Global Industries, Ltd. and its subsidiaries provide various construction and support services to the offshore oil and gas industry in the United States Gulf of Mexico, Latin America, West Africa, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific/India regions. Its services include pipeline construction, platform installation and removal, project management, construction support, diving services, diverless intervention, and marine support services. As of December 31, 2007, the company operated a fleet of 14 construction vessels, 3 cargo launch barges, 10 dive support vessels, and 1 other miscellaneous offshore support vessel. It also charters other vessels, such as tugboats, cargo barges, utility boats, and dive support vessels; and leases other equipment, such as saturation diving systems and remotely operated vehicles. Global Industries customers include primarily oil and gas producers and pipeline companies.
GLBL's products include pipeline construction, platform installation and removal, sub-sea construction, project management and diving services. The Company provides services from shallow water to water depths of up to 10,000 feet. The Company's business consists of two principal activities: Offshore Construction Services, which includes pipeline construction and platform installation, and removal services, and Diving Services, which includes diving and marine support services.
Offshore Construction Services The Company's offshore construction services include pipelay, derrick and related services. The Company is capable of installing steel pipe by either the conventional or the reel method of pipelaying using either manual or automatic welding processes. With the conventional method, 40-foot to 60-foot segments of up to 60-inch diameter pipe are welded together, x-ray tested and corrosion coated on the deck of the pipelay vessel. Each segment of pipe is connected to the prior segment of pipe and then submerged in the water as the vessel is moved forward by its anchor winches, or in some instances onboard thrusters. This process is repeated until the desired length of pipe has been laid. In good weather conditions and shallow water, the Company's vessels can install approximately 400 feet per hour of small diameter pipe using the conventional pipelay method. It has the ability to install pipelines using the conventional method in the United States Gulf of Mexico, Latin America, West Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacific regions. Several of its vessels employ dynamic positioning technology, which uses onboard thrusters in conjunction with global positioning system technology to enable a vessel to remain on station or move with precision without the use of anchors.
The Company is capable of installing pipelines using the reel method of pipeline construction. Under the reel method, welding and testing are performed onshore, and then the pipe is spooled in one continuous length onto a large reel on a specially designed major construction vessel. Once the vessel is in the proper position offshore, the pipe is unspooled onto the ocean floor as the vessel moves forward. This method of pipeline construction is generally used for pipelines with diameters of 12 inches or less, and is especially suited for deep water where pipeline burying is not required and for seasons with inclement weather. The pipeline construction services, which the Company performs by the reel method, are primarily performed in the United States Gulf of Mexico. In the Gulf of Mexico, The United States Department of Interior Minerals Management Service (MMS) requires the burial of all offshore oil and gas pipelines that are greater than 8.75 inches in diameter and located in water depths of 200 feet or less. All of the Company's major construction vessels are equipped with cranes designed to lift and place equipment into position for installation. Nine of these vessels are capable of lifts of 500 tons or more, making them suitable for very heavy lifts, such as offshore platform installations. In addition, the vessels can be used to disassemble, and remove platforms and prepare them for salvage or refurbishment.
Global Industries, Ltd. operates a fleet of five dive support vessels (DSVs), domestically and five DSVs internationally to support its diving operations. For diving projects involving long-duration and deepwater dives to 1,500 feet, the Company uses saturation diving systems that maintain an environment for the divers at the sub-sea water pressure, at which they are working until the job is completed. Saturation diving allows divers to make repeated dives without decompressing. At December 31, 2006, the Company owned 14 saturation diving systems. Two of its largest saturation diving systems are capable of maintaining an environment simulating sub-sea water pressures to 1,500 feet. The pipelay and derrick operations create captive demand for the Company's saturation diving services. In addition, the Company is involved in the development of many underwater welding techniques. Underwater welds are made by two methods: dry hyperbaric welding and wet welding. In dry hyperbaric welding, a customized, watertight enclosure is engineered and fabricated to fit the specific requirements of the structural joint or pipeline requiring repairs. The enclosure is lowered into the water, attached to the structure, and then the water is evacuated, allowing divers to enter the chamber and perform dry welding repairs. Wet welding is accomplished while divers are in the water, using specialized welding rods.
The Company's Research and Development Center includes a hyperbaric facility capable of simulating wet or dry welding environments for water depths of up to 1,200 feet so that welds can be performed and tested to assure compliance with the customer's technical specifications. It also operates other offshore support vessels (OSVs) internationally to support its offshore construction services and also offer time charters to the offshore service industry.
GLBL's annual revenues are about $1 billion dollars on a current run rate, or over $8.50 per share. The profit margin is strong, and over $224 million of that billion-dollar revenue over the trailing twelve months has fallen to the EBITDA line. The company maintains about $394 million in debt, or about $7 per share.
Global Industries, Ltd. competes with Acergy S.A., Allseas Marine Contractors, S.A., Heerema S.A., J. Ray McDermott, Saipem S.p.a., Subsea 7, Technip, S.A., Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc., Bisso Marine Company, Chet Morrison Contractors, Inc., Horizon Offshore, Inc. and Offshore Specialties Fabricators, Inc.