime. In collaboration with Rolls Royce we are working on diesels and thrusters, and with Kongsberg on dynamic positioning systems. These developments have strengthened our ability to provide complete solutions for onboard rigs.
“Furthermore, we are close to transporting an electric room (E-Room), for the development of North Adriatic’s large LNG storage barge,” he continues. “It is a huge LNG barge that is going to be placed on the seabed in the Adriatic Sea, offshore of Italy. It will be an enormous storage facility, which will be used by LNG tankers from Qatar, and will have a pipeline that runs to the Italian mainland.”
In addition, the business is developing the world’s first fault-tolerant power distribution system: “We currently have five contracts for the worlds largest drilling operator, TransOcean,” Are elaborates. “Two are retrofit jobs for operations on existing semi-rigs, and three are for new drilling ships, which are currently being built at Daewoo in Korea. All of these new developments will feature our new fault tolerant power distribution system. This is the first time that such a system, which is a complete faulttolerant power distribution system, has been developed. The benefits of such a system for TransOcean are that it will allow the vessels to operate at close to 100 per cent efficiency.”
Are elaborates on the importance of continuous develop programmes to ensure that Siemens Oil and Gas can continue to expand: “Product development is carried out by both the main Siemens Corporation and by us. Siemens spends around three per cent of its turnover on product development each year. A large majority of the recent R&D is on developments for subsea operations, and for increased oil recovery.
“What we are seeing, in terms of development, is that an increasing number of oil and gas producing facilities are becoming electrified,” Are comments. “This means that they are running cables from shore to offshore in order to avoid pollution from gas turbines. I believe that this will be an extremely interesting field in the future, and being close to the North Sea means that we have a big advantage as it is the first area where those installations will go.”
Are believes that in the current market conditions, Siemens Oil and Gas Offshore can continue to expand: “The offshore market is booming at the moment, and all indications are that there will continue to be very large investments in capital costs for the next five to ten years at least. We believe that the sector will continue to grow, particularly with regards to the demand for offshore drilling units. When all the wells are drilled we will then need to focus on building more production facilities, an area that we foresee as being an enormous market for the coming years.
“I think that we are currently sitting in a good market, and that we can use this opportunity to invest in human resources and in improving our competencies. We believe that our turnover will increase steadily and we are looking at a very bright future,” Are concludes.
Siemens Oil and Gas Offshore AS
Industry: Extensive offshore services