With Total fully entering phase 11 and resuming its activities in the country, other companies are going to follow this path.

Babak ABBASPOUR Managing Director MOBIN SAZEH GOSTAR KHALIJE FARS

New deal, new day

September 19, 2017

Babak Abbaspour, managing director of Mobin Sazeh Gostar Khalije Fars, talks to TOGY about the impact of the landmark South Pars phase 11 deal, the company’s approach to related tenders and its background working in the super-giant gasfield. Mobin Sazeh undertakes offshore engineering, procurement, construction and installation activities.

Mobin Sazeh Gostar undertakes offshore engineering, procurement, construction and installation activities. The company is among the subsidiaries of the Iran Shipbuilding & Offshore Industries Complex Company. Among its previous projects are South Pars platforms 17B and 18B.

• On the impact of the SP11 deal: “With Total fully entering phase 11 and resuming its activities in the country, other companies are going to follow this path and venture into the market regardless of politics in the region and negative propaganda against the country. This is especially certain taking into account how attractive this market is in terms of hydrocarbons resources, skilled workforce and strategic geographic location.”

• On internationalisation: “In regards to internationalisation in the mid-term, the only foreign market where we see business opportunities in the region is the Omani offshore market. We are currently holding negotiations with local companies, such as Oman Drydock Company. This is just the beginning and, given our experience, we would like to start a presence in this neighbouring country.”

Most TOGY interviews are published exclusively on our business intelligence platform TOGYiN, but you can find the full interview with Babak Abbaspour below.

How optimistic are you regarding the potential of Total’s phase 11 deal to boost foreign presence in the market?
Based on the past experience and history of activities of different foreign companies in Iran, we are optimistic about the impact of this deal. For instance, going back to the beginning of the South Pars project, we had the same limitations as when we had sanctions. The first major IOC that came to Iran and was able to accept the risks of this market was Total. Other major Western and Asian companies followed their path.
We believe the same thing will happen this time. With Total fully entering phase 11 and resuming its activities in the country, other companies are going to follow this path and venture into the market regardless of politics in the region and negative propaganda against the country. This is especially certain taking into account how attractive this market is in terms of hydrocarbons resources, skilled workforce and strategic geographic location.

What is Mobin Sazeh’s approach to phase 11’s offshore tenders?
Mobin Sazeh Gostar is already qualified by Total SAS for its own field of expertise, i.e., offshore facilities, and we have been invited to participate in both the South Pars phase 11 jackets’ and decks’ EPC [tenders].
Generally speaking, Total’s execution plan requires prompt and professional conduct of contractors in both bid and project execution stage. In this respect, Mobin Sazeh Gostar, as a subsidiary of ISOICO [Iran Shipbuilding & Offshore Industries Complex Company] with about 40 years of solid experience, is confident that we are qualified enough and we can provide Total with a competitive and valuable proposal.
It is worth mentioning that for the EPC1 tender for SP11 decks, we will do our best to present Total with our best proposal and we hope for successful bidding and the award of the contract to Mobin Sazeh Gostar.
Regarding the next phase of the SP11 project, which involves a huge compression platform of about 25,000 tonnes, we believe that our construction yard as well as the preliminary plan that we have presented to NIOC and Total – involving construction of the decks in a huge-sized dry dock – is unique and would guarantee the project results.
If Total finds it necessary, we are ready to use the experience of other international contractors with similar experience, although we are confident that we can successfully and safely execute this phase of the project as well.

 

Regarding compressor platforms, what are the advantages of Mobin Sazeh’s proposal to Total?
We can’t go into detail on the sequences in our proposal, but the method applied for this project would be the first of its kind carried out in the Middle East. This would be a major milestone for the company, and we are fully focused on this.
The most dangerous and high-risk level step of this project is totally omitted in this sequence, so it will reduce the risks by a remarkable amount. For this [high-risk step], we will deploy all the capability and infrastructure of our shipbuilding mother company [Iran Shipbuilding & Offshore Industries Complex Company], and that is our greatest asset in this tender.

What is the company’s operational background in the South Pars gasfield?
The first offshore project carried out by Mobin Sazeh was 25 years ago in South Pars phases 2 and 3, done in co-operation with Total. Mobin Sazeh was the construction contractor of this project. These were the first phases of the gasfield to be developed.
Then we moved to phases 6, 7 and 8. In these, we were involved in construction of jackets. Later on, we participated in phase 12, where we served as contractor for the construction of three jackets. After that came phases 15 and 16. We participated in and won the EPC tender for platform no. 16. We were involved as a consortium for the whole marine segment of that part, which involved one platform, one jacket and all of the equipment and facilities related to these.
After that was phase 14, which we were involved in for the whole marine segment, including four platforms and a jacket, as well as all related facilities. As of now [August 2017], two platforms are completed and installed and the other one is ready to be installed.

How did the company participate in South Pars phases 17 and 18?
The company was not initially involved in the consortium formed for phases 17 and 18. However, two years ago there was a situation where the refineries for these phases were ready but the platforms were seeing a lot of delays.
The client, POGC [Pars Oil and Gas Company], in this case, realised the need for these platforms to be constructed quickly and efficiently and decided to transfer the works. They approached Mobin Sazeh and we agreed to take on the project from that point on. In the end, it was a very successful project.

What are Mobin Sazeh’s scope of activities and range of services?
Mobin Sazeh started activity as a construction contractor for projects, but then became an EPCI company and currently carries out engineering, procurement, construction and installation for the offshore sector.
For South Pars phase 14, which was the field’s biggest phase, we carried out all the EPCI activities and the detailed engineering, also using Iranian and foreign consultants for this engineering. We also did this in other phases. In phase 12, for example, we worked with WorleyParsons and in phase 16 we worked with a Malaysian company, SLT.
Because of the huge scope of the activities, we usually outsource, especially through our subcontractors. In doing so, we can use lots of human resources. In this way, we got involved in management of construction. That is very helpful for controlling time and pricing.
As for procurement, we cover the whole value chain and we use specific experts in this field. As for installation, we hire heavy-duty fleets, which are meant to be compatible with IOCs’ operational requirements.

What are some of your ongoing offshore activities?
Current offshore projects include, for instance, the Hendijan oil project, which involves three wellhead platforms, plus pipelines between the platforms and also submarine cables, which are currently being carried out.
The other project involves the construction of a platform in Hengam, a joint oilfield between Iran and Oman. According to the timeline established, this construction should be finished in two years.

What is Mobin Sazeh’s strategic vision for the near future?
Looking at the short term, the greatest opportunity we aim to seize is related to the [South Pars phase 11] compressor platforms. This is mainly due to our potential to lead this segment in Iran, considering the unique facilities we are equipped with. POGC has announced that about 10 platforms should be constructed in the shortest possible term. This project is worth about USD 20 billion. This is the strategy and vision of the company for the future.
In regards to internationalisation in the mid-term, the only foreign market where we see business opportunities in the region is the Omani offshore market. We are currently holding negotiations with local companies, such as Oman Drydock Company. This is just the beginning and, given our experience, we would like to start a presence in this neighbouring country.

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