Bertrand Chupin on The Challenges Ahead

Welcome to “GRIPPING THOUGHTS”, the space created by Insights Global where Clients, Partners and Friends are invited to share ideas and insights that help shedding light on the challenges that the Oil & Gas industry faces, in the near and long future.

So join us, read and get inspired by our interview with BERTRAND CHUPIN, VP of the Loading Systems business unit of TechnipFMC, a global leader in subsea, onshore/offshore and surface projects, with about 37,000 employees.

Q:Bertrand, how would you describe the main market challenges at the present time?

The market has drastically and irreversibly changed over the last 5 years. Terminal owners are expecting vendors to significantly reduce equipment CAPEX. In addition, with fewer investments moving forward during this period of time. Competition has been and remains highly aggressive, pushing vendors to find innovative solutions to reduce costs. Also, once the investment decision is made, clients want their projects faster demanding shorter lead times. Finally, buyers are looking for first-class service, fast availability of spare parts, fast mobilization of site engineers and lower OPEX.

Q:And how do you see it evolving in a period of 5 to 10 years? What are the trends and challenges ahead of us?

Although the market and our clients significantly reduced investments during the last five years, we have observed signs of recovery in the last few months. Deep cost reductions have enabled projects that were otherwise unprofitable without compromising safety and quality standards.

It is also likely that automation and unmanned operations will be further developed in the future to address OPEX challenges. In addition, operational and maintenance are currently being studied and implemented.

Finally, a few new market segments are coming along, specifically those linked to the usage diversification of LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas). New regulations imposing significant reductions of CO2 and NOx emissions for maritime transportation are opening new opportunities to LNG by replacing conventional HFO (Heavy Fuel Oil) and maritime diesel. New infrastructure and value chains are being developed to allow this conversion providing new applications to loading systems manufacturers.

Q:At last, how is TechnipFMC getting prepared to these challenges that the future post?

TechnipFMC has reduced costs through improved execution and standardization. Always thinking about the future, TechnipFMC’s Loading Systems division maintained the same level of investment in R&D over the last few years to provide the industry with breakthrough technologies such as a full electric loading arm that replaces the conventional hydraulically-powered one and significantly reduces OPEX to provide our clients with greener offloading solutions.

Services is also an area of focus: reducing inspection and maintenance cost by using drones is, for instance, one of the new services offered by TechnipFMC. A new strategy on spare parts management has also been implemented to provide our clients with critical spare parts in a shorter delivery time.

Finally, the recent merger opens doors to the flexible hose technology through Coflexip™. The adoption of flexible solutions is expanding within offloading applications and make TechnipFMC the sole loading systems manufacturer with the ability to provide both rigid articulated pipe and flexible hose solutions.

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