THE WIDEST BERTH

Oman 2018 | ENERGY | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Hamza Qarooni, Vice President of Oman, Gulf Energy, on streamlining the administrative process, achieving the rare rank of green, and providing as wide a range of services as possible.

Hamza Qarooni
BIOGRAPHY
Hamza Qarooni has 25 years of professional experience in the oil and gas industry. For more than 13 years he held managerial and operational positions with Schlumberger in the Middle East, Asia, and Europe, in addition to the New York headquarters. Qarooni joined Gulf Energy in early 2015 and is currently VP of the group in Oman. A Bahraini national, he has an electrical engineering degree and has received several local and international awards and recognitions.

What is Gulf Energy doing to increase efficiency and productivity to meet its clients' requirements?

Gulf Energy is a group of companies with different services and product lines. We are very diversified and provide the majority of oil and gas services with the highest service quality. One of our challenges is to bring these segments as close as possible to each other while sustaining their specific technical identity and unique position. We are not only referring to sharing resources such as finance, HR, or procurement; these have been shared for many years already. We have gone further, sharing knowledge, learning, systems, resources, and people. We have built a very advanced in-house ERP system that plays a vital role in our efficiency. Capitalizing on the synergies between our companies has substantially improved our efficiency. As a result, in 2016 Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) performed a two-week intensive audit of Gulf Energy for a letter of assurance (LOA). This used to be done for each individual company; however, in 2016 we agreed that as we are one group with one system, PDO should do the LOA across the entire group. It had to make sure every company within our system follows the same system, policies, and procedures. We were one of very few companies ranked as green, which means that for the next four years we do not need to be pre-qualified for any new work with PDO in terms of health, safety, and the environment (HSE). This great achievement adds to the award-winning LEAN projects that we have executed. We give QHSE the top-most priority and aim to be among the biggest leaders. We are in the process of receiving the API Q2 certification for Gulf Energy as a group by mid 2018. It is a more restricted and oil industry-related version of ISO. While undergoing the API Q2 internal preparations and audits, we have managed to find other opportunities to improve our system. We are now serving our clients as corporations rather than individual companies managed by a holding. We are now in the phase of providing solutions and specialized integrated services to our clients.

What is Gulf Energy's current market share in the oil services business segment, and how do you see this evolving in the near future?

Each business and product line has a different market and market share. For coil tubing and stimulation services we have 100% of market share with PDO for the last five years. We recently received a new contract that started last October for another five years and provide these services to other operators in Oman as well. For cementing, we serve all rigs and hoists in south Oman, while Schlumberger and Halliburton serve the north. For fishing and remedial services, we do the vast majority of the scope for almost all operators in Oman. We have opened a new manufacturing ICV facility in Nizwa to manufacture important oil and gas equipment that used to be imported. For drilling equipment services supported by a solid machine shop and testing services, we have the majority of the scope in Oman as well. We are also finalizing another casing accessories manufacturing plant and have won a 100% long-term contract with PDO for casing accessories. We also provide performance drilling, MWD, motors, and turbines for several operators, not to mention hoists, FBU services, drilling fluid services, artificial lift, and other specialized services for various operators in Oman.

What is Gulf Energy's opinion regarding exploration and drilling activities in Oman?

Drilling activities in Oman and in the Middle East in general, unlike the US, do not usually slow down during low oil price years. However, exploration and more expensive drilling activities sometimes do. In Oman, we have long-term contracts with most of our clients. The impact on us was more related to providing work at lower prices rather than less work.