Experience brings business in Kuwait Suresh PILLAI

We are qualified with the K-companies in all major categories of work


Experience brings business in Kuwait

May 2, 2024

Suresh Pillai, CEO of Mark Technologies, talks to The Energy Year about the company’s involvement in Jurassic gas production and about establishing partnerships to grow business in new markets in Kuwait and abroad. Mark Technologies is a privately owned Kuwaiti company engaged in EPC, project management, operations and maintenance, commissioning and field services for the oil and gas sector.

What contracts has Mark Technologies been awarded recently?
During 2022 and 2023, we secured multiple contracts in the local market. Though execution remained a big challenge after COVID-19 due to the scarcity of materials and human resources, we overcame the difficulties with professionalism. The majority of our work has now been delivered or is near completion.
One of Mark’s largest engagements was the JPFs [Jurassic Production Facilities], a prestigious KOC project for processing sour gas which was the first of its kind in Kuwait. We were involved in the first four JPF projects and now, for JPF-5, we have a BOOM [build-own-operate-maintain] contract together with Chinese company Jereh Oil & Gas Engineering, who is the main EPC contractor. The main job is the EPC portion of the storage tanks, where we were responsible for engineering design, procurement, construction, pre-commissioning and commissioning. Overall, the total value of our business in JPF-5 was around USD 20 million.
Jereh, being new to the Kuwaiti market, sought partners with experience on the ground, and we were the ideal choice. We are the best partner for the business because we know how to optimise the schedule of a project, the engineering deliverables and all the crucial steps for a project like the JPF.
Mark does business in a very harmonious and ethical manner, giving the highest priority to HSE. Our highly qualified staff and contracting partners have executed many major projects in Kuwait and they are well respected in their areas of expertise.


What is the company’s relationship with oil and gas players?
We are qualified with the K-companies in all major categories of work and all our contracts are directly with them except for the JPF project. We have worked as an EPC contractor for KOC, KUFPEC [Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company], KNPC, PIC [Petrochemical Industries Company] and KOTC [Kuwait Oil Tankers Company]. We are approved to take on contracts valued at up to USD 350 million.
Our current share of the upstream market is around 20%. We support KOC’s production plans, which include drilling new wells as well as increasing oil output through artificial lift by injecting water or gas. Since water is scarce in Kuwait, KOC has come up with several initiatives to reduce its use and still increase the efficiency of its production facilities.
We are just now commissioning an EPC project for KOC to handle produced water, known as effluent water handling. We have constructed seven manifolds in South and East Kuwait to increase water-handling capacity and helped KOC achieve a higher production level.
We have started operating in the midstream and downstream segments, as well. We recently won a USD 20-million contract with WJO [Wafra Joint Operations] for tank maintenance services and a USD 18-million contract with KNPC for civil maintenance operations at Mina Al Ahmadi refinery.

What are the main opportunities and challenges in expanding your portfolio in Kuwait and abroad?
As part of its strategy, KOC seeks to develop drilling expertise among local companies by mandating that they partner with an international drilling company in a 30-70 JV in favour of the international company so that they can acquire knowledge and gain drilling experience. The vision behind this is that local companies will become ready to handle the drilling independently after a period of time.
This is an important development for us, as we do not have any drilling experience and can now gain it through partnerships. We discussed a collaboration with an Italian drilling company. Unfortunately, we did not move ahead because they were not competitive enough compared to Chinese companies. The Chinese dominate the drilling market.
We have a workshop where we want to manufacture specialised oilfield equipment such as ESPs [Electric Submersible Pumps] and sucker rod pumps in collaboration with international vendors. We believe there might be good demand for these types of equipment and services. We are also looking to spread our business in Saudi Arabia, where setting up such facilities is much more feasible than in Kuwait due to the large availability of land.

Can you give us more details about your expansion plans in the region?
We are eagerly looking at Saudi Arabia and Qatar at this moment. In Qatar, we are in partnership discussions, while we have already established a registered office in Saudi Arabia and aim to start our first projects in Q2 2024. Our main areas of expertise are EPC and field services and, since they are very specialised fields, starting immediately as a main contractor will not be easy. Our plan is to first win some major packages through partnerships and then to compete for direct EPC contracts.

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