Mike Garding, Chief Executive Officer for OneSubsea, gave a keynote address at UTC last year. Prior to joining OneSubsea, Garding served as President of Completions for Schlumberger. He began his career with Schlumberger in 1984 as a Wireline Field Engineer in the Gulf of Mexico. Garding has held various
management positions since then, including Vice President and General Manager of Engineering, Manufacturing and Sustaining; Director of Human Resources for North America; and Vice President of Wireline, North and South America.
We asked Garding to give us some comments on the industry before
traveling to Bergen.
What do you regard as the major challenges faced by the subsea industry in the current climate?
The subsea industry is multi-faceted and highly technical, and as the industry moves towards increasingly complex environments, both operators and technology suppliers must dedicate more and more resources to overcome new and changing technical and environmental challenges. These include well access, flow assurance, and improving recovery from environments with high temperatures and pressures. When the market is down, operators and technology suppliers must re-evaluate how they approach these challenges.
Operators need solutions that are exceptionally cost-effective without sacrificing quality and reliability—and that increase their return on investment.
Suppliers must facilitate identification of solutions that not only maintain cost control and reliability, but have the capability to greatly enhance the value that these subsea fields can deliver. At OneSubsea®, we’re driving innovation to deliver technical solutions that are both cost-effective and achieve the optimal production and recovery to increase financial return from subsea assets.
What are the current new technologies being developed that will help operators achieve more production and profitability from existing assets?
OneSubsea offers technologies that are both new to the market as unique products, and new in the sense that they’re gaining greater acceptance after having been under-utilized by the industry despite being well-established and field-proven to help operators reach their production and profitability goals. Subsea boosting, for example, is a field-proven technology that we feel has been under-utilized.
OneSubsea boosting systems have proven to be a very effective tool to increase both production and recovery rates. They are backed by over 20 years of field experience, an industry-leading track record of 30 projects deployed globally, and over 2 million operating hours.
Our DualLift™ system initiative is a new technology development that is focused on combining two proven lifting technologies, our subsea boosting pumps and in-well electric submersible pumps. Combining the two technologies will provide even greater lifting ability and optimized production, particularly in very challenging reservoirs like those found in the Lower Tertiary in the Gulf of Mexico.
Our Multiphase Wet Gas Compressor is the only true wet gas compressor in the industry. It can handle high liquid contents without experiencing mechanical issues. Its basis of design is a simple, purpose-specific configuration with no need for pre-processing. This eliminates hardware associated with upstream separation facilities or anti-surge systems, and makes for a compact design that’s easier to install and provides the operator with a cost-effective solution for increasing recovery and reduced operational risk over the life of the field.
Our vision of a fully integrated life-of-field production solution requires an integrated controls capability. OneSubsea has developed an industry-first single controls system for production and subsea boosting systems, providing cost-effective technology and operational value to our customers.
Our newest innovation is also the first of its kind. The HyFleX™ subsea tree system incorporates field-proven features of horizontal and vertical trees into a compact and flexible design that’s suitable for global applications. It is configured such that the tubing hanger and the tree are installed and recovered independently of each other because they’re situated in parallel to each other instead of in series. This unique design offers maximum installation and workover flexibility, significant CAPEX, installation, and workover savings, significantly reduced risks, and maximizes operational flexibility during the life of the field.
The Subsea Services Alliance between OneSubsea, Helix, and Schlumberger enables us to provide solutions to a wider range of our customers’ needs. The Alliance combines the expertise of the three companies to provide a unique offering of integrated life-of-field solutions to optimize subsea well intervention.
Standardization is a long-running theme in the industry. How is this progressing from a supplier perspective? What role does standardization play in driving down costs?
Standardization has been an area discussed and pursued by the industry for a long time, but progress is still far from where it needs to be. The current business environment is forcing the industry to find alternative business processes that will facilitate reducing costs. As a technology supplier, we have established field-proven technology, however, operators often present their own prescriptive specifications. To achieve standardization, collaboration between operators and technology suppliers at the earliest stage of the cycle is essential. In addition, re-using field-proven designs is a standardization strategy that would reduce CAPEX and shortens cycle times by eliminating re-engineering, qualification, and documentation.
At OneSubsea, we’ve been working towards standardization for several years. Working with specific customers and by developing our own internal standardization initiatives. For example, we’ve standardized our metering technology and we’re also standardizing our pump interfaces. Our PhaseWatcher Multiphase Flowmeter is the result of combining the various features and interfaces of five meters into a single solution for reservoir monitoring and field production control.
Another example is the OneSubsea FasTrac™ Program. This program offers flexible well solutions at faster lead times—much faster—than non-standardized solutions. Average turnaround is at least 6 months sooner, and at 20 to 30% lower cost. These advantages have contributed to the FasTrac program’s rapid acceptance and success in the Gulf of Mexico.
In light of the current pressures on the subsea industry and the drive for cost-effective development solutions, what value can technology companies like OneSubsea bring?
OneSubsea was formed to offer fully integrated solutions that optimize production, improve recovery, and reduce costs. Our Pore to Process™ approach begins with early engagement with a collaborative multi-disciplinary team to integrate the reservoir model to the subsea production system through to the topsides to ensure an optimal system design that is capable of handling the changing conditions for the life of the field. Our unique approach to system design will also help reduce uncertainties and risks, and improve project economics. We believe that this approach is even more important given the challenges of a low oil price environment.