The Business Year

Companies are looking at new alternatives such as mechanization and renewables, and suppliers have to adjust accordingly, making sure they add value to their principals.

Salim Al HarthySalim Al Harthy

CEO, MB Petroleum Services (MBPS)

We have business in Oman, Germany, Hungary, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia. Our work in Oman differs from our international work because here, the government takes a close look at in-country value (ICV) when awarding a contract. Providing ICV as an Omani-based company is easy—we have the resources and know-how, we know the people, and we know how to go about our services. MBPS also has tenders with major international players, and what truly sets us apart is that we are a 35-year-old family-run business, making the decision-making process smoother and faster. As a result, we find it easy to adjust to our clients’ plans and requirements. We have started to look into a green strategy, basically renewables. MBPS is looking into renewable projects and opportunities, particularly in the solar power field. Another objective is to expand our business to new countries. At present, we are expanding our operations in Kuwait and Eastern Europe, as well as Germany. Along with continuing to focus on increased efficiency, these are two of our primary expansion plans. We have been through several painful years, though we have managed to clean up a great deal in terms of our efficiency and cost-related issues. As we grow, we have to make sure we maintain that lean efficiency in our investment and employment strategies.

Michael Edmondson

CEO, National Drilling and Services Company (NDSC)

Most of our business within Oman is with Petroleum Development Oman (PDO); however, in the last 27 years, NDSC has provided its services to various other operators within Oman, such as Occidental Oman, JAPEX Montasar Ltd., NIMIR Petroleum Oman BV, and more. NDSC operated four rigs for many years. In the last six years, we have increased our rig count to 28, with seven in Oman, nine in Kuwait, 11 in India, and one in Indonesia. Our joint ventures are working well; we provide the expertise, and our partners provide local knowledge, which is a great mix. Mechanization is not new to the drilling industry but is relatively new to land-based operations. Land operations have shied away from automation because of the cost and the expertise in maintaining equipment. At present, companies are looking at mechanizing/automated rig floors and pipe handling, which will reduce human exposure in hazardous areas. We will soon propose mechanized rigs for our next tender. We conducted a study over a year ago, and there are a few companies that are doing exceptionally well in this field. They have equipment that is completely automated and handled remotely. This is not a push for mechanization, but a push to provide safe working conditions for employees.

Shuayb Al Suleimany

Vice President & Managing Director, Shuayb Al Suleimany

Seven Seas Petroleum is an Omani Company that was established in 2002 and has since expanded its operations in Oman and the UAE. Seven Seas Petroleum started as a trading company, representing a few foreign principals in Oman. Within a few years of operations, the company began undertaking oilfield services activities, concentrating on adding value to principals’ products and systems. With support from in-country operators, Seven Seas Petroleum began to integrate controls systems and metering skids in Oman and grew into a full-fledged supply and services company. Seven Seas Petroleum subsidiary Intaj was awarded Oman’s block 56 with its partner, Medco Arabia. The Intaj block acquisition marks an expansion into upstream operations for Seven Seas Petroleum. Seven Seas Petroleum’s subsidiary Delta Controls FZCO is the largest system integrator in the Middle East and has executed several projects in the region, Latin America, and Asia. Recently, Seven Seas acquired a 100% stake in the Middle East operations of Versatech Automation FZE, making the group the biggest integrated services company in the Middle East. The biggest differentiator for Seven Seas Petroleum is the quality service that it provides to its customers and business associates. We have set the bar high, which is difficult for even large multinationals to reach. We have a lean setup and are able to optimize our operating costs, making us extremely competitive.

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