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Baker Hughes to expand footprint, double investments in UAE

The GE company is bullish about growth as oil prices rise

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Baker Hughes has won a major drilling contract and a strategic controls and condition-monitoring project with one of the onshore gas operating companies in the UAE.
Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Baker Hughes, a GE Company, is aiming to double its investments in the petrochemical industry in the UAE and also expand its footprint in the region due to growing opportunities driven by higher oil prices, a top executive of the firm told Gulf News recently in an interview.

The firm, which serves the oil and gas industry, is currently active in a number of countries in the Middle East and North Africa including UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, Egypt and Algeria, among others.

“We are looking to strengthen our footprint as we provide a new way of serving the industry through our full stream offering that stretches across the oil and gas value chain,” said Rami Qasem, president and CEO of Baker Hughes GE for Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and India.

“For example, here in the region, we have been using data-driven models that help our partners achieve higher levels of recovery. We have engineered a cost-effective coiled tubing re-entry drilling solution to access geologically-complex targets. We also see a strong opportunity in the digitisation of the oil and gas sector.”

UAE investment

In the UAE, the firm signed multiple contracts and is aiming to double its investments in the petrochemicals sector due to growing opportunities.

“We aim to double our investment in the petrochemical industry and support our partners such as Adnoc in their vision to develop the sector in the UAE,” Qasem said without giving details about the planned investment.

The comments come as Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) plans to invest $45 billion (Dh165 billion) alongside partners over the next five years to create the single largest integrated refining and petrochemicals destination in the world at Ruwais to cater to the rising demand for refined products from across the globe.

 We are looking to strengthen our footprint as we provide a new way of serving the industry through our full stream offering that stretches across the oil and gas value chain.”

 - Rami Qasem | President and CEO of Baker Hughes GE for Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and India

The new facility is expected to create 15,000 high skilled jobs and contribute 1 per cent to the UAE’s GDP per year by 2025, CEO of Adnoc, Dr Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber said recently.

Current projects

Baker Hughes is currently involved in a number of projects in the UAE including the first-of-its-kind remote monitoring & diagnostic centre for rotating equipment that monitors 300 gas turbines across Menat (Middle East, North Africa and Turkey) remotely.

It also won a major drilling contract that includes directional drilling, logging tools, and rotary steerable technology for precise steering control and a strategic controls and condition-monitoring project with one of the onshore gas operating companies in the UAE.

Across the Middle East, in Algeria, it has a partnership with Sonatrach and Sonelgaz to set up Algesco, a dedicated turbomachinery service centre and the largest GE facility of its kind globally with an investment of $36 million to support the continued growth of the country’s oil and gas and power generation sectors.

In Iraq, the firm announced a significant deal with PetroChina International Iraq to supply 150MW in power generation equipment for the Halfaya oilfield. It also set up a new facility in the North Rumaila region, offering a wide range of testing, repair and refurbishment services that has helped to create local employment opportunities and training for more than 2,000 Iraqi professionals.

Saudi Arabia

The company would be strengthening its presence in Saudi Arabia in oil and gas industry as well as in manufacturing sector.

BHGE was recently awarded a $175 million contract by Saudi Aramco to boost production of Haradh & Hawiyah gasfields as the kingdom plans to double gas production to 23 billion standard cubic feet per day in the next decade.

“We have over 15 ongoing long-term research and development projects that address full stream industry challenges in Saudi Arabia as well as a team of experts working with KFUPM (King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals) and Saudi Aramco that are developing solutions for the Kingdom and the rest of the world,” Qasem said.

“Our Dhahran Technology Centre, inaugurated in 2012, too focuses on localised research and development with emphasis on digital industrial transformation, high efficiency products and services, and reservoirs & productivity.”

The firm also established the drill bit manufacturing plant in Saudi Arabia — that is delivering polycrystalline diamond compact bits, made entirely in the Kingdom and are exported to over 40 countries.

Asked whether Baker Hughes is looking at buying a minority stake in Adnoc’s drilling unit as reported by Bloomberg recently, he said they do not comment on market speculation or rumours.

On oil prices, he said, higher oil prices will incentivise regional players to invest in capex and capacity expansion.

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