FAST MOVERS

Kuwait 2017 | ENERGY | INTERVIEW

Novomet is an established name in the realm of oil, and these men are at the helm of the company's expansion and innovation.

Mick Stephen
BIOGRAPHY
Mick Stephen has been Novomet’s Country Manager in Kuwait for three years, overseeing the startup of the company’s operations and the implementation of its Electrical Submersible Pumps (ESP) for artificial lifting. Before Novomet, he worked for 17 years with the oilfield service company Baker Hughes.
Mikhail Peregudov
BIOGRAPHY
Mikhail Peregudov is the CFO of foreign operations for Novomet. He oversees finance and investor relations, the implementation of ERP systems in new subsidiaries, supervising finance directors and setting up control procedures, as well as coordinating growth strategies.

Novomet is a global frontrunner in innovative solutions for making upstream activities more efficient. What are the latest technologies you are excited about?

Mick Stephen Novomet is primarily an electrical submersible pump manufacturer and service supplier. In these fields, we are very much a leader. We are expanding these technologies, and have a number of innovative solutions for enhanced oil recovery. Our CEO referred to our technology as a part of the smartphone revolution. A smartphone does not only make calls now, but does banking, interactions on social media, and orders food all in one package. That really is how Novomet has addressed its technological direction. We supply not just the pump for bringing oil to the surface, but have the advanced expertise to deploy it, save energy, and make the process more efficient. Kuwait is very power-limited, and although the country is investing in new power plants, anything that can save power in the industry is of great benefit. Our Permanent Magnet Motor (PMM) technology, together with pumps that are optimized to run at far higher rotational speeds, can reduce power consumption dramatically, up to 35%. That is a massive leap forward, and as of today Novomet is the world leader in PMM technology.

Mikhail Peregudov Novomet is a relatively small company, which is our strength in the innovative process, as we can move quickly and have fewer levels in the approval procedure. We have a calculated risk appetite and have founders who want growth with their investment, which is visible in our technology strategy. That is why the company has matched throughout, and within five years we expanded our international business more than five times. Our first project was in South Sudan because it was harder for a foreign company without a strong international reputation to enter developed markets. Later we moved into Romania, Colombia, and now into 10 other countries. Novomet spends a large percentage of its revenue on R&D, allowing us to move quickly with our technology into new countries to meet specific demands.

KOC has been hungry for technological advances. How has this translated into more demand for your services?

MS We are planning to do a number of trials this year and are already applying the PMM technology with further expansion into the field. Furthermore, we are working towards integration of our power saving capabilities with solar power generation, taking a two-sided approach. The generated solar power runs the field. Once it is coupled with our pumps it enhances the overall power savings. We are also deploying rig-less systems and two differing alternatives of surface-pumping solutions. Our design is unique and can handle much higher free gas. We are also introducing our slim-line technology, which is a smaller version of the big product. It is useful because we can get around higher deviations or through smaller well bores, which is an advantage as no oil well is straight. Novomet produces the slimmest ESP pumps and motors in the world today. Kuwait has pretty mature oil fields where the pressure has declined, so the wells are producing much smaller amounts. Having a much smaller pump with lower rates, we are still able to get the fluid out without the pump going out of range. Kuwait has heavy oil discoveries, and we are developing products to support those applications.

How does Kuwait fit into your global portfolio of services, and what further expansion in the region are you eyeing?

MP Kuwait is currently less than 5% of our global revenue. A significant part of revenues is still earned in Russia, and because of devaluation of the Russian ruble since 2014, Russian exporters have increased their capabilities on global markets, especially in those where market prices in USD prevail. We are already very well established in the region, with existing contracts in Iraq and our kick off in Abu Dhabi with ADCO. Furthermore, we are going to move into other GCC countries. Even Qatar, which is primarily gas, has opportunities for us. Novomet is a Russian company, and Russia is the number one in terms of numbers of ESPs in the world. Most of these ESPs work in very severe conditions, and historically Russian oil companies preferred to repair rather than order new pumps, so we leverage on 50 years of experience of repairing equipment. We have well-structured procedures on how to perform not only the assembly of the pump but how to determine how the spare parts of this pump can be used afterward, how to construct a new one from spare parts from the factory, how to manage your inventory properly, and ultimately optimize your working capital. Such experience is a competitive advantage in our service facilities.