Expanding oil services companies reach out to GCC partners

Petrofac is seeking an edge on rivals through local investment. (Supplied)
Updated 07 September 2018
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Expanding oil services companies reach out to GCC partners

  • Petrofac has made it clear that having a social license to operate — shorthand for supporting local economies — was a critical factor that determined whether it won tenders or not
  • Petrofac CEO Ayman Asfari: The delivery of in-country value, or ICV, is becoming increasingly important. The established national oil companies are prioritizing ICV

LONDON: Oil services and equipment companies are courting GCC partners to bolster local job creation and investment as they seek an edge on competitors to secure new business in the region.
The oil price recovery means there are more opportunities in the oil and gas sector after years of stagnation, although the KSA market has been relatively strong.
Petrofac, the oil services company with a growing reach in the Middle East, has made it clear that having a social license to operate — shorthand for supporting local economies — was a critical factor that determined whether it won tenders or not.
Petrofac CEO Ayman Asfari told Arab News: “The delivery of in-country value, or ICV, is becoming increasingly important. The established national oil companies are prioritizing ICV. In Abu Dhabi, for example, the tendering process now fully embeds ICV. It means that companies with the highest ICV have almost the right of first refusal on business.”
Active training and a development program of local talent are needed, he said.

 

ICV was a key focus area in Saudi Arabia. “More than 20 percent of our employees on the Fadhili project are Saudi nationals and our total local content across all our Saudi projects, including procurement, is expected to peak at more than 50 percent later this year,” said Asfari.
“On the question of the ICV, the in-country value, it’s really a license to operate now. It’s a requirement by clients increasingly. And unless you can meet that requirement, you will not be able to do business,” he added.
Elsewhere, London-listed Lamprell, based in the UAE, is looking to qualify as a contractor to Saudi Aramco under which contractors take up offshore engineering, procurement and construction and projects in the oil and gas sector.
An important aspect of this process is the Kingdom’s Total Value Add (IKTVA) program, which is intended to boost local investment and meet Vision 2030 objectives.
Lamprell strategy is to set up a Saudi limited liability company with KSA’s Asyad Holdings as a local partner.
Equipment and engineering services company Sparrows Group has recently been granted commercial registration to operate in KSA after it created a local JV.
Sparrows said: “A locally established company with the relevant commercial registration is a major requirement. The IKTVA program is sponsored by Saudi Aramco and is designed to drive increased investment, economic diversification, job creation and workforce development within the Kingdom.”

Decoder

The oil price recovery means there are more opportunities in the oil and gas sector after years of stagnation, though the KSA market has been relatively strong.


Cyprus, Egypt sign accord for Mediterranean gas pipeline

Updated 19 September 2018
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Cyprus, Egypt sign accord for Mediterranean gas pipeline

NICOSIA: Cyprus and Egypt on Wednesday signed an agreement paving the way for the Mediterranean’s first subsea pipeline to carry Cypriot natural gas to the Arab country for re-export to Europe.
“Today’s signing is an important milestone, not only for Cyprus but also the entire eastern Mediterranean region,” said Energy Minister George Lakkotrypis after he signed alongside visiting Egyptian Oil Minister Tarek el-Molla.
He said the agreement, “the first of its kind in our shared region,” was crucial for channelling gas from the island’s “Aphrodite” offshore field to Egypt and to attract multi-billion-dollar infrastructure investments.
A joint committee would be set up in 30 days to oversee the project.
Texas-based Noble Energy in 2011 made the first discovery off Cyprus in the Aphrodite block estimated to contain 4.5 trillion cubic feet (130 billion cubic feet) of gas but it has yet to be extracted.
The Aphrodite consortium, which also includes Israel’s Delek and Royal Dutch Shell, seeks to renegotiate terms before it taps the gas.
It is currently in talks with the Cypriot government over a bigger share of profits to make the project viable.
The discovery of nearby Egypt’s huge Zohr offshore reservoir in 2015 has stoked interest that Cypriot waters could hold the same riches.
Wednesday’s agreement is backed by the European Union in its search to diversify energy sources.
“We are essentially talking about a European pipeline, intended to transport Cypriot natural gas to Egypt for re-export to Europe in the form of liquified natural gas (LNG),” said Lakkotrypis.
The pace of construction of the pipeline to deliver gas to Egypt would depend on commercial agreements with investors.
Cyprus aims for natural gas to start flowing to Egypt’s LNG facilities in 2022, thus generating its first revenue from natural gas.
The island has also issued exploration licenses to ENI of Italy, the US firm ExxonMobil and France’s Total.