Adapt and diversifyJune 16, 2021
Ahmad El Tannir, general manager of Al Masaood Oil & Gas, talks to The Energy Year about how energy developments are proceeding in Abu Dhabi despite the pandemic and where the company sees opportunities in in-country value (ICV) and the energy transition. Al Masaood Oil & Gas is an industrial equipment supplier and oilfield services contractor serving oil, gas and energy clients.
How are your operations running during these troubled times?
Our operations are doing well. The projects in the pipeline of our major strategic partner, ADNOC, are on time and we are looking forward to being a big part of these upcoming works. This is especially the case with the offshore artificial islands for which ADNOC is about to announce the winning contractors – to include, but not be limited to, the Hail and Ghasha projects. These are the hot potential business opportunities in the market at the moment.
We do witness progress in the industry. Prior to Covid-19, ADNOC had already announced many partnerships with international operators such as Total, Eni, Oxy, Exxon, CNPC and Wintershall for the development and expansion projects of certain fields and, despite the global pandemic, these are starting their implementation phase now. Work has slowed down during Covid-19, but given the country’s resilience and the quick adaptation to the crisis by companies like ours, everything is getting back on track gradually. We have started receiving invitations for expressions of interest related to the upcoming projects. Our outlook is positive.
I truly believe the UAE is one of the strongest economies in the world. They have really taken Covid-19 as an opportunity and not a liability. The government did their part in figuring out how to tackle and overcome this challenge, and we are adapting.
The Jebel Ali gas find brought a lot of optimism to the industry, but there is uncertainty on the timeline for its development. Do you see Jebel Ali works starting in 2021?
They definitely will. Such projects begin generating works from day zero, starting with the seismic exploration, infrastructure, services, production, export, etc., and such projects have a long duration. So the economic wheel has already begun turning for the Jebel Ali discovery.
How do you assess your three-year collaboration with CNPC subsidiary BGP on the world’s largest continuous 3D onshore and offshore seismic survey, conducted for ADNOC?
For us as a service provider, this represents a mega-project. It is the largest contract we have signed with ADNOC, worth AED 5.88 billion [USD 1.6 billion], split into onshore and offshore sections. So far, everything is going smoothly as BGP is a very professional partner. ADNOC is happy with the results.
As a major achievement for the country, we have managed to have the data processing centre moved from China to the UAE. So today, all the broadcasts and readings are live and happen locally.
How do you evaluate the impact of ADNOC’s ICV programme?
In-country value is a culture now – a business behaviour, a code of conduct. And it’s no longer confined to oil and gas: It has spread to every sector of the economy. In my opinion, this is what has boosted the economy for the last two years. The economic impact of this programme since its implementation stands at retaining AED 44 billion [USD 12 billion] in-country. All this money is flowing back to the nation’s economy.
So I believe in-country value is a strategy that, if you get your company enrolled and involved in it from day one, will gradually and organically grow your business. Local and international companies need to understand that after 50 years of wealth and economic growth, it’s time to adopt this ICV programme to the best benefit of the UAE economy. We have to be responsible and stay committed to the ICV programme.
As Al Masaood Oil & Gas is expanding its product range, what kind of manufacturing partners are you looking for?
We are looking for partnerships to manufacture PPE locally, as we have a long-term process agreement with ADNOC. We are one of the major suppliers of PPE in the country. Nonetheless, we are also looking to start manufacturing industrial equipment – electrical and mechanical. We invested heavily in a big plot of around 300,000 square metres of land, to be considered as our mega base (industrial park) in the Musaffah ICAD II area. The intention is to have a “made in the UAE” product that ADNOC and the whole world will benefit from.
Considering the Ministry of Energy & Infrastructure’s energy transition plans, do you see growth coming from non-oil and gas sectors in the coming years?
Yes. Today, with the changes that are happening around the world from an environmental perspective, we are open to embracing this in two directions. The first one is supplying and servicing the oil industry in an environmentally friendly way.
The second is more involvement in new clean and green energies, and this area is thriving as well. I can say we are in the final stage of signing an agreement with a reputable solar energy technology owner and manufacturer. This kind of partnership will enable us to further expand our operations into the utilities sector, specifically water and electricity.
Diversification in our business is essential. One can never predict what the future will bring. So in line with the energy industry trends and our government’s policies, we are taking action to consolidate our presence in more than one sector of the energy industry.