January 2016

That's one New Year's resolution worth sticking to

As the New Year loses its novelty factor, it's tempting to abandon ambitious plans for the months ahead... But 2016 can be better than you think, if you follow this one advice.

It’s a new year, and a fresh start. A new pipeline awaits to be filled with new opportunities, the team is revving to go, the heads are buzzing with new ideas.

The problem is, no one knows what’s out there to get excited about.

When the clock stroke midnight on December 31, I, for one, wished for the sake of the global economy that the oil prices go up, and things get back to normal.

Sadly, the year that we just entered is the one we’ve all been dreading. 2016 is forecasted to be a gloom continuation of 2015, lasting more than just the 12 calendar months; and generating profits from offshore projects seems like nothing more than an oilman’s dream.

And yet, there’s something about the early days of a new year that gives us that extra boost to try harder, and do better. So, what can we do to minimise the negative impact of the depressed market, or even reap returns from our offshore operations today?

Here’s my suggestion: be smarter.

At MDL we encourage our clients to stop and think for a while about what kind of work they need to - and want to - be able to carry out. This can mean a variety of projects, in different waters, in different basins - but it doesn’t have to mean a complete new suite of pipelay equipment to replace or replenish their existing fleet. Sometimes, it only takes one new smart bit of kit that can do a wide array of jobs.

Our PVLS (that’s portable vertical lay system) is a prime example of just that. It can move easily from one vessel to the next, and therefore move between fields and regions, wherever it is required - all without adding to the mobilisation time, more so - reducing it!

This flexible solution also packs a number of features that all contribute to reducing vessel days on every single campaign it undertakes, repeatedly over its 20-plus-year lifespan.

Of course, these savings are relative to the eyes (and pocket) of the beholder; this particular system was designed closely with the client who could put together a rough plan of what types of projects they were looking to tackle in the months and years to come. With this understanding - which is little more than good understanding of your own business plan - they were able to communicate to us the challenges they would be undertaking. We did the rest.

Although tempting, I am not going to finish that thought with “it’s that simple” - nothing is in a difficult market like we have today. Good New Year’s resolutions are not simple either… but a little support and determination go a long way. I certainly believe that if we put our heads down, together, we can get through this tough period.

So… will you take on the challenge of becoming smarter in 2016?

Mike Gaskin, commercial director