Rebecca Hewlett, Operations Director at Xodus Group talks to Pipeline Magazine about its decision to open an office in Egypt and its plans for 2018
Why do you feel now is the right time to open an office in Egypt?
Since 2009, we have executed over £2 million in contracts in Egypt. Much of that work was previously won and carried out by our UK offices in London and Aberdeen, however research found that an established base was required to increase in country business. Egypt’s oil and gas industry has witnessed a resurgence in investment as underpinned by major gas discoveries in the Mediterranean as well continued onshore oil developments. We have been a beneficiary of the support from Scottish International Development which provided support in establishing the office and understanding of the local business environment.
What opportunities are there in the Egypt market?
There are huge opportunities in Egypt with respect to development of new fields as well as improving operations of existing developments to maximise recovery and value to the stakeholders. There are new gas developments offshore the Mediterranean, onshore oil and gas infrastructure associated with gasification and process facilities as well as integrity management and life extension assessments and renewables opportunities.
How can your knowledge of Egypt’s oil and gas industry help you in your new position?
We have broad experience in Egypt ranging from Merger and Acquisition advisory services to onshore and offshore field development and execution support. Such experience puts us in a unique position of providing its clients with solutions which fits their investment strategy.
What can you offer the Egyptian market?
With a truly integrated offering that covers the complete energy life-cycle, we can add value to the Egyptian market. In addition to our diverse project experience in oil and gas developments, onshore and offshore (including deep and ultra-deep water), we offer a range of specific skill-sets in operational asset integrity such as system debottlenecking, plant performance enhancement, maximising value of asset data, and holistic production optimisation.
Looking to the future, we can leverage our international experience in renewable energy and involvement in windfarms, interconnector cables and solar energy, and transfer learnings to offshore and onshore greenfield and brownfield developments in oil and gas and utilities industries.
What is your outlook for the Egypt oil and gas industry?
The Ministry of Petroleum has a strategy to encourage investment in Egypt's energy sector. In February, EGPC signed an agreement with one of the major international companies to conduct a regional seismic survey in the Gulf of Suez that will help attract global companies to intensify search and exploration work. EGAS is also planning to host a bidding round for 11 natural gas in 11 concession areas before June 2018 while the repayment of dues to IOCs has seen the deficit reduced by 50 per cent in 2016/2017 compared with 2011/12.
There is a buzz around Egypt oil and gas sector again. Since 2014 investment and economic growth has started to increase as the country regains political stability. Economic growth in Egypt and the demand for electricity has increased the growth of oil and gas exploration and production.
Furthermore, the current government has taken decisive steps to encourage investment in the sector. This included modernising the oil and gas governance sector and encouraging private sector investment, improving energy efficiency and addressing the debt owed to international oil companies. Establishment of our Egypt office reflects Egypt’s belief in the long-term growth and prosperity of the market.
What are your main goals for 2018?
We are targeting significant engineering and consultancy opportunities in 2018. We are aiming to provide advisory support to a major investment entity on financial decisions in Egypt and also looking to carry out a large FEED for a major operator in the Mediterranean.
We have work underway, such as design work for offshore platforms and pipelines, independent verification and integrity management scopes, including life extension, debottlenecking and replacement of ageing infrastructure.
On top of our work, we will also be providing design training for local contractors and vendors. There is a lot to be positive about.