Oil industry brings Russia, Saudi Arabia together

Novomet, the Perm-based Russian company that is the world leader in these devices, has teamed up with Saudi Aramco in a deal — also involving the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund and the Russian Direct Investment Fund. (Supplied)
Updated 15 October 2019

Oil industry brings Russia, Saudi Arabia together

  • Business climate has improved in Saudi Arabia, says Novomet CEO

MOSCOW: The Russian city of Perm, on the threshold of Siberia in the Ural Mountains, is a world away from the desert heat of Dammam in Saudi Arabia, but the two places have at least one thing in common: Electrical submersible pumps (ESP).
Novomet, the Perm-based Russian company that is the world leader in these devices, has teamed up with Saudi Aramco in a deal — also involving the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) — that is the latest example of business cooperation between the two countries.
A consortium of investors including RDIF, Saudi Aramco and PIF signed the deal — in the presence of King Salman and Russian President Vladimir Putin — to acquire 31 percent of Novomet.
Novomet CEO Maksim Perelman was not there due to urgent business in Perm, but he was involved in the complex negotiations leading up to the signing.
“We’ve been trying for 10 years to break into Saudi Arabia, and finally we’ve done it,” he told Arab News.
Political issues slowed down talks on the potential deal, he said, and were a factor in a proposed tie-up with the big American oil services company Halliburton, which fell foul of increasingly tense US-Russia relations.
“With Saudi Arabia it’s easier. We’re talking about business and technology, not about politics,” he said.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Novomet pumps are installed in oil wells to drive crude oil to the surface ready for shipping and refining.

• Novomet’s business in Saudi Arabia is currently conducted via local agents and technical support staff in Dammam.

• CEO Maksim Perelman is looking forward to closer working relationships in Saudi Arabia, and is considering opening a full branch office.

Under the transaction, a consortium comprising Saudi Aramco, the PIF and the RDIF will take a 30 percent stake in Novomet, a private company founded after the end of the Soviet Union by Perelman’s father and some colleagues. The value of the transaction has not been disclosed.
“We’re the technology leader in this area. The product is still unique — it’s very slimline equipment — and nobody can compete with us,” Perelman said.
Novomet pumps are installed in oil wells to drive crude oil to the surface ready for shipping and refining.
“We can solve a lot of the problems in terms of oil production,” Perelman said.
He is looking forward to closer working relationships in Saudi Arabia, and is considering opening a full branch office there.
At the moment, Novomet’s business in the Kingdom is conducted via local agents and technical support staff in Dammam, where oil was first discovered in significant quantities more than 80 years ago.
“We’ve seen a lot of improvement in how we can do business in Saudi Arabia. Now it’s much more flexible,” Perelman said.
“The Kingdom wants more companies to come and open up there, and it’s moving in the right way. Now I can get a visa easily online, whereas 10 years ago it took maybe a week.”


Arabic anime voice actors prepare for new show at Riyadh expo

Updated 17 November 2019

Arabic anime voice actors prepare for new show at Riyadh expo

  • Waheed Jalal's voice acting as “Treasure Island” antagonist John Silver has captivated generations

RIYADH: Visitors to Riyadh’s first anime expo stopped by the first panel on Saturday unaware that they would be leaving the stage with memories renewed of their favorite voice actors of all time.

Waheed Jalal and Jihad Al-Atrashi will forever live on in the hearts of fans of “Grendizer” and “Treasure Island (Takarajima),” the two shows that introduced the Arab world to anime in the 1970s.

Jalal, whose voice acting as “Treasure Island” antagonist John Silver has captivated generations, expressed how delighted he was to be with the audience.

“I want to thank you and your Kingdom of generosity and culture,” he said.

Al-Atrash, who portrayed Duke Fleed, echoed his sentiments: “You are great people with great values, thank you to the people of the Kingdom that stand next to people of all nations.”

Jalal was touched by the audience’s love and warm welcome, “You guys are the reason we continued this far, without you it wouldn’t have been possible,” he told them.

“We’re persevering to this day because people loved these characters we portrayed so much, our other works pale in comparison,” he added.

Jalal said that the reason “Grendizer” remained with so many people is because of the values and morals depicted in the show, teaching generations to be loyal and loving to their nation and their people.

Artist and creator Ibrahim Al-Lami. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)

The voice acting pair talked about the importance of speaking in formal Arabic in these shows. Jalal said it’s because “you’re presenting to the entire Arab world.”

Local dialects would be difficult for others to understand, so we must all aspire to perfect our formal Arabic, added Jalal.

Before concluding the talk, a teaser was played of the first Saudi anime “Makkeen” by artist and creator, Ibrahim Al-Lami, who announced that 60 percent of the work was completed through local efforts.

“We’ll introduce a new work that is by our people, written by our people and voiced by our people,” he said to the audience.

The work will feature characters voiced by Jalal and Al-Atrash, who have become symbolic to the Arab anime world. “I told them, this work wouldn’t be complete without you two,” said Lami on his choice of voice actors. “We want these works to see the light of day. We need to provide the new generations with tales of our own,” added Al-Atrash when asked why he wanted to partake in the anime.