Onwards and upwards
Boasting a global workforce of 22,000 people and annual revenues of almost seven billion euros, Technip is one of the biggest oil service contractors in the world covering the onshore, offshore and subsea segments.
Resulting from the merger of two champions in their respective businesses, Technip has almost 50 years of experience in the design and construction of large industrial facilities. A wide range of state-of-the-art technologies and operational bases spread over five continents mean the Group is able to manage all aspects of these major projects at optimised costs, from front-end engineering to turnkey delivery.
“I believe that Technip has a number of differentiators to our competitors in the subsea industry,” comments Knut Boe, the senior vice president of Canada and the North Sea region. “First of all, we are by far the most integrated contractor with factories manufacturing both umbilicals and flexible pipes. We have a worldclass fleet with several vessels, which are the most sophisticated of their kind worldwide. However, if I were to single out differentiators, I think it would be our project management and in-depth engineering expertise, giving us an execution capability that is second-to-none.”
Serving key clients who play a major role in the development of subsea fields, Technip also offers its services to a number of smaller oil companies. “During the last few years, the number of customers has increased dramatically due to all the new entrants into the industry, and we have developed a very close working relationship with these clients,” states Knut. “Our number one product area is engineering, procurement, installation and construction (EPIC) contracting of subsea field developments. Within this there are obviously many sub services where I believe that reeled rigid flowlines and flexible pipes are probably the most prominent for us. Most of what we do are bespoke solutions, however we do notice a trend on towards standardising further – something we welcome very much as engineering can very often be a bottleneck these days.”
As a world-class player, Technip continuously introduces new technologies. With two subsea research centres, one in France and the other in the UK, it launches a number of new technologies every year, most of which are related to flexible pipes, umbilicals and rigid pipe as well as general construction methods and installations. Knut comments on Technip’s markets and the effects they have on the types of services it offers: “Clients’ preferences, legislation and the specifics of the field to be developed does affect the type and, even more importantly, how we offer the services. Technip’s approach to coping with this is to be a global contractor with a local presence. Within the region I am responsible for, we have operating centres in the UK, Norway and Canada. In Canada, in particular, where the market has been a bit up and down, it has been very important for us to maintain a local presence in order to understand the local requirements.”
He continues: “We have worked on many contracts worth highlighting, however our comprehensive experience in projects in the artic region will be advantageous in our plans for the future. Having completed the Snøhvit flowlines and the subsea works on all the East Coast Canadian projects, highlights that we have carried out the majority of the artic projects so far. This will be an invaluable experience as we now aim to move further North into Northern Russia – in particular, Stochman.”
Technip’s activities cover offshore and onshore field development, gas processing and liquefaction, refining onshore pipelines and petrochemicals – which represents its main business. It is particularly well positioned in the deepwater area, backed by its own high-quality industrial assets dedicated to the business. It is also actively developing its activities in non-oil sectors such as fertilisers, chemicals, life sciences, power generation and other industries. Thanks to its highly skilled process engineers and technicians, Technip has developed strong technological expertise, conceiving and implementing its own products, technologies and related proprietary equipment in the subsea and offshore areas.
Knut comments on the challenges faced by the company and the entire industry in terms of skilled labour and the number of employees: “There seems to be no short term solution to this challenge. Technip has launched a significant training programme that works to develop every new person employed by the company. Our recruitment today is very much focused on graduates as well as personnel from other industries with the relevant technical background. One of the major bottlenecks we have in our training today is finding bed space on our vessels to give our personnel the offshore experience.
“Another challenge, which seems to increase, is the security of our people. We are increasingly working in regions where there are security threats, or where they may exist. To address and analyse the security situation in the regions we work in will become increasingly important. This is an obligation for both us, as contractors, and our clients in order to ensure that we never knowingly put our people at risk. So we do have some challenging years ahead of us, but we will definitely get there.”
Summarising his plans for the future, Knut concludes: “For the 25 years I have been in the industry, I have never seen a better market. One of the challenges lies in the fact that we are capacity-constrained and have to pick the right opportunity to pursue. Today we are the largest subsea service contractor in North Sea and Canada and we want to maintain and develop this position with a focus on more executiondriven and technically complicated projects. I am sure it will not always be easy but we have the people, the assets and the dedication to carry it out and complete it successfully.”
Service Contractor for onshore, offshore and subsea segments