BHGE helps oil & gas sector to optimize production: Executive
‘Operators must adopt best means to cushion price fluctuations’
Digitalization a key axis for developmental strategies
KUWAIT: Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE), plays a key role in helping producers in all phases of the oil and gas business to improve their productivity impacting positively on the overall industry, said Soufiane Kanoun, North Gulf and Turkey Geo-Market Director, Baker Hughes, in an interview. He spoke in detail about the oil & gas industry, pointing out that oil prices are cyclical. “This cyclical nature of the market highlights the need for operators to adopt the best means available across the value chain to enhance operational efficiency and productivity,” he said. Excerpts from the interview:
KT: What is the purpose of the merger between Baker Hughes and GE Oil & Gas? Kanoun: Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE), was established in response to the needs of oil and gas customers to keep abreast of the constantly changing trends and to help them with smart solutions to drive their operations. We enable our partners to achieve higher levels of efficiency and productivity, while reducing costs and risks. There is no other company with the same potential to offer fullstream services covering the entire value chain in the oil and gas sector. BHGE combines in-depth technology and expertise with the passion of emerging companies. We work tirelessly to conduct our business in a way that ensures the continuity of customer businesses, address any challenges, achieve and exceed the desired performance objectives.
KT: What is the impact of the merger on oil and gas operators in the region? Kanoun: BHGE will play a key role in helping producers in all phases of the oil and gas business to improve the productivity of their businesses, which will positively impact the overall industry. The company will assist its customers in acquiring, transporting and refining hydrocarbons more efficiently and safely, reducing the environmental footprint of operations and the cost of production per barrel. The operations and services provided will also contribute to greater resource use optimization, and enhance the economies to scale through our integrated offers.
KT: How will BHGE expand in the region? Kanoun: We have a history of achievements spanning more than a century and a strong presence in more than 120 countries, in addition to the partnerships with leading players in the oil and gas sector, including key partners in the MENAT & India region. At the regional level, our focus is on strengthening local investments, building constructive partnerships and promoting close cooperation with our customers. We also focus on providing training programs for Nationals to prepare them to utilize our advanced digital technologies. We will continue to work with universities and academic institutions to develop a new generation of experienced and qualified professionals to achieve the desired successes in the oil and gas sector. The region has promising opportunities in the oil and gas sector, which remains an important pillar of the GCC economies. KT: Do technological and digital developments affect oil operations?
Kanoun: Of course, digital transformation has become a key axis of development strategies in the region. The application of modern digital technologies in the oil and gas sector could bring about 5% productivity improvements by combining services, physical and digital components to increase reliability and uptime. BHGE will use cloudbased and on premise software, advanced manufacturing and Brilliant Factory solutions to help its customers take advantage of these opportunities as well as reduce risk and improve productivity levels in their operations. The GE Store, which could be used to accelerate processes and innovate new advanced technologies, is also an important component of our operations.
Additionally, we are committed to helping all stakeholders take advantage of the exceptional opportunities offered by digital technologies and will contribute to the development of the competencies and expertise required to translate the data provided by digital applications into information and dashboards that can be used to achieve tangible positive results at the operational level. Furthermore, integrating digital solutions with our full-stream capabilities enables us to achieve economies of scale to create new resources for value creation.
KT: How do you see the challenges in the oil sector of the GCC countries? Kanoun: Oil prices are cyclical, which highlights the need for operators to adopt the best means available across the value chain to enhance operational efficiency and productivity. This will provide them with greater ability to cope with the variables and reduce their direct impacts on their operations.
Currently the focus is on digital industrial solutions that have already made a quantum leap in the sector, and provided our partners and customers with successful solutions for many of the challenges.
These solutions offer great opportunities that will be the most significant trend in the oil and gas sector this year. This is aligned with the vision of regional governments that are seeking to diversify their energy sources as part of their overall economic diversification strategies.
KT: Will stability return to the markets in the near future?
Kanoun: Oil prices are going through periods of volatility but demand for oil and gas products remains, as they are among the key requirements of economies. This has underlined the importance of digital industrial technologies as a starting point for building a future of growth and overcoming challenges. Our focus is directed towards helping customers reduce costs, improve operational efficiency and reduce the cost of production per oil barrel.
Our role is not limited to helping customers with new oilfields but also existing ones by monitoring wells as well as reservoirs, and working to increase their productivity by employing the latest data analytics solutions, in addition to our range of full-stream services and products. We are confident that our approach will play a significant role in strengthening the stability of the oil and gas sector.
KT: Who are the key partners of BHGE in Kuwait?
Kanoun: We have many prominent partners in Kuwait and we closely cooperate with various stakeholders in developing the oil and gas sector, foremost of which are the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) and its subsidiaries. We have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with KOC to cooperate in training in the field of research and development in Kuwait.
The MoU is aimed at developing cost-cutting solutions for the oil and gas sector and offering specialized training programs to enhance the skills and expertise of Kuwaiti engineers, in addition to optimizing maintenance plans and enhancing productivity of advanced gas turbines and other rotating equipment. Furthermore, our Refining and Production Technology Solutions business unit is working on supplying state-of-the-art centrifugal compressors for the projects of the Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC), with which we have signed maintenance agreements for a number of turbines. We ensure our operations align with Kuwait’s 2035 development vision, which focuses on building a diversified and sustainable economy and has resulted in many important projects in the oil and gas sector.
KT: Are you going to introduce smart technologies into partner operations in the upcoming period?
Kanoun: Of course, as mentioned previously, the application of advanced digital technologies and modern technology solutions contributes to achieving tangible positive changes in productivity and operational efficiency. BHGE has the ability to deliver exceptional value to customers across the industry by deploying industrial Internet technologies that integrate large data and advanced analytics with industrial machinery and equipment to achieve digital transformation.
The company’s solutions are designed specifically to ensure high levels of productivity for oil and gas operators, reduce costs due to downtime and lost time. Our Predix platform is the basis and the enabler for integration in addition to many O&G applications such as Asset Performance Management solutions that are based on massive data to proactively anticipate and deal with outages.
We are also capitalizing on our fullstream capabilities as Baker Hughes, a GE company, grouping solutions that we offer from all our product lines to deliver more integrated solutions that promote further innovation for our partners and drive stronger efficiencies across operations.
We are showcasing BHGE’s portfolio during the upcoming Kuwait Oil & Gas Show and Conference that is taking place next week at the Kuwait International Fair, Mishref and we look forward to introducing our partners and young professionals with the latest in efficiency-driven technologies.
KT: How big is BHGE’s investment in developing operations in the GCC countries and the world?
Kanoun: We have about 70,000 employees in more than 120 countries and significant investments in various fields across four product companies: Oilfield Technology & Services, Oilfield Equipment, Turbomachinery & Process Solutions and Digital Solutions, in addition to 24 categories and production lines.
Working both onshore and offshore, our leading technologies and utilization of data, experiences and research through the GE Store helps us to deliver new solutions in shorter time frames to the market. This also enhances the competitive advantage of our partners led by a stronger business model based on creativity and innovation, with the option to provide financing capabilities.