Scott Buckhout, president and CEO of CIRCOR, speaks to Pipeline Magazine about the oil and gas flow control manufacturing and services business outlook and strategy
What significance does the Middle East market hold for CIRCOR, in terms of revenue?
If you are in oil and gas, you have to be in the Middle East. This is a key region for CIRCOR across the company. We recently opened our new Middle East hub at JAFZA One in Dubai to complement our existing Pipeline Engineering manufacturing facility in the Jebel Ali Free Zone.
At the Middle East hub, we have built out our technical and commercial expertise, bringing in a team of applications engineers and service engineers from eight countries, speaking 10 languages. Our primary goal is to ensure our customers get the best technical advice and service locally. Our Middle East team brings deep experience across a broad range of flow control technologies.
Considering CIRCOR’s growth strategy, what route are you looking at for this region? Organic growth, acquisitions or JV’s?
Our strategy is to solve complex customer application problems with the best technology. We have a broad portfolio of leading technologies across a range of applications. We have expanded the range through internal product innovation as well as acquisitions.
We recently announced the acquisition of Colfax’s Fluid Handling business, bringing a portfolio of the world’s leading severe-service pump technologies to CIRCOR. The company has a history of innovation that has produced an impressive portfolio of products and patents. This technology is all driven by an experienced group of engineers, well known for developing high-quality, specialised solutions for customers.
In addition, just over a year ago we acquired Delta Valve and TapcoEnpro, creating our refinery valve product line, again addressing some of the most severe service refining applications.
In recent years we have established key partnership agreements across the region and expanded CIRCOR’s physical presence. These investments across the region are an important part of our success.
What is your business outlook for the Middle East?
Our business outlook is positive. Macroeconomic trends are favourable in the region. In addition, we expect to see significant growth resulting from our larger physical presence, our expanded product portfolio, and our strategic partnerships. While we are bullish in near term market trends, we are committed to the region and investing for the long term.
In which areas do you see opportunity for CIRCOR in this region?
We have a strong product technology portfolio and a good mix of solutions and services that cater to the oil and gas and power generation markets, where we expect to see strong growth. CIRCOR will continue to expand its capabilities in the energy value stream, focusing on global infrastructure build outs and severe service applications where our expertise is recognised across the world.
Do you anticipate challenges going forward from the higher but volatile oil prices?
To some degree, yes; but we expect to be part of the solution. Asset owners will continue to drive growth as they look to extend the life of more mature field projects like Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR). We will use our after sales service and overhaul capability to support our customers and ensure their facilities stay operational longer with the highest degree of safety. We will continue to differentiate CIRCOR with our applications expertise in high sour content across the region to ensure we are our customers’ preferred long term partner.
We also see opportunity with the diversification of economies away from the oil and gas market. New cities being built in Saudi Arabia and the Expo 2020 in Dubai will bring new infrastructure opportunities for years to come.
There is a lot going on across the region. It is an exciting time to be in the Middle East.