Ronan Le Gloahec regional managing director, EMEA, Weir Oil and Gas talks exclusively to Pipeline Magazine’s Julian Walker about the company’s strong year so far and why realigning its efforts to a fullstream offering has paid off
Weir Oil and Gas has had a strong year so far as orders in its oil and gas business have continued to rise, primarily helped by increasing activity in the North America oil and gas market.
“I could not be happier with our year to date performance, especially from an order taking point of view. We see some momentum in the market, not limited to the GCC region but also including our Russia and Central Asia markets. We see these markets becoming more buoyant,” said Le Gloahec.
According to Le Gloahec, across the whole EMEA region there is a real momentum building which should start to be more apparent towards the end of the year.
“We see quite an increase in quoting and tendering activity now, which should translate into a real turning point for the market in the latter part of the year.”
Le Gloahec explained how Weir is set to outperform the market this year based on its new fullstream engineering offering that it unveiled at the end of last year.
“Performance wise we have committed to outperform both the market and our peers. In 2017 we shared our repositioning of Rig to Refinery to Grid. We rolled that out officially at ADIPEC last year. The reason why we did so was to support our customer’s quest to lower their total cost of ownership. We see year to date that this is proving to be a very good repositioning, whether it is across our pressure pumping vertical, pressure control and services. We continue to outperform not only the market but our peers. So our outlook is very positive.”
Le Gloahec said that as part of the firm’s reasoning behind the new focus is that it wanted its customers to focus on what they do well. With a full stream offering across a customer’s surface supply chain from the rig drilling activity all the way down to putting electricity down the grid.
“Mid and downstream are core businesses for us too,” he added.
Iraq a showcase
Iraq is the first country where Weir has deployed all of its verticals. “We are present in Iraq through our pressure pumping division, pressure control but also significantly service and after market presence. We have been supporting the Iraq market now for 11 years in-country and for the four and half decades we have been in the region. We have continuously committed to the Ministry of Oil and the E&P players that we will continue to support the country’s energy sector,” stated Le Gloahec.
Le Gloahec touched on how Weir was very recently involved in assessing how they can help accelerate rebuilding efforts in the country, including downstream capability. “In Iraq we are present through our three verticals. Our growth in the country is one of the highest in the region, year on year. The whole EMEA team is supporting Iraq continuously. It is a growing market for us. Iraq is not slowing down for us.”
In fact, Le Gloahec wants to make sure they further accelerate this growth. “Leveraging the three verticals but also the investment we’ve made in in-country value in Iraq. In terms of talent we have sourced and developed a number of Iraqis. This is proving to be quite an asset today to support the Ministry and the E&P players. We intend to carry on investing in local talent,” he added.
At OTC this year, Weir showcased what they have done so well in Iraq in terms of operation and maintenance projects. “Iraq is really a showcase for us. It is still considered a remote play but we feel we can support the rebuilding, improve production efforts and help maintain the upkeep of current facilities. We are a key player in the mid and downstream sector in Iraq,” Le Gloahec noted.
Weir has rolled out a number of new solutions this year and at OTC the firm unveiled new pressure pumping and pressure control solutions.
“It is nearly a year since we acquired KOP Surface Products and we used the OTC platform to showcase the extent of our wellhead portfolio and it wasn’t limited to products as it included services,” he said.
Weir Oil & Gas specially showed new pressure control solutions. Meanwhile, it also revealed its new Weir Edge aftermarket programme that focuses on engineering expertise – providing engineers for repair and support - to offer an advanced level of aftermarket services.
Weir puts a lot of effort into pushing the in-country value agenda. “We feel this is a real differentiator for us versus others. We not only manufacture in country (as we do in the UAE) but the service crews have been hired and developed in country. Our customers know that they can leverage this in-country talent to support not only their installations but also the aftermarket. We want to leverage this to further penetrate the pressure control market,” said Le Gloahec.
Le Gloahec discussed Weir Group’s strategy on digitalisation. “The new technology strategy does incorporate how we will adapt and succeed using emerging technologies and that we aren’t working in isolation and we are working with fellow technology leaders like Microsoft and Dell. We have developed our Internet of Things (IoT) platform and we utilise technology like cloud computing and machine learning.”
He added that Weir has trials going on Synertrex, which is its digital platform. The trials are under way in our global markets. “We are really committed to extending these capabilities in advance manufacturing as well as material science. We, in the oil and gas division have made great strides in following this strategy,” added Le Gloahec.
He pointed to the roll out at ADIPEC of the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology which is produced out of Dubai.
“Any new pressure pumping equipment that leaves our plant is equipped with this technology. With our presence in the mid and downstream sector we maintain a large fleet of rotating equipment that will be equipped with these new technologies to further improve customer’s performance,” said Le Gloahec.
Le Gloahec is optimistic about the outlook for the oil and gas industry.
“The markets in the region have not turned yet. We have the fundamentals for them to turn. We service not just the E&P but also the mid and downstream sector. We see great momentum building in the upstream sector.