Pipeline spoke exclusively to Duncan Anderson, chief executive officer, Gulf Marine Services about the unprecedented interest they got in their GMS Evolution vessel which proved a big hit at ADIPEC 2016
Gulf Marine Services (GMS), based in Abu Dhabi, builds and operates advanced self-propelled self-elevating support vessels (SESVs). The Group’s fleet of 15 SESVs is the largest in the world and is amongst the youngest in the industry, with an average age of eight years. The SESVs are four-legged vessels that move independently, with no requirement for anchor handling or tug support. They have a large deck space, crane capacity and accommodation facilities that can be adapted to the requirements of GMS’ clients. The vessels support a broad range of activities throughout the lifecycle of offshore oil, gas and renewable energy projects.
What growth opportunities do you see in the Middle East for the SESV business?
The strategic expansion of our fleet in recent years has significantly increased the scope of our service offering in the Middle East and during 2016 we designed and developed a pioneering cantilever system with a well workover unit and top drive for our latest new build vessel GMS Evolution. This system will allow us to compete for well workover activity that was previously only able to be carried out from more expensive and less efficient non-propelled jackup drilling rigs, for example change out of electric submersible pumps and well completions. We expect to roll out cantilever systems on all our Large Class vessels in time as our clients see the value this new capability brings to their businesses.
Our intention over the medium-term is to offer our clients a more extensive and integrated package of well intervention services across our SESV fleet by bringing in-house more of the ancillary specialist services we currently sub-contract. This should help us to be an even more cost-effective solution for our clients.
How has the flat oil price affected the SESV business?
As we announced in March, the Group delivered a solid set of 2016 results in line with expectations for the business against the backdrop of a sustained low oil price environment, with a healthy 70 per cent vessel utilisation rate. This performance continues to show our resilience in the brownfield sector when there are lower customer activity levels. Clients are more likely to charter our cost-effective, fit-for-purpose and flexible fleet independent of oil price sentiment, which is not typically the case elsewhere in the wider offshore support vessel sector. Whilst recognising oil prices will continue to influence our business, increasing tender activity is presenting significant opportunities for GMS in our core regions of Europe and the Middle East. This should lead to higher utilisation of our fleet and, in time, earnings growth for the business.
What was the response to having your jack-up barge at Adipec last year?
There was a great deal of interest in GMS Evolution at ADIPEC, with all our vessel tours oversubscribed. Visitors told us they were impressed with the scale and sophistication of the vessel and many were keen to learn more about the new cantilever capability, which is a world-first for an SESV. Having the vessel at the exhibition was very worthwhile for us. We have been encouraged by the good level of interest from our existing and prospective clients and have been busy following up new business leads.
What did you gain from having your jack-up barge at the show itself?
ADIPEC provided the ideal opportunity to showcase to a large international audience the flexibility, operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness of our vessels. We were able to communicate to clients the value our pioneering cantilever capability can bring to their intensive well intervention campaigns across multiple locations and we gained useful feedback from interested parties.
Are you intending to return with a jack-up rig to Adipec this year?
We will be showcasing GMS’ abilities at ADIPEC once again. We don’t anticipate having a jackup barge available, as we see the demand strengthening as the year moves on and all our units will be either at work or mobilising for new projects.
This interview was featured in the May issue of ADIPEC News