Kuwait welcomes new technologies and newcomers, which creates a good business climate

Soufiane KANOUN Geomarket Director for North Gulf and Turkey BAKER HUGHES, A GE COMPANY

Hungry for technology in Kuwait

May 3, 2018

Soufiane Kanoun, geomarket director for the North Gulf and Turkey at Baker Hughes, a GE Company (BHGE), talks to TOGY about the ease of bringing technology to Kuwait, how the company is working to meet Kuwait’s five-year goals for energy and the different services it company provides. BHGE provides oilfield services, equipment and digital solutions to the full value chain.

On areas of demand: “We are seeing more demand in the upstream sector given the increase of rigs coupled with Kuwait’s ambitious targets. There are some challenges when it comes to lifting power and recovery from the reservoirs. All these are new challenges that require new technologies and know-how to support KPC and its subsidiaries.”

On the market’s importance: “Kuwait has been one of the only countries that kept investing through the downturn. Regardless of the price of oil, they have not stopped investing in projects, technologies and developing targets and goals. For us at BHGE, we look at this market as one of the most important in the region and globally, as well as a market where we will grow and foster growth.”

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To what degree is the Kuwaiti market able to embrace new technologies?
Kuwait is one of the countries that is open to and hungry for technology. The market and leadership think highly of the value that technology can bring to the country. Kuwait welcomes new technologies and newcomers, which creates a good business climate.
This market is one of the best for testing and adopting new technologies. There have been pilots on new tools and the customer has been very open to trying and developing them.
There are departments in KOC and KNPC that really focus on R&D. They are active and we are always engaged with them on that front. We are talking to them about technologies that are not mature and exploring opportunities in how to develop them together.

What services are most needed in the current market?
We are seeing more demand in the upstream sector given the increase of rigs coupled with Kuwait’s ambitious targets. There are some challenges when it comes to lifting power and recovery from the reservoirs. All these are new challenges that require new technologies and know-how to support KPC and its subsidiaries.
In that regard, we are very present and collaborate in many ways with our clients. An area of focus is production optimisation with the use of our technology and services, particularly when it comes to faster production, reactivating dormant wells and new ways of stimulating the reservoir.

 

How would you describe the investment and business climate in Kuwait for oilfield services companies?
It is a very healthy market with a great vision. Kuwait has been one of the only countries that kept investing through the downturn. Regardless of the price of oil, they have not stopped investing in projects, technologies and developing targets and goals.
For us at BHGE, we look at this market as one of the most important in the region and globally, as well as a market where we will grow and foster growth.

What solutions can your company provide to support Kuwait’s five-year targets?
You can particularise services in upstream drilling and evaluation, completion and production, and digitalisation. On the refining side, there are smart refineries and optimisation to increase margins.
With our full-stream services and thinking, we bring new solutions to the market. It is all about integration today if you want to get to the next level and support growth. You have to start thinking about lowering costs and developing solutions that are cost effective.
Digitalisation is definitely a big help. We talked today about smart drilling rigs. These are the technologies we bring. We are partnering with KPC, KOC and KNPC to drive their visions forward. This is in addition to all the new ways of drilling – tools, better services, reservoir modelling, etc.

What are BHGE’s latest updates and activities over the past two years?
We bring digital solutions to KPC and its subsidiaries. We are helping them with asset performance management, monitoring wells and giving them advice on the status of equipment and how to optimise and utilise it.
We are helping KPC achieve their 2020, 2035 and 2040 visions. A major breakthrough last year was the achievement of the fastest drilling time and highest rate of penetration in North Kuwait using BHGE’s TerrAdapt adaptive drill bit coupled with our drilling measurement tools. This was recognised by KOC and was a good example of partnership. We brought the know-how and they brought the drilling programme. It was a really good example of partnership with a customer.
In the downstream, we are working with our customers on service contracts and on supplying new equipment for the Clean Fuel Project and for the Al Zour refinery. We are also looking forward to the petrochemical complexes that are going to be part of the New Refinery Project. These will be part of the discussions in later stages.
We also have a lot of collaboration with the downstream sector in providing centrifugal compressors, gas turbine drivers and security and safety valves, coupled with services for this equipment, such as maintenance, advisory, optimisation and applying the latest technology.
We also enhance the expertise and development of Kuwaiti engineers, as well as optimising maintenance plans and enhancing productivity and efficiency as well as productivity when it comes to equipment.

What gives BHGE a competitive edge here in Kuwait?
We look at ourselves as a digital-industrial company. We are fullstream. We are here to partner with our customers and we look at the success of our customers in Kuwait as our own success.
We are one of the preferred partners because of our efficiency, performance, technology and integrated portfolio. We do not call ourselves fullstream for nothing. Today we provide services, equipment, completion and digital solutions across the value chain.
The differentiation factor is our willingness to co-operate and work together, the performance we bring, the new technology, R&D collaboration and our ability to bring in equipment and services to support the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors.
We do not only cover oilfield services, but also booster stations, compressions, gas turbines and the power generation sector. We provide a lot of partnerships and services. We are also bringing the idea of digitalisation and integration and how we can provide more efficiencies, more productivity and better performance. This is what makes us unique for our customers.

In what way will you support the country through to 2020?
We will definitely continue our journey with our top partners and customers in the country to bring transformational growth. Digitalisation is one new technology and solution we will continue to bring to our customers.
We would like to understand our customers even more, their challenges and how we can support them. Beyond that, we are looking for new projects and supporting the country and the sector in their objectives, projects and aim of developing Kuwaiti nationals to support growth in the country.
New technologies with fewer emissions, reduction of flares and gas-to-power capabilities will help the economy, the people of Kuwait and the country.

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