Local benefits in Abu DhabiNovember 17, 2020
Martin Pearson, director of Mazrui Energy Services (MES), talks to The Energy Year about the company’s strategy on in-country value (ICV) and the importance of making a long-term commitment in the UAE market. A subsidiary of Mazrui International, MES provides representation, manufacturing, engineering and oilfield services across the Middle East through its wholly owned subsidiaries as well as other technology solutions to regional customers through joint ventures with technical partners.
As the ICV programme is expanding to multiple sectors of the UAE’s economy, what changes has this triggered in your organisation?
The ICV concept applies to both our product portfolio and the services that we provide in the UAE. Starting with the products, our technical partners and ourselves realise the importance of supporting the development of the industrial sector and using advanced technology to drive economic growth, raise efficiency and increase the gross domestic product.
Partners are looking to establish local facilities and, in a way, the Covid pandemic has placed more importance on ICV as it emphasised the benefit of locally manufactured products during times when it was difficult to import raw materials and goods from the rest of the world.
Looking at services, I am pleased to say that our wholly owned subsidiaries have been successfully operating as local entities for over thirty years in the UAE. Locally hired and trained employees are providing consistently high service and technical support to our customers using, where appropriate, materials, technology and services from the local marketplace.
As ADNOC plans to increase its conventional and unconventional drilling by 2025, how is Mazrui Energy Services positioned to take on some of these projects?
Through one of our joint ventures, WoodServ, we are already involved with an unconventional gas project where we have designed and built a centralised early production facility. Along with our joint venture partner, we came up with a very good technical solution, hence the design, engineering works, local fabrication, installation and commissioning have all taken place at a good pace over these last six months.
The bulk of the engineering and fabrication was done by one of our fully owned subsidiary companies, Sigma Engineering Works. And despite the difficult Covid-19 operating conditions, we managed to hold the project timeline together and deliver in terms of price, cost and quality.
Mazrui Energy Services recently expanded its operations in Kuwait with the inauguration of a newly built plant. Tell us about this plant.
Petrochem Performance Chemicals (PPC) provides drilling and completion fluids services to Kuwait Oil Company’s (KOC) development projects. Although PPC will supply several types of water-based drilling fluids, our main product supply will be oil-based fluids. The Kuwait facility is a 10,000-barrel liquid mud plant dedicated to mixing new drilling fluids and the treatment of returned fluids.
We secured the contract with KOC in December 2018, which is strategically very important for PPC. It is an addition to our geographical territory which increases our footprint in the region. Furthermore, the facility is our first permanent liquid mud plant, expanding our service and product offering. It also showcases PPC’s effective management of a new type of facility construction at a new location. The most significant aspect of building this facility from scratch and having it commissioned by KOC within less than 180 days has been the daily engagement and drive from the PPC team in managing the deliverables and the project milestones.
How do you see the energy industry evolving in the coming years?
We believe there is a need to guarantee energy security and strengthen the sector’s resilience. Oil and gas will continuously be developed but clearly with different parameters in terms of cost, efficiency and sustainability. The focus on providing clean, affordable and reliable energy and the demand for a more sustainable planet in terms of climate change and biodiversity will see renewables penetrate more and more into the energy mix.
What is your message to foreign investors evaluating business proposals in the UAE?
In our opinion, the market dynamics for the energy sector in the UAE remain strong and positive. ANDOC plans to increase conventional and unconventional drilling activities. Significant investments are being considered in downstream projects as well as industrial clusters.
That being said, if you are going to come and set up a business in the region, you should embrace ICV, be prepared to put your roots down, build long-term relationships, seek to introduce something that will drive efficiency and cost optimisation, and most importantly, select a trusted and well established local partner.