Fall 2009

High Stakes on the High Seas

All Points Equipment Serves Offshore Oil Drilling Specialists

by Michael Adkins

 

COMPANY HISTORY

All Points Equipment has served the oilfield industry — onshore and offshore — since its founding in 1987. Today, All Points Equipment’s corporate headquarters is in Houston, Texas, and it has a waterfront location for service and repair in the port of New Iberia, Louisiana. “It’s been a great success story for us in the last few years,” said Brian Jones, sales manager for All Points Equipment. “We’ve had some tremendous growth.”

 BUSINESS FOCUS

A major part of All Points Equipment’s business focus is the repair of risers for companies that are drilling for oil. Risers are insulated sections of pipe that house the drilling mechanisms and provide mud and other liquids to the drilling site to control the drilling process. “Any floating vessel that drills for oil uses drilling risers,” noted Richard Romero, vice president of All Points Equipment. “The riser connects the vessel to the sea bed, and all cuttings and shavings from the sea floor come up the riser to the rig for analysis.”

These risers can range from 10 feet to 90 feet long and are joined together to form towers at the drill site. The risers are reusable, but the ocean water is highly corrosive to their carbon-steel surfaces, so they must be inspected frequently. These risers are made more buoyant with the help of syntactic foam — a composite material mixed with hollow glass microspheres, which lower the density and increase the strength of the material.



Another important area in which All Points Equipment specializes is the repair of buoyancy modules. Buoyancy modules provide a method for reducing the weight of the drilling equipment and stabilizing the vessel (see sidebar). “It’s like a big cork,” Jones said. “It’s made of fiberglass and displaces the weight of the rig.” The company also repairs mooring buoys — flotation devices designed to keep a rope or chain above the water’s surface so ships can tie onto the main drilling vessel.

All Points Equipment has 37 full-time employees, with temporary workers brought on to assist with rush projects as needed. The company focuses on four main divisions of business, including:

  • Riser production and manufacturing support services, including corrosion control, component assembly, buoyancy installation and other specialized services
  • Riser and module refurbishment and product support, including welding, rebuilding, blasting, coating and corrosion control
  • Specialized clamp fabrication with patented clamps, including both standard and custom designs
  • Nondestructive testing services for inspection of both new and used equipment

The vast majority of the company’s work is performed at the New Iberia location, with two buildings totaling more than 48,000 square feet of space under roof. The waterfront facility provides added convenience and reduced costs for customers, as they can bring their equipment directly to All Points Equipment, rather than having to pay for it to be transported to a location inland by truck or train. “We also offer field service inspections prior to the product coming to us,” Romero said. “We do our inspections out in the field, wherever the customer is located, to determine when their product will need repairs.” All Points Equipment’s personnel perform these inspections all over the world for many of the largest oil companies.


A COMPETITIVE EDGE

Though All Points Equipment is not the only provider of these services, Romero believes his business has a distinct advantage over the competition. “Our biggest edge is our group of people,” he declared. “We’ve been doing this for more than 20 years, and our knowledge base and customer contacts make us a winning advantage.”

Dedication to customer service definitely sets All Points Equipment apart, Jones confirmed. “No matter what the situation is, we react to it and get the job done,” he said. “We always make sure the customer is satisfied, and we do it honestly, safely and on time.”

The most important consideration for All Points Equipment, however, is quality. “We will not deliver something that’s not a quality product,” Romero emphasized. “That gives us good responses from our customers, which lets us do more good-quality work.”


A POSITIVE OUTLOOK

Plans are currently in the works to help All Points Equipment increase its productivity even further. “We’re hoping to build a brand-new building in New Iberia to help us increase our throughput,” Romero said. “We’re looking to put a 200-foot-by-70-foot state-of-the-art facility in to help us make repairs to syntactic foam.”

With solid plans and a dedicated customer base, the future looks bright for All Points Equipment. The company’s expertise in the marketplace and its high-quality refurbishment services have made it a valuable contributor to the world’s top oil-drilling companies.

For more information on All Points Equipment, please visit www.allpoints-equipment.com.

Photos by Robert Allred Photography, A.S.M.P.

www.allredphotography.com

Buoyancy Module Repair Services

A large portion of All Points Equipment’s business comes from the repair of buoyancy modules — and with these modules being one of the last lines of defense between the expensive drilling rig and the ocean’s maverick depths, the company has to ensure its repairs are sound. Fortunately, North American Composites (NAC) has been providing quality composites and equipment to All Points Equipment for several years now.

The relationship dates back to when All Points Equipment first moved its repair operations to New Iberia in 2004, according to Romero. “We were looking for a quality vendor who would be there to help us out,” he recalled. “Then we found NAC."

Ed Swain, NAC sales representative, has worked closely with Romero since that time, and he has helped All Points Equipment modernize many of its operations. “We evaluated their goals and how they wanted to get them done,” Swain said. “For example, when we first began working together, they were mixing the putty they needed for the buoyancy modules by hand and applying it one module at a time. We found the products, processes and equipment for them to help them speed up their repairs and improve their efficiency.”

All Points Equipment now works with composite materials, including putty, fiberglass products and resins, manufactured by Interplastic Corporation — the parent company of NAC. Improving their products and processes has helped the company as a whole, Swain noted. “They’ve increased the quality of their repairs to their clients’ flotation modules, increased their overall efficiency and reduced waste,” he stated. “Along the way, we’ve helped them out by providing the composite materials, technical assistance, product training and process training.”

And that relationship is one Romero has found extremely valuable. “Ed’s been very, very helpful to us,” he said. “His knowledge of the industry has been a really big help to us. We’ve managed to double the output of our facilities with his assistance and NAC’s. Their level of service and their expertise have been extraordinary. Our production has definitely benefited from our partnership with them, and so has the quality of our work.”