Friday, October 21, 2005

The Cost of Doing Business...

Both of my loyal readers have probaby noticed a lull in the blogging around here. I've been a busy boy of late. One of our customers has a number of rigs that were destroyed during the storms and we've been looking at how to go about cleaning up the mess left behind using the vessels and equipment available. We are by no means the only ones in this boat, except that boats, barges, divers, ROV's, and workover equipment are all few and far between right now. Equipment is being brought in from all the corners of the globe, but there is significant demand for this equipment elsewhere too, which is complicating the logistics. Day rates are skyrocketing, demand is through the roof, and all the vendors are telling us to lock them in NOW, because tomorrow, someone else might and we'd be SOL for as long as two years. I know we aren't the only ones being told this. I can't say any of this is all that unexpected, given the number of rigs that were beat to hell and gone, the boom in salvage and workover jobs was inevitable. Divers in particular are rolling in it right now. These guys are a different breed, they have to be to be abe to deal with some of the stuff they have to do, and they are paid a kings ransom to do it, but DAMN they can be strange beasts! They tend to be nomads always looking for more money. Turnover among diving companies would scare the bejesus out of anyone in HR in a different industry. Diving contractors also can be a bit inhumane in the way they treat thier divers which is both a cause and a symptom of the turnover rate. It is a dysfuntional industry manned by dysfuntional people. Up until recently it was a dying industry, as the oil industry moved to deeper and deeper waters, there was less and less demand for divers, the waters were just too deep. Most of the divers found honest work in other industries. The storm driven workover work is going to really stimulate growth, at east temporarily, in that industry.

So just remember when you complain about the price of gasoline when you fil up the tank, There are real valid reasons for the price you pay at the pump.


Blogger Pigilito said...

How are the repairs and such going? The topic has dropped off the media's radar.

October 24, 2005 4:53 AM  
Blogger Rorschach said...

Slow, Painfully, agonizingly SLOW. The refineries are pretty well back up and running for the most part. Gas has fallen about 25 cents a gallon in a matter of days. But offshore repairs are going to take a good long time. There are only so many work boats and service barges and divers to go around. And much of the work is being done by hand by divers using hydraulic shears and saws to cut away at the mangled mess. Many of the wells were bent over and turned into pretzels when the platforms toppled which means re-entering them to either put them back in production or to plug them will be an interesting exercise. the mangled wellhead will have to be cut off and a new wellhead affixed to the still straight/vertical part before any work can be done to them. If the DSV (Dowhnole Safety Valve) is not holding pressure, then doing that is going to be difficult. I am curious how that is going to work out.

October 24, 2005 12:46 PM  
Blogger Pigilito said...

Thanks for the update. If the pictures you posted of some of the rigs are a guide, I can well believe it when you note that progress is slow.

October 25, 2005 5:15 AM  
Anonymous Rorschach said...

pigilito, sadly, the rigs I have pictures of are generally not the problem. it is the ones that were toppled and sunk that are going to be the problem children.

October 25, 2005 9:03 AM  

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