OEG looks east

OEG Offshore’s Darwin-based regional director Dirk Alber has serious concerns for his company’s offshore cargo carrying unit and tank market with LNG work drying up, even after recent contract wins with Inpex and PTTEP, he told Energy News.
OEG looks east OEG looks east OEG looks east OEG looks east OEG looks east

Dirk Alber.

Alber, whose German immigrant father Oswald originally started Fuel Installation Services and Tank and Pump Services some 30 years ago, joined the business himself in 1999.
The business was later sold to Aberdeen-headquartered OEG in 2012.
In 2015 OEG then bought two Western Australia-based oilfield services companies, Oilfield & Resource Rentals and Offshore Cryogenic Services, run by Patrick Hanna in Perth.
OEG also bought out Melbourne-based Oil Patch Containers, which Alber suspects could be the company's next area of focus if AGL Energy's plans to import LNG to help solve the east coast's energy crisis come to fruition.
OEG also has a depot at Barry Beach in Victoria.
AGL revealed last year it was well advanced in $300 million plans to start up a new gas terminal in Victoria, South Australia or New South Wales by 2021.
OEG, whose main competitors locally are Ferguson Group and Swire Oilfield Services, appears to have had the lion's share of local work out of Darwin in recent years.
OEG, and Alber's family-run company before it, has had a contract with ConocoPhillips to support the US oiler's Bayu-Undan operations in the Timor Sea for more than 10 years, providing offshore tanks and containers for ongoing day-to-day operations of cargo movements between land and sea.
It also supports other local platforms like PTTEP's Montara, and earlier this month OEG leveraged that experience to nab $3.5 million worth of more work, including a five-year rental contract to supply DNV 2.7-1 cargo units and helifuel tanks to support hook-up, commissioning and future production from the Ichthys LNG project.
Its DNV 2.7-1 drum baskets and portable chemical tanks have already been dispatched to support existing offshore production facilities at the Montara field, 250km north-west off Western Australia's Kimberley coast. 

Future concern

When Oswald started the business as a qualified fitter and turner in 1986 it only offered fuel installations before diversifying in the late 1990s into the supply of offshore tanks for oil companies, particularly those carrying helifuels, and the business exploded.
The rental part of the business grew along with the NT's oil and gas sector, and Oswald's company was an agent for OEG in 2010 working on a commission basis.
"While our competitors have assets on the ground they have no human resources in Darwin to maintain them, so they basically have containers sitting on the ground but no one maintaining it," Dirk told Energy News. 
"They send people from their bases in Karratha, and customers don't really want that cloud hanging over how quickly they can get something serviced and repaired if something goes out of the loop.
"Last year was a horrible year for everyone in the oil and gas industry, but we managed to stick around locally and ride the storm and I think we're being rewarded for it, while others chose to leave.
"Apart from Inpex and Shell's Prelude, which is another major world first with the floating LNG facility, which will make Darwin a busy place this year, there really hasn't been a lot of talk of any other field developments in the north.
"That's a bit of a worry. We're very fortunate to have won this sort of work [with Inpex and PTTEP], but we haven't heard any whispers or rumblings about any new confirmed development projects for offshore.
"So in the next few years we need more projects to come online.'
While he hopes FLNG will be more widely adopted as Prelude becomes a proven technology, Woodside Petroleum is now unlikely to use FLNG for its Browse development and brownfields tie-ins using improving subsea technologies seems to be more in vogue at the moment.
So, the east coast gas crisis could provide new opportunities for OEG.
OEG is providing containers for ConocoPhillips' current appraisal drilling campaign in the Barossa and Caldita fields which will last for a few more months, and the test results of that will govern the future of Darwin LNG once the Bayu-Undan fields are exhausted.
"They have an onshore gas processing plant here, so sourcing gas supply for that existing facility is something which will generate activity, but in terms of new projects a lot of people are waiting to see what will happen with Prelude," he said.
"Australia domestically has an issue with gas supply and we have a fraccing moratorium here in the NT and I don't see that being lifted any time soon; there are murmurings in Victoria to commission couple of offshore fields, that's where there might be opportunity for supplies, because the lion's share is being exported.
"[The east coast] might be an area where we see some local [gas] supply issues."