Big Oil Firms Crack The Whip Over Service Companies
Statoil has already experimented with some standardisation on smaller, marginal fields but has not done anything on the scale of Sverdrup, which could cost $20 billion in its initial phase.
"Tailor-made projects needs to be replaced by copy-paste because there's substantial opportunity to just repeat solutions, not necessarily go into mass production, but to replicate solutions that have been used before to reduce costs," Jan Arve Haugan, the CEO of Norway's Kvaerner said.
The new business model means energy firms will work with fewer suppliers, reducing the number of costly and time consuming tenders, and awarding bigger contracts.
They could also reduce overlapping engineering competencies and delegate more responsibility to service firms.
Just this week Schlumberger, one of the biggest players in the sector, said it was taking business away from rivals and that its first quarter was better than it projected.
"Shifting supplier for every project, you will never get efficient processes," Aker's Borge said. "This gives us a stronger position but it also puts your head on the block.... because there's a risk that you invest in a relationship but can't secure the business."
Another risk is that the increased use of standardisation could push firms to develop simpler, less complex fields and leave more complex finds dormant.
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