PARTNER IN GROWTH

Kuwait 2019 | ENERGY | INTERVIEW

Schlumberger remains at the disposal of all local companies to support growth in Kuwait's oil and gas market via its international expertise.

Shaima Salmeen Kuwait
BIOGRAPHY
Shaima Salmeen has been the Managing Director for Schlumberger Kuwait since 2017. She was previously appointed OFS Account Manager in 2010, after which she was promoted to GPE Operations Manager. She accepted the role as Geomarket Sales Manager in 2013, EMG Artificial Lift Manager based in Abu Dhabi in 2014, and EMG Artificial Lift and Completions Manager, also in Abu Dhabi, in 2016. She started her career in Schlumberger in 2001 as a trainee field engineer for the ALS Artificial Lift PR Group (Kuwait, Cairo, Syria, and Indonesia). Salmeen holds a bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering and structural engineering from the Milwaukee School of Engineering and a master’s degree from the Maastricht Business School. She is also an active member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and has gained outstanding recognition throughout the years. She is the recipient of the 2017 Woman Arab Award.

What is the relevance of Kuwait for Schlumberger in the GCC region?

Kuwait has and will always be a key partner for Schlumberger in the GCC region. In fact, Schlumberger has been in Kuwait since 1939, when we recorded the first Wireline log ever performed in Kuwait on August 28, 1939. Today, the upstream sector in Kuwait and the GCC in general has been interesting to say the least. During the financial downturn, several international companies diverted their resources and attention to the region. Kuwait and the other GCC countries handled the downturn fairly well. In contrast to global exploration and production (E&P) spend and observations of the international market, Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) and the other NOCs in the GCC have not reduced their spending and have enhanced their focus on growth in oil and gas production. Specifically in Kuwait, we have seen major investments in the oil and gas upstream and downstream sectors, such as the new land rigs entering the market, different integrated drilling projects coming up, including offshore, and the investment in facilities in the downstream sector that are in perfect alignment with the national development plan New Kuwait/KPC 2040 vision.

Schlumberger is celebrating its 80th anniversary in Kuwait; in what ways has Schlumberger contributed to shaping Kuwait's oil industry?

We have been in Kuwait for the last 80 years, collaborating with KOC and helping it reach its targets. Throughout our 80 years in Kuwait, our main two pillars have been to become a key enabler and supporter of KOC in supporting it from pore to tank to developing the national talent. Schlumberger's commitment to Kuwait is undeniable, which is why we have become the partner of choice. One milestone we have achieved jointly with KOC is early production facilities (EPF), as a result of which we have managed to cut down the construction and commissioning time of facilities significantly ensuring more hydrocarbon is delivered to KOC at a quicker pace.

As a foreign private actor, how does Schlumberger contribute to developing local talent?

Developing national talent is one of our pillars. Schlumberger was one of the first companies to have its regional/Middle East training center in the country. Our training and development programs are tailored to the specific needs of the company, where each employee will receive the necessary training to perform and succeed in their career. In Schlumberger, we have a limitless career opportunities policy, where we regularly challenge our workforce to deliver above their assigned roles, potentially being promoted to different functions within the organization, with an overall goal of delivering multi-disciplined yet well rounded professionals. Not only do we challenge our workforce to advance in their careers, we also have a system in place to drive creativity and innovation within the company. Any employee, regardless of their seniority or technical knowledge, can submit ideas to a global team that filters and goes through all the submitted ideas to select which suggestion can be further developed into proof of concept that would potentially be commercialized into a final product. Today, Schlumberger Kuwait has several Kuwaiti managers including myself, and our regional headquarters are also run by Kuwaiti management.

How far is Schlumberger willing to invest in enabling digitization in Kuwait's oil industry?

We have been key to digitalizing the Jurassic gas fields in north Kuwait, effectively transforming it into the first integrated smart pore to process system as we enhance the joint production facility and digitally integrate it into the digital production platform built into KOC's Jurassic KwiDF. The value has already been realized in production gains of 2.5% YoY before the newest venture aiming to integrate the production facility into the project. In addition to the digital enablement of Kuwait's oilfields, our cloud-based digital solutions help our clients manage their drilling and production operations, facilitating decision-making processes while mapping every relevant information through our DELFI platform.

What are your expectations for the year ahead?

We are extremely excited for 2019 and beyond. We definitely see growth in Kuwait's oil and gas market, with the growth of rigs coming into effect by the end of 2Q2019, in addition to KOC's focus on facilities and integrated projects to boost production in line with its vision for 2040. From a technical perspective, the wells are becoming more challenging, and reservoir management is becoming more important than ever. With the right approach and the framework for enhanced partnership with Kuwait, the challenges will be overcome, as we will always be at the disposal of KOC and other Kuwaiti companies to support the overcoming of these challenges via our international expertise.