Wireline Issue 45 - Summer 2019
to stand by our skill and experience, and that allows us to enter into different commercial models such as performance contracting, shared risk and reward, and even qualified lump sum operations.” This extends to decommissioning and late-life operation too. The combination of service company with late-life operator – a model previously employed by Helix’s former E&P subsidiary – also presents a route for future work. Having all the tools and equipment at hand to enhance the production of subsea wells grants it the flexibility and capability to carry out interventions and ultimately decommission wells on its own schedule, lowering costs for all stakeholders. This approach was revived earlier in 2019 when the company acquired Marathon’s four-well Droshky field in the Gulf of Mexico, and Helix is seeking similar models on the UKCS. While there are no official work programmes as yet, Carr confirms it is “something we’re actively pursuing in the UK.” With the Q7000 now set on its path to the North Sea, Carr says that Helix is looking forward to exercising these enhanced capabilities alongside its existing riserless intervention assets to help address the unique challenges of the basin. “By offering low- cost operations, combined with creative contracting options, we aim to be a driver of the Vision 2035 goals of the OGA in the subsea segment,” he adds (see page 7 for more information). “Shut-in wells, stranded reserves and of course maximising economic recovery are all very much plans for the coming decades.”
Currently preparing for its first operation offshore West Africa, the Q7000 is due to launch officially in Q3 2019. Although Helix has yet to announce firm contracts, the vessel is expected to make its way to the North Sea sometime in 2020-21. Getting creative The enhanced capabilities of vessels like the Q7000 reflect Helix’s wider business strategy. As CEO Owen Kratz adds: “Helix is a solutions provider, not a vessel and equipment provider. We set out to become the company that can provide all forms of subsea well intervention. So now, unlike other companies, we can offer our clients the intervention solution they need, not just the assets and equipment we have.” Beyond its established work in oil and gas, the company has also developed a presence in the offshore renewables industry. Leveraging its subsea trenching expertise, Helix has become a major player not just in the development of offshore windfarms, but also in “power from shore” electrification initiatives, aimed at reducing gas flaring and, where possible, lowering the emissions intensity of offshore production and enabling the wider energy transition. Helix has extended its innovative approach to commercial models as well, actively moving away from ‘fee for service’ day-rate contracting to new ways of unlocking value through what it calls ‘creative contracting.’ “We may not be the cheapest, but we’re always the lowest cost” quips Carr. “We are prepared
Image right: The Q7000 during sea trials.
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