Aramco responds to oil troubles with new division
The new department will be headed by Senior Vice President Abdulaziz Al Gudaimi, with a brief to improve access to growth markets, and assess Aramco’s existing assets. Commencing the role on 13 September, he will report to Saudi Aramco’s Chief Executive Officer Amin Nasser.
This restructuring is a response to further weakened energy prices as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The price of Brent crude oil has fallen by 32% this year, to around $45 a barrel. As a result of the reduced revenues, Aramco’s debt is growing rapidly, as it strives to continue paying pledged dividends to the Saudi government.
As the managing director for the Middle East at oil consulting firm FGE, Iman Nasseri, explained: “It all goes back to the need to maintain the promise of paying $75 billion in dividends. They have a lot of expansion projects on the table, so they need to manage these and make sure they’re not overdoing it, especially in the current oil-price environment”.
In a further shake-up, Aramco has also named Nasir Al Naimi as the acting head of the upstream business (the company’s exploration and production division), and has appointed Mohammed Al Qahtani to oversee the downstream unit.
Other recent business decisions by Aramco suggest that it is prioritising raising cash in the short-term. The company recently hired advisers for a potential multi-billion dollar sale of a stake in its pipeline business. In February Aramco’s Chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan announced that it was weighing up possibilities to monetise certain non-core assets.
Bloomberg has also reported that Aramco has suspended plans for a $10bn oil refinery in China.
Global Offshore rebrands Enelift and invests in global hubs
Global Offshore has rebranded Enelift and will invest "a seven-figure sum" in establishing new support hubs in Houston, Dubai, Singapore, Perth and the Caspian during the next six months.
The investment will cover oil, gas and renewables, mainly concentrating on manufacturing capability with associated R&D, as well as in stock held in the hubs.
The company’s flagship Hinge Lok technology provides aluminium, non-welded light weight transportation cradle for casing and tubing. Enelift now plans to enhance its offering by augmenting its existing solutions with robotics and remote operational and training technology, which will reduce manpower for handling offshore equipment that is transported and stored using the Hinge Lok system.
Enelift is partnering with "a Japanese robotics company" and the technology will be trialed with "a Norwegian operator on a Norwegian drilling rig", according to a statement.
Operating from its bases in Aberdeen, UK and Esbjerg, Enelift was founded by 35-year industry veteran and Managing Director Paul Brebner 10 years ago to offer the offshore energy industries safe, reliable and efficient storage and transportation of equipment.
The expansion plans are bolstered by the appointment of Jim Clark of the Craigendarroch Group to Chairman, and Adam Maitland to Non-Executive Director. Maitland is the Managing Director of Hutcheon Mearns IF, and brings his wealth of expertise in the field of corporate finance.
Brebner said Enelift may be a new name in the market, but the experience it brings is "industry renowned".
"Our solutions are underpinned by safety that enables inefficiencies and their associated costs to be eradicated – meaning operational personnel can focus doing what they do best, safely. We remain committed to providing the safest storage and transportation solutions for equipment in the sector as we grow our global operations," he said.
Clark said the market is changing and its solutions fully support customers’ economic and safety aspirations.
"We are very well placed to take full advantage of increasing opportunities in the Middle East, Africa, Far East and Americas. Safety is our absolute commitment to our customers and our support hubs will facilitate this. Aligning our identity to our entire offering ensures that we will drive our expansion through new products and global support sites across the rest of this year."