Weatherford officially inaugurated its new facility and office space in Cairo in a ceremony held on April 30 that gathered the company’s global top management and key leaders of the Egyptian petroleum sector.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by Mark McCollum, Weatherford President and CEO; Eng. Mohamed Moanes, the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum’s First Undersecretary for Gas Affairs; Eng. Abed Ezz El Regal, CEO of the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC); and Eng. Osama El Bakly, CEO of the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS). In addition to other important figures from national and international oil companies operating in Egypt.
The event started with the ribbon cutting ceremony at the facility’s main entrance, followed by welcome remarks. “We are working better together. It will save us money, but in the end, it is all about better serving our customers and being more effective here in Egypt. We think there are a lot of good days to come as we work in this facility. We hope to be a leading service provider in Egypt. We have been here in Egypt for 42 years, and we will be here for many decades to come. Thank you all,” said Mark McCollum, commencing the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Attending on behalf of the Minister of Petroleum H.E Eng. Tarek El Molla, Eng. Mohamed Moanes congratulated Weatherford on launching its new facility that will contribute to the development of the oil and gas sector in the country. “Egypt is rapidly becoming a key regional center for energy and a global player in the oil and gas industry. We have made a great progress in discovering and developing new sources. The Zohr gas field serves as a prime example, as it is the largest discovery ever made in the Mediterranean Sea. As we open the new facility, I wish Weatherford all the best.” Moanes added.
“We are excited to show you what we have been working on to better serve our customers, as we open this base today. Our company is a multinational service provider in the global oilfield service market. We are in 90 countries around the world, we have around 30,000 employees, and we serve operators in the most important oil and gas markets across the world,” McCollum said in his speech.
The CEO stressed that Weatherford adapts to modern technologies with its competitive portfolio and reputation for collaborative customer relationships. “We have a broad global infrastructure that enables us to respond rapidly to our customers. We have a high-caliber and diverse workforce, including some of the top engineering minds in our industry. We are an adaptable and nimble organization, as evident by our transformation.”
“We are used to change, and now we are creating more discipline in our organizational structure, so that we can take full advantage of our strengths. Part of that is optimizing our global footprint and consolidating facilities like this one to provide best-in-class service for our customers,” McCollum added.
“Our portfolio features many market-leading technologies across all of our business segments. As for the production segment, Weatherford is the only company to provide complete production solutions for every form of artificial-lift in every environment. First, we offer all forms of lifts, so we can devise true lift-agnostic solutions. Second, we are all for everything needed to optimize each form, from downhole components to service equipment, to intelligent production optimization systems, to the cloud. No other company has the capability to do what Weatherford does,” McCollum pointed out.
Highlighting the company’s leadership in the well construction segment, McCollum said, “We are the world leaders in everything we do, tubular running services, fishing and reentry, and drilling tools. We have a long history of driving innovation for safer and efficient operations with the best service quality performance this year in all our product lines.”
“We were the first company to add mechanization to the tubular running space, and now we are the first to introduce automation. Doing so results in a step-changing safety for what used to be one of the most dangerous jobs in the oilfield,” he added.
Weatherford drilling and evaluation segment and technologies deliver the advantage at the beginning of the oil and gas value chain, according to McCollum. “We obtain real-time information for our customers during drilling, even in extreme temperatures, using our logging and mud drilling tool sweep. We are also efficiently acquiring data after drilling, using truly differentiating wireline tools,” the CEO further explained.
Success Stories and Future Investments
“As an industry leader in managed pressure drilling (MPD), Weatherford has capabilities ranging from basic pressure management to fully automated pressure response. We were the first company to offer the rotating control device (RCD), and we continue to set ourselves apart with the only pressure control system that can automatically control influxes to minimize their size from barrels to gallons,” McCollum said.
Furthermore, McCollum discussed the company’s well completion portfolio, “we provide an industry-leading sweep of products. We offer the oilfield leading safety valves, with a reliable record that includes zero failures attributed to the design in 20,000 cumulative years of service life.”
Referring to the Single-Trip Completion System (TR1P), McCollum pointed out that “as a pioneer in radio-frequency identification (RFID) in downhole oil and gas equipment, we have developed an unprecedented system that enables installing the upper and lower completion in one trip that saves millions of dollars in offshore operations.”
However, McCollum stressed the importance of other leading technologies offered by Weatherford. “We still believe it is important to improve on the legacy technologies proven for delivering customer value, case in point is our Magnus™ Push-the-Bit Rotary Steerable System (RSS).”
The CEO then elaborated on how the company recently launched the Vero Automated Connection Integrity System, which replaces error-prone human judgment with artificial intelligence (AI), while enhancing personal safety and eliminating the risk of catastrophic well failures.
“With Vero, tubulars are installed with the industry’s first integrated system for precise makeup in software evaluation to ensure absolute consistency… Today, we run Vero in four countries with more than 10,000 connections, and I understand that we are in conversations with our customers here in Egypt for employing Vero as they progress in their offshore campaigns,” McCollum pointed out.
Last year, Weatherford released its CygNet® and ForeSite® software platforms on Google Cloud to reduce costs and infrastructure requirements, providing a virtual network that allows operators to easily deploy and access the software and maximize uptime. Weatherford aims at bringing the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, and advanced-edge analytics to the oilfield production space, according to McCollum.
“We decreased non-productive time (NPT) by 22% between 2017 and 2018,” said McCollum, noting that consolidation activities in comprehensive facilities are part of the efforts aimed at increasing efficiency. “Optimization requires investment, and we are honoring that today with the investment that we made in Egypt. During 2019, we plan $200-250 million in capital with a focus on new infrastructure and technology,” the CEO concluded.
Following McCollum’s speech, a short video was presented to highlight the company’s successes in recent years.
The Story Behind the New Facility
Walid Yassin, Weatherford Vice President for North Africa, followed with a speech that began by recounting the company’s milestones in Egypt. Yassin explained that before creating the base, Weatherford had five different locations in Cairo. However, that did not seem like the most practical solution just as it poses several challenges. In the grand scheme of things, the distance between each base left room for the company’s goals to be scattered. Eventually, the need for a single base was clear, and the best option was consolidation.
Yassin further discussed the obstacles that came along with having multiple locations for a single company including big administration issues, security issues, and service quality issues arising from controlling five different locations simultaneously. In addition, running different facilities requires an entirely different budget that could become an administrative burden and lead to many limitations. Yassin said that from here the idea of having one consolidated base was born. That way, Weatherford can finally concentrate on doing their business the way they should.
“We came up with a plan to have a purpose-built facility following the highest environmental standards in the market today with the best service quality possible, and while doing this, we are also saving money. This is a very ambitious project, with the support of everyone in the top management, we managed to do it in record time,” Yassin noted, adding that this achievement is significant for the company’s growth and success.
The land area of the previous five unconsolidated locations was around 30,900 square meters, however, now it is 41,000 square meters. Yassin clarified that as a result of expanding the area, more services, workshops and product lines are allowed to be brought into Egypt, as well as bringing all employees in the same place. With consolidation, all the processes are being streamlined from a single place, ensuring that the facility proposes value-added propositions. According to Yassin, the entire building from scratch adapts to Weatherford’s global policy and standards.
“Weatherford deeply believes in the Egyptian market and the facility does have all what is required to expand in Egypt,” Yassin stated. The investment is basically a proof of that, since it built one of the largest warehouses in the country with numerous rooms, several training facilities, and an in-house catering facility that caters for everybody’s needs.
After delivering his speech, Yassin hosted a tour around the facility, introducing attendees to what Weatherford is offering through its new facility.