Olivier Muller, President and COO at AlMansoori, talks about his first year at the company and how he forsees its progress
You are new in team AlMansoori - tell us a bit about your professional background and how your first year is going in Team AlMansoori as both the President and the COO.
You asked me a very nice question to get my AlMansoori – ADIPEC interview started. I am a service provider and one with a very diverse background. I have worked in large and medium international service providers as well as local companies, and in multiple countries like Nigeria, Algeria, Norway, Niger or Kuwait just to mention a few.
I have worked in E&P operations both in mining as well as oil and gas, a combination that actually proved very beneficial. Similar to my combination of learning and developing skill sets in research and development, the commercialisation of technology, leading large wireline global organisations and experience all the positions between the level of junior engineer and CEO in my professional career so far. I feel that my first year in AlMansoori is going really great for me.
I believe one of the critical success factors to quickly adapt to my job is that “I speak the same language” as all or most of the members in the team and using my past experience, I well understand the unique challenges of a regional company.
Where do you see the largest opportunities for AlMansoori in today’s business environment based on your past experience and interpretation of the business?
Without revealing the details of our strategy, I will answer this. First of all there is no lack of opportunities in the region, looking at all the tenders being received every day.
In AlMansoori we grew from a local UAE company to a large regional player with multiple service lines. We are in a very good position and therefore we can make choices and control our destiny. The choices that we are making are in particular within countries where oil and gas fields mature into real brownfield as our differentiating strengths in services related to well intervention - e.g. coil tubing, cased hole wire-line and well testing - will add value for clients. As an example, our productivity improvement work from coil-tubing enabled stimulations is topclass and in the moderate oil price environment we see now this can be seen as delivering the lowest cost per barrel of oil. Operators know this. I also would like to let them know that we are ready. We have completely renewed, modernised and expanded our coil tubing fleet.
You have a long E&P history, including working in competitors of AlMansoori. How do you see AlMansoori differentiating from its competitors?
Very interesting! In my role as Chief Operating Officer, which is all about driving operational excellence, I have analysed this myself deeply for AlMansoori. I believe that a key differentiator is the DNA of AlMansoori which is one of “living up to the 10 principles of customer care”. There is consistency in the behaviour of our employees independent of the client and the country of operation. Our employees stay long with AlMansoori and equally clients also stay long with us. This is a clear demonstration that the concept of customer care works and this is no surprise when I tell you that our CEO is teaching personally three customer care seminars over a period of three years to each new employee. These are mandatory and I am attending these lectures too in my first year.
As the President/COO what is your plan for AlMansoori Petroleum Services?
My plan is to capitalise on the many strengths that AlMansoori has. By improving these further we make a step-change in performance. I mentioned the brownfield services as one example. The landscape of E&P services is changing towards integrated services and you can see AlMansoori very active in that building on our journey that started.
Transferring to a new job in a new company I see as a huge opportunity to bring with me and advocate the things that I am very passionate about and these are focus, service quality and staff competency building and also finding synergies between different work-groups and let them work together where possible.
Working for AlMansoori, it goes without saying that exercising safety leadership also is on my list. Wherever I go I always will aim to improve these further.
And what are the major challenges?
We want to remain competitive, hence do not inflate our prices. Then profit margins easily erode due to a higher and more diverse – hence higher risk – work load shifted to us, the service providers. Finding highly qualified people for the specialised roles is another one.
What would you like to take away from ADIPEC this year?
Being new to AlMansoori and not having met all our clients yet, I am looking forward to meeting all of them at ADIPEC, in our well known orange village, get their feedback on our services, their latest requirements and learn from this. This allows me to tie my learnings into my strategy and help my teams add value to our clients.