Shoring Up Business

Transocean’s Alan Quintero shares how the petroleum giant plans to remain a leader in offshore drilling

In 2013, Transocean announced an agreement with two major oil companies to conduct drilling operations with five newly built and specially designed, ultradeepwater drill ships. “The addition of these units will add $8.7 billion in revenue and 45 rig-years of backlog to the company,” says Alan Quintero in his fourth year with Transocean.

Alan Quintero serves as senior vice president of the Americas at Transocean Ltd. Quintero joined Transocean in December 2010 after 17 years with Atwood Oceanics.
Alan Quintero serves as senior vice president of the Americas at Transocean Ltd. Quintero joined Transocean in December 2010 after 17 years with Atwood Oceanics.

Transocean’s competitive advantage is distinguished by its drill ships’ advanced capabilities, which include their ability to operate in water depths of up to 12,000 feet and to drill wells up to 40,000 feet deep. Featuring state-of-the-art equipment, such as Transocean’s patented dual-activity drilling, hybrid power technologies, and enhanced hoisting capacity, the ships’ capabilities place them at the head of the industry. Most importantly, the new technology allows drilling operations in previously unattainable frontiers.

Transocean’s Deepwater Invictus and Deepwater Asgard are estimated to begin work the second quarter of 2014 in the Gulf of Mexico and in Indonesia, bringing its new deepwater rigs to a count of seven over the next three years.

Making Up for Lost Time

Like any industry reliant on machinery and automation, petroleum production provides constant opportunity for improvement.

Since the start of Quintero’s tenure at Transocean, the enterprise has employed an efficiency-driving, continuous-improvement strategy modeled off the airline industry. “After identifying the root cause of previous failures, we begin developing solutions and hard action plans,” he says. “The key is to use data to prioritize where to put our attention.”

Through the methodical and purposeful process of identification, elimination, and replacement of unreliable components, Quintero has seen performance gains that he hopes to scale throughout the year. As an industry stalwart, Transocean must continuously implement new ideas in order to provide better customer service, safety assurance, and efficiency.

Shore-Based Support


In 2012, Transocean made significant decreases in their number of nonstrategic rigs in order to focus on the most profitable sectors of its portfolio. Quintero saw the opportunity to use the downsizing as an impetus to improve efficiency as part of a company-wide effort. By restructuring Transocean’s shore-based support to better complement the smaller fleet, the company was able to improve the attention given to its legacy rigs, reallocate support resources that formerly served its divestitures, and streamline operations to make for a more nimble and responsive business.

In addition, support functions such as human resources and accounting are now centralized to support multiple locations more effectively.

“The reduction in onshore costs includes the consolidation of facilities, streamlining of business functions and processes, as well as the elimination of programs and tasks that are not central to supporting the company’s core business,” says Quintero.

The United States Energy Information Administration predicts that by 2020, American petroleum production will grow by nearly 50 percent. Quintero believes that Transocean can remain a leader in that environment by continuously initiating and implementing these improvements.

Up Close & Personal with Alan Quintero

What is your favorite book? My favorite fiction book is Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. My favorite nonfiction book is The Service Profit Chain by James L. Heskett, W. Earl Sasser, and Leonard A Schlesinger.

What is something few people know about you? I am undeniably an extrovert, but few know that I had the opportunity to channel some of that energy as an actor. As a child in Puerto Rico, I appeared in several TV commercials and a TV documentary. After college I appeared in a community theater production of Grease.

What is your favorite Latin American dish, and where do you go to get it? My favorite Latin American dish is pernil with congri and yuca al mojo. The best I ever had is the one my mother makes, of course. I can get it at local Cuban restaurants in the Houston area or, better yet, make it myself.