Logo Partnership
December 2016


in the oil & gas sector


A great opportunity


The most severe crisis in the oil and gas industry in 30 years, has lead BOURBON to focus on the essentials: operational excellence, cash preservation and cost reduction. We are meeting the challenge by adapting and changing the way we work, but the time is ripe to take it a step further and undergo a transformation.

In this context, the digital revolution is a great opportunity, one that will make it possible for us to reconcile operational safety, quality of service improvement for our clients - myBOURBON being an illustration of this - and cost reduction. It is also an opportunity to strengthen relationships with our partners by providing them with shared services, a platform of powerful digital tools, and a unique BOURBON standard. Meeting the challenges of the current crisis involves transforming the way we work, taking customer relationships to a new level, and developing new tailor-made services.

Together, we can all play a role in this transformation. We need to reshape our business model, develop new responses, and firmly establish the digital culture in our work habits: these measures will enable us to better meet customer requirements and ensure that our business remains sustainable.



Gaël Bodénès
Chief Operating Officer of BOURBON 




Expert insight

The industry’s digital revolution is underway

The digital revolution will help the oil and gas industry meet key productivity goals. After collecting the data - step one in this transformation - the challenge lies in using and analysing a phenomenal amount of information. General Manager Digital GE Oil & Gas TMS, Sébastien Condom explains what this involves.


In the oil & gas (O&G) industry, a 1% rise in a production system’s availability has an estimated impact of five to seven billion dollars. Likewise, shutting down a gas liquefaction plant costs $150 million a year and a non-operating well can lose up to three million dollars in revenue a week. These mind-boggling figures underscore how even the slightest change in output can have huge effects on the earnings of strongly capital-intensive industries. That’s why this industry looks like the ideal candidate to benefit from the current digital revolution. “Data collection is a reality in the O&G industry,” says Sébastien Condom, “but just a tiny fraction of the information is available and used. The O&G industry will be able to optimize its entire value chain by efficiently managing data collected by sensors and analysing them with algorithms and statistics.” 


Data collection is a reality in the O&G industry, but just a tiny fraction of the information is available and used.

Data analysis: driving the digital transformation

The O&G and maritime industries operate very far from logistical bases. Shipping a spare part can therefore be quite expensive and have a significant impact on production. Using and analysing data makes it possible to plan ahead and act more quickly. Specifically, it is key to reducing offshore facilities’ down times, adapting maintenance programmes or forecasting possible breakdowns. “I think the industry is on the verge of a major data analysis turning point,” says Mr. Condom. “The possibilities for connecting equipment to sensors are more numerous and less expensive. What’s more, digital technology’s new capacities, especially with cloud computing, allow us to store data and make big calculations at low cost. These two factors pave the way for a new era in data analysis, with the potential to considerably boost production facilities’ output. If companies are able to adopt a digital culture and make the best possible use of collected data, the digital revolution will be a success in this industry" says Sébastien Condom. 


What factors are holding back O&G’s digitalization?

The stumbling blocks are more psychological than technological or technical. They have to do with the ability to work differently. We must acquire reflexes and develop a digital culture based on analysing data in order to solve problems. The digital revolution reshaping our industry today is as important as the Internet’s arrival was for consumers. The possibilities are endless. 

How can digitalization transform a group like BOURBON?

With fuel and upkeep costs being so high, BOURBON must be on the lookout for anything that can optimize their or the clients expenses! The potential to use collected data to improve maintenance and productivity is considerable. That’s even truer on the scale of a entire fleet of ships.

Where does General Electric stand in terms of using data?

We developed a digital industrial vision fairly early on. Combining our digital and industrial capacities should help us reach our productivity targets, which are crucial in the energy industry. The goal is to horizontally and openly serve the whole value chain as a way of helping users boost their productivity.

Expert insight
Their stories

myBOURBON, a new vision of client relationship

Client satisfaction is embedded in BOURBON’s DNA and drives every action of our services. With this in mind, we have created an innovative service called myBOURBON which offers our clients instant access to key service performance indicators through a secured digital platform. myBOURBON, which has been operational since 2015, demonstrates the company’s constant commitment to transparency and quality of service.

In 2010, BOURBON was the first company in the industry to implement technical performance indicators. It was also the first and the only company to communicate its performance with KPIs to the market and to its clients, and to measure customer satisfaction with specific questionnaires. With this new digital application, BOURBON has taken things to the next level, explains Rodolphe Bouchet, VP, Business Management, Marine Services: “Our ongoing concern for performance transparency,  reporting and measuring customer satisfaction is at the origin of myBOURBON. We wanted to provide customers with all this information via a digital platform.

"myBOURBON illustrates our commitment to evolve towards contract management efficiency and to take customer interaction even further, using digital innovation."
Rodolphe BouchetVP, Business Management, Marine services

On the myBOURBON platform, clients have access to information such as operations in near-real time, performance indicators, daily fuel consumption reports, vessels and operational documentations. Data is accessible 24/7 worldwide, enabling clients to simplify their BOURBON contract management, with added efficiency and improved risk management. The next steps will be to gradually enrich this platform with more added value services like Electronic Document Management (contract, vessels documents, reporting paper work, invoices…), collaborative and communication features (action plan, workflow, chat, customer satisfaction form, etc.). It will also evolve to meet the needs of a wide audience and to be compatible with mobile devices. 



 ROBIN SCHROH - TOTAL -  Support Vessels Category Manager
"I use myBOURBON to access information regarding contracted vessels. For example, which vessels are contracted, the duration of the contract, the contract rate, etc. Total has a lot of vessels contracted with BOURBON and I already get a lot of information from the affiliates regarding these contracts. The key usage of myBOURBON for me is to cross-reference the information I have from the affiliates with the information available through the application. BOURBON is a strategic supplier to TOTAL and we already have a close relationship, including weekly contacts. Nonetheless, this digital interface adds an extra layer of transparency and illustrates BOURBON’s willingness to improve transparency with customers. I believe that BOURBON is the only supplier to provide such an innovative service. So far, the information on the website is more technically focused and more useful for our technical teams. When the application provides more information on contracts, I will use it more often as it is a very user-friendly tool."

Their stories
Successful together

First subsea success on the indian market

From early March to late May 2016, BOURBON operated in India - a first for the Subsea Services activity - on behalf of a contractor for the Indian oil and gas leader. The contract could open new doors.

BOURBON carried out for 3 months 2 missions off the coast of Kakinada in eastern India’s: testing the G-1 tract’s umbilical and installing a jumper, stored on the seabed for over a year. The tract lacks surface structures, so an umbilical carries command and control information from the mainland to the subsea facilities. Two of its communication lines displayed anomalies, which may trigger unexpected production shutdowns. The Bourbon Evolution 807 was deployed with two Work ROV HD subsea robots. After tests, the umbilical’s condition was deemed satisfactory. Two ROVs recovered and installed the jumper connection hose. The connection’s particularity was the complexity of the hose’s channel: the wellhead was 90 degrees off its normal position. Three lines - the crane cable and two ROV control cables - descended from the surface."The ROV HD is our flagship tool for underwater operations, it’s extremely compact, a key advantage in areas with strong currents. », says Jean-Charles Audouin, Commercial Area Manager and the vessel’s Project Manager.

  • Launching of the HD ROV

  • Launching of the umbilical

  • Umbilical recovery

ROVs in drift launch mode

In addition to monsoons, one of the main challenges was working in very strong currents with three lines (crane and ROV) from the surface. The ROVs dove in currents as brisk as 3.5 knots, which required major safety measures and precautions when putting the robots into the water and lifting them out again, as well as special navigation methods. The ROV entered the water in drift launch mode: the vessel dove in a controlled “drift” before moving back into position. "Bourbon Evolution vessels allow this kind of mission to be accomplished: they are powerful, enable two ROVs to be embarked at the same time and have a large deck area. Classified as SPS and DP3 vessels, they have helidecks, which are crucial for operating in this region."

This first successful mission is driving new opportunities. McDermott has just awarded BOURBON a new mission on the next Indian field development (S1-Vashishta). Bourbon Evolution 807 will steam back to India early 2017.

Successful together

Crew boats: the best alternative to helicopters!


A fleet of more than 230 Surfers and 30 FSIVs can transport 20-90 people at a cruising speed of 20-40 knots.


Two times less expensive than a helicopter, the Surfer is a safe and reliable solution for transport of personnel, parcels and light equipment.


In terms of hospitality, comfort and cleanliness on board, the Crew boat service offer falls in line with an approach similar to that of an airline company.


In terms of hospitality, comfort and cleanliness on board, the Crew boat service offer falls in line with an approach similar to that of an airline company.


The "boat landing" facilitates personnel's landing from Surfers onto an oil & gas structure, maximizes personnel transfer safety.

In pictures
Shared view

The keys to an effective compliance policy

How can globally active multinationals implement effective compliance policies? Sylvie Rapin, TOTAL E&P Branch Compliance Officer, and Christian Laveau, BOURBON Group Compliance Officer, have the answer.

JOINT Interview

What goals does a compliance policy aim to achieve?

Sylvie Rapin: Our compliance programme allows us to secure our activity and reassure our stakeholders on the steps we’re taking to prevent non-compliance risks. It guarantees transparency and long-term success. Today, a group like TOTAL, which operates in over 130 countries, works internationally in accordance with an ethics code and a standardised global compliance policy.

Christian Laveau: A compliance programme is indispensable for operating in the oil and gas industry. Standardising BOURBON’s ethics and compliance policy allows us to have a common approach and rules with regards to compliance and anti-corruption.  It also allows us to keep up with ever tightening regulatory frameworks. 

S.R.: In the extractive industries, the global EITI (Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative) has been retained because so much money is at stake and the countries we operate in are changing and restructuring.

C.L.: Just like safety, the risk of non-compliance represents a major risk in our industry. The potential impact on finances and reputation is considerable. Not managing the risk of non-compliance concerning, for example, facilitation payments, the rules regarding embargoes, or business gifts can have serious consequences and leads to a loss of confidence among employees, stakeholders and all parties involved.

How can your policy be implemented in all the countries where you operate?

S.R.: It rests above all on engaging management at the highest level to analyse the risks and draft rules that are easy for everybody to understand. Our policy, which is spelled out in our code of conduct, is distributed to new employees and all interested parties. To make sure it is correctly applied, we rely on several stages of raising awareness, communication, and training, not forgetting monitoring and, if necessary, sanctions.

C.L.: BOURBON has a similar approach to TOTAL with our deployment of the ‘six pillars’ of our compliance programme. To complement this in terms of raising awareness and training, BOURBON has put in place clear sanctions linked to the non-respect of internal procedures. The emphasis is on winning the support of everybody in the organisation to respect these rules to ‘protect’ the company and its employees and boost competitiveness. Our motto, “Compliance, no compromise”, clearly states our goal.

S.R.: Employees must understand that this approach is fundamental to how the company works. 

C.L.: I totally agree. We must continue to educate and raise awareness in order to work towards zero risk.


Which tools have been rolled out to raise employee awareness? 

S.R.: In addition to 80 compliance officers in each entity, we have outreach tools like e-learning, which makes it easier to understand compliance principles on a daily basis. A dedicated e-mail address lets everybody express his or her concerns as quickly as possible, receive advice and report instances of non-compliance with the rules.  A tool to register gifts, invitations, donations and conflicts of interest is available to each employee at their work station. 

C.L.: BOURBON relies on a corporate team, a network of 26 compliance officers in the locations where it operates, a code of conduct and a compliance e-learning programme. This enables employees to reduce the risks they are exposed to and become more effective. Compliance success in the long term means never letting down your guard. 

Shared view

Well stimulation: a cost effective and innovative solution