OSV owner partnering with local companies to provide more services and simplify logistics for oil companies
Bourbon Marine & Logistics, one of three standalone companies in the Bourbon Group, will open a new integrated logistics support base starting this April to underpin French oil and gas company Total’s new exploration campaign in Namibia until November. The contract combines the elements of marine logistics and shore logistics, providing the oil company with a single point of contact. Bourbon will oversee a shore base that will handle equipment shipping and customs clearance, equipment storage and warehousing, handling and lifting, vessel support and product tank cleaning.
Focused on marine support services for the oil and gas market with about 200 vessels, Bourbon Marine & Logistics reports that up to 40 persons will work between the Lüderitz base and Walvis Bay, in the south of Namibia. For the effort, Bourbon Marine & Logistics has struck a partnership with Namibian company Logistics Support Service (LSS).
The integrated logistics support business model is one Bourbon Marine & Logistics debuted last year. Working in partnership with Bulgarian company Bon Marine, Bourbon Marine & Logistics was awarded a contract in 2019 by Anglo-Dutch oil and gas major Shell to provide integrated logistics support for an exploration campaign in the Black Sea in Bulgaria. The project scope covered the full logistics solution project management, offering for the first time both marine logistics together with shore logistics and included: marine services, logistics base, warehousing, port facilities, cargo carrying units, waste management and customs clearance.
Bon Marine and Bourbon Marine & Logistics operated from Varna, Bulgaria. Two large supply vessels, one of which was the platform supply vessel (PSV) Bourbon Topaz, were dedicated to the project, incorporating digital data management tools.
Bourbon Marine & Logistics’ proposal for an integrated end-to-end solution is in line with Shell’s willingness to pilot a light-footprint strategy in exploration operations, with more risk-sharing with its subcontractors, says Bourbon.
“Shell and Total have chosen our integrated logistics solution for several reasons,” says Bourbon Marine & Logistics services manager Nicolas Chateau. “First of all, it simplifies the interfaces: the oil companies no longer need to establish numerous separate contracts because everything is handled by Bourbon under a unique safety management system. Moreover, this solution enables them to reduce their presence in the country,” points out Mr Chateau. “Finally, they trust the extended services we offer. These major players have extremely high standards that we know how to meet," says Mr Chateau.
Bourbon Marine & Logistics says the turnkey solution is attractive to major oil companies and several integrated projects are taking shape in Africa and in Central America.
"We know how to meet all the constraints of the field,” says Mr Chateau. He points out that the Lüderitz base is remote and has little infrastructure. He says, however, the key to overcome such difficulties around the world is a combination of the right partnership and Bourbon’s capacity for innovation, competitiveness and internal technical capability.
The effort is an example of the ‘Bourbon in motion’ plan, which aims to transform the group into a services provider, as opposed to just a vessel owner.
One of Bourbon Marine & Logistics’ sister companies, Bourbon Mobility, is pushing similar integrated logistics boundaries with a new ‘door-to-rig’ service that promises to take clients from their homes or the airport to the rig, with greater flexibility.
The third standalone company in the group is subsea services and engineering unit Bourbon Subsea Services. All three companies were taken over by Société Phocéenne de Participations under Bourbon’s restructuring plan in a ruling by a French bankruptcy court decision in January.