An interview with FMC Technologies where we discuss some of the challenges this midsized (+6 billion) service company faces. A very interesting tie in to aerospace and the need for new materials & processes while they push the boundaries of the subsea manufacturing space.
Transcript of Session –
Mark: Hey. Let’s learn some more about the oil and gas industry.
Today, we’ll interview the manager of Project MPS for a company called FMC Technologies. FMC is what I would consider a mid-size oil and gas service company, about $5 billion in revenue, but their cutting edge solutions help the E&P companies get oil out of the ground reliably and safely all over the world.
So just a quick question. What challenges do you see industry is facing in the next couple of years?
Milena: That’s a really interesting question. I think the industry is faced with two challenges. The first is the explosion growth that we’re experiencing in both exploration and production and that growth means that these oil companies are now going after fields that require a higher level of technology than we’ve seen in the past.
Mark: So when you say higher level of technology, describe that?
Milena: Well, from a subsea standpoint, we really mean high pressure high temperature.
Mark: Okay. So, high pressure and high temperature is the new solutions that are out there right now?
Milena: It does indeed. So current APR regulations around designing for high pressure and high temperature systems have a current cap at 15,000psi and 350 degrees Fahrenheit. So any area that we’re looking to explore or have oil companies explore that are above those parameters, there’s no guideline in place that they had – it’s how we should design for those margins.
Mark: So not only you help them to design new technology at those high pressures and high temperatures, but you’re actually have to look at new materials and try to make sure there’s guidelines that in the future you’ll need to follow?
Milena: You got it. So we’re trying to develop new technology for HPHT, presents challenges in of itself, no guidelines in place to tell us how we should design for those parameters, so we are somewhat pulling the horse before the cart.
Mark: Wow. So when you’re looking at new technologies, so you’re now looking outside the traditional subsea supply for new technology?
Milena: We have to. For new materials we have to expand our scope. We can no longer just focus on what’s available to subsea today. We need to tap into industries that are used to dealing with high temperature applications. Here in the Houston area that would include aerospace industry.
Mark: Okay. That’s all exciting stuff. I really appreciate your time. Thank you very much.
Milena: My pleasure.