Shaima Salmeen

Shaima Salmeen

Kuwait Managing Director, Schlumberger
Soufiane Kanoun

Soufiane Kanoun

Geo-Market Director, North Gulf & Turkey, Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE)
Given the great potential in Kuwait's oil and gas sector, companies recognize they have to continue to invest in local talent and technology to become a true partner.

Could you elaborate on the scope of your services in the country?

Shaima Salmeen Schlumberger has been in Kuwait for about 80 years. Schlumberger has an ambitious target to promote the recruitment and employment of Kuwaitis; our objective for 2018 is for 30% of our workforce to be composed of Kuwaitis, and subsequently 50%. We have an obligation to make sure we contribute to the community. The new generation of Kuwaitis is attracted to our operations. Working in the oil industry, however, is not everyone's dream; it is hard work. What makes Schlumberger a great place to work is the education, training, and development given to employees.

What was the impact of the merger with the oil and gas arm of GE on your operations in Kuwait?

Soufiane Kanoun The merger was extremely important for both companies to create a full-stream vision. Baker Hughes' strength was mainly in upstream, reservoirs studies, and services. The oil and gas section of GE had an upstream portfolio, pipeline solutions in the midstream segment, as well as strength in downstream with turbo machinery solutions, valves, compressors, and pumps. Today, the new company links all that with strong digital offerings. We touch all the pieces of the oil sector and partner efficiently with all our customers. Together, both companies have over 125 years of experience worldwide and we bring that to Kuwait today.

What will be the main opportunities and drivers for growth in Kuwait?

SS Heavy oil recovery is not new to us. For special projects such as enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and heavy oil, we typically go to the client and develop technologies jointly based on their need. We have done several technology collaboration projects and are strong enough in heavy oil to cover the challenges of KOC. We are involved in many other initiatives, including solar, digitization, exploration, and more gas production. We are aligned with KOC's strategy and are committed to it. We are reducing production time with the use of many of our technologies, and KOC recognizes and appreciates that. Our commitment, engagement, and proven value are all highly appreciated by our partners.

SK Our strategy is to partner more with customers and come up with solutions that allow them to achieve their goals and satisfy their expectations. We will capitalize on all the new opportunities and new projects happening in the country as well as invest in more people, more technology, and more solutions tailored for the Kuwaiti market. Kuwait invests in many projects to produce more and increase its production of finished products, which have a high margin. The country seeks to produce more gas. It has built an LNG terminal to import gas to be used for power production and as feedstock for petrochemicals. There are many ambitious projects for which the country needs technology and partnership of service companies such as BHGE.

What are the distinguishing dynamics of doing business in Kuwait?

SS The Kuwaiti market is healthy and open to technology, development, and integration. The appetite for business is strong compared to the region. Kuwait is still investing, and major national oil companies share the opinion that now is the right time to invest. The framework for investments is attractive; however, logistics could be improved. Progress is happening in this respect, and with time Kuwait will become more attractive for foreign companies. Kuwaitis are keen to partner with foreign companies and there are many opportunities. The Kuwait National Development Plan is expanding and the country will definitely need support from the outside.

SK Kuwait is one of the key players in the region when it comes to oil and gas. The country has a clear vision on reaching its production targets and sustaining them. Kuwait is one of the countries that continued to invest during the downturn, unlike many places where CAPEX slowed down and projects were canceled. The Kuwaiti market is sustainable and continues to boom. We expect to see new petrochemical complexes and a new refinery. The Kuwaiti market is healthy compared to many other places in the world. Measures have also been enforced to make business easier by relaxing some of the bureaucratic procedures.