Board Member of the Subsea Tieback Forum

Jim Macklin

Jim Macklin is the VP of Projects & Engineering at InterMoor Inc. Prior to joining InterMoor, Jim worked in subsea construction and field development for Helix ESG beginning with Cal Dive Int., Helix Subsea Construction and Energy Resource Technology where he was responsible for the Typhoon TLP remediation and re-establishment of production for the subsequent Phoenix project. He then served as Director of Special Projects to decommission the ERT UK Camelot field. Jim is on the Subsea Tieback Forum Advisory Board. Jim attended the University of Florida and then the Commercial Dive Center (now College of Oceaneering) in 1975.

How long have you been on the Advisory Board for Subsea Tieback?

In 2004, Dick Elliot, who was serving on the board at that time, extended an invitation to me to take his seat on Subsea Tieback Forum Advisory Board. We worked together and I was the liaison between two Helix ESG entities; Helix Subsea Construction and their wholly owned O&G production company, Energy Resource Technology (ERT). I had been attending SSTB Forum from the very first conference, understood the intent and purpose of the Forum; to inform and create awareness of the state of the technology available for subsea tiebacks and was very keen to contribute.

What is your role at the conference?

Variously to seek and solicit presentations, chair and co-chair the three presentation sessions which focus on the different aspects of subsea construction and tieback technology, review and comment on the presentation material, select the conference themes and keynote speakers.  I was also called upon to Chair the conference, though that role is only bestowed on the O&G Operators to prevent overly commercializing the conference. The true intent of the Forum is to share experiences in an open discussion, without reporters or published papers, to encourage and promote sharing of information, good and bad.

How have you seen the subsea industry change throughout the years?

Yes, the evolution has been dramatic: subsea tiebacks (SSTBs) were not the conventional production practice for the first ten years they existed. In fact, the technology drifted out of the Gulf of Mexico and was adopted more readily in the North Sea. In the 90s it came back with a vengeance, whereas it was previously limited to a 3 mile lateral distance due to direct hydraulic controls and the economics of the electro hydraulic control systems, the technology rapidly expanded to include 50 and 60 mile tiebacks. SSTBs became the strategy to exploit stranded production from fields too small and too distant to be economically viable to support their own production facility.

What do you think will be the characteristics of companies surviving the current downturn?

Highly leveraged companies and those companies burdened with decommissioning backlogs will have a very difficult time surviving. Although service companies and vendors will shrink their margins and lower their rate, it is impossible to mimic the precipitous fall of the commodity prices. The mergers and acquisitions haven’t really begun to any great extent, but will be surfacing soon.

What is your advice to people attending the show?

Enjoy the Forum, network, keep a positive outlook, and if you are managing a company do all you can to preserve your assets, human and otherwise. The market will come back.


InterMoor will exhibit at the Subsea Tieback Forum, alongside sister company UTEC.
The show will take place March 22-24, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas. Visit us at booth 5090. For more information on the show, visit the show website.