INTERVIEW: Bourbon Subsea Services Stays Focused on Its Core Markets

Bourbon Subsea Services provides clients with a full range of services to assist at every stage of the life of their oil field, from the survey and exploration phases, during the subsea construction and the offshore operations, through to dismantling.

In an interview with Subsea World News Patrick Belenfant, CEO of Bourbon Subsea Services, told us more about the company and its future plans.

Could you tell our readers what Bourbon Subsea Services is about, where do you stand on the market right now and what are your capabilities?

Bourbon Subsea Services supports its oil & gas and renewables energies clients at every stage of the life of their fields offering a wide range of solutions worldwide from marine & ROV asset chartering to full integrated services and project solutions.

Our expertise covers four main domains:

  • Subsea construction (integrated projects & services);
  • Inspection, Maintenance & Repair for oil & gas clients;
  • Vessel and ROV chartering; and
  • Renewables energies (integrated solutions for installation of floating wind farm, underwater turbine and power cable, etc).

in four main areas:

  • West Africa;
  • Mediterranean/Europe, Middle East and India;
  • Asia; and
  • Central America..

Contracts are executed through project management, heart of the interface with all stakeholders, coordinating the resources required for delivering solutions to clients, from internal vessel and ROVs supply, engineering, expert and operations teams and supply chain management.

With a fleet of 20 MPSV and 25 ROV, Bourbon Subsea Services is the first IMR service provider in West Africa today.


You’ve recently executed a floating wind project at Cobra Wind’s Kincardine site, Scotland – what is Bourbon’s position in this relatively new market?

Bourbon has a unique and one of the best track records in floating offshore wind installation, starting with the first project performed in 2011. With the experience and expertise gained from the various projects already delivered or under way off the Portuguese, Scottish and French coasts, Bourbon is a leader in the floating wind installation.

Next project to be deployed is for Windplus with the mooring procurement and installation of three floating wind turbines of 8.3 MW for Windfloat Atlantic floating offshore wind farm off the Portuguese coast in 2019.


During this years’ Offshore Energy Exhibition and Conference Yvan Leyni from Bourbon and Clement Mochet from Vryhof, who will supply mooring for the WindFloat Atlantic floating offshore wind farm project, discussed the cost-competitiveness of the floating offshore wind and mentioned that „it’s not there yet“. What is Bourbon doing to deliver this sector to competitive level?

The technology readiness level is high enough for floating offshore wind to move to commercial development (although still various concepts are being developed and tested). The cost efficiency is now the main hurdle to overcome. The financial viability of this market remains to be proven. Bourbon is already working on larger scale wind farm models and is investigating how to optimize the design, mooring procurement and installation phase. The experience gives a strong basis to identify the critical elements and to find solutions to reduce the cost of installation of a commercial wind farm.

While various types of floater are currently tested and under evaluation, our current discussion with energy providers target larger scale floating plan beyond 2023, giving the opportunity for return on experience on the ongoing floater project.


Your partnership with Vryhof has secured you work in the floating wind sector, is teaming up with other companies becoming a key factor in today’s market environment.

Teaming up with other companies will allow us to offer more integrated and competitive solutions to clients. The type of market segment drives the choice of alliance and BOURBON is already in discussion with other companies in various segments.


Bourbon is currently strengthening its presence in several markets, where do you see the most potential right now, industry and region wise?

Bourbon Subsea Services will focus on four main geographical areas for its fleet and service utilization.

For offshore wind, there is future potential in Europe (France, UK), Asia (Taiwan, Japan) and North America.

For oil and gas, potential for Subsea remains in West of Africa with IMR and well intervention. Mediterranean, Middle East and emerging countries will also see some new developments with construction and pipe lay opportunities.


The Subsea industry, especially the services sector, has seen many challenges in the past 3 – 4 years, how has Bourbon been tackling this to remain one of the major players on the market?

Bourbon Subsea Services is focusing on its core markets, with a fleet of standardized vessels such as the 10 Bourbon Evolution 800 series 150T DP3 crane. Thanks to synergies with the marine fleet, we have been able to drive substantial maintenance cost optimization. Our vessel and ROV technical availability has been recognized by oil and gas majors in difficult and logistically constrained environment. Safety, professionalism and excellent operational performance remains the key driver of our service, especially in this time of crisis.


What’s next for Bourbon – what is the strategy for the coming years?

In a complex and agile environment, Bourbon Subsea Services will focus on its core geographical markets, in the four segments listed above. EMR & turnkey project expertise will be further developed to support our clients’ growth.

Photo/Video: Bourbon Subsea Services

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