Xodus Group is an international energy consultancy founded in 2005 to provide an integrated approach for energy challenges. As a sign of its commitment to the Egyptian oil and gas sector, the company has a newly-opened office in Cairo, and looks at expanding its presence in the Egyptian oil and gas sector. Egypt Oil & Gas spoke to Rebecca Hewlett, Xodus Group’s London Operations Director, who gave us a deeper understanding of the company’s activities and aspirations in Egypt.

For those who haven’t encountered Xodus Group, can you briefly outline the company in terms of skills, capability and history in Egypt?

Our experts of engineering, scientific and advisory teams support oil and gas, liquefied natural gas (LNG), renewables, and utilities for clients across the globe using critical thinking to overcome challenges, promote sustainability, and maximise return on investment (ROI).

Our integrated approach comprising technical, commercial and financial disciplines lends itself to tapping into complex transactions in the Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) space as well as design, assessment, and optimisation of assets.

Since 2009, we have executed more than $2.2 million worth of work in Egypt, primarily carried out by our UK offices in London and Aberdeen. Egypt’s oil and gas industry has witnessed a resurgence in investments and in 2017, and we appointed a country manager, Eng. Salah Tantawy, to support our growth strategy.

Our advisory teams work closely with operators, private equity houses, banks, and infrastructure partners to support mergers, acquisitions, concession amendment negotiations and bid round preparations. Typically, we advise on $10 to $20 billion worth of transactions per year. We can offer multi-client solutions for bid round evaluations in frontier areas as well as solutions for individual clients.

Xodus Group is an exhibitor at the 3rd Egyptian Petroleum Show, what will you showcase and what do you hope to achieve from your presence in the exhibition?

We will be at Stand 3A71, and we will have a senior team engaging with business leaders in the exhibition and the strategic conference. Our aim is to listen carefully to the challenges faced by operators and investors in Egypt and help build solutions that will add value to their business. By attending the strategic conference, we will have a deeper understanding of the key issues and priorities of the country and that will help us focus on  the Egyptian exploration and production (E&P) sector as it continues to grow.

Xodus Group has access to a very broad range of skills. Are there specific areas that you are targeting to grow your business in Egypt?

The current government has taken decisive steps to modernize the oil and gas sector and stimulate investment.

Xodus will focus on opportunities across advisory, field development, and asset optimization. Egypt has been an international market leader in both bid rounds for new exploration concessions and M&A following the downturn over the past few years. Xodus advisory is well placed to support companies looking to enter the Egyptian market through acquisition of concessions through bid rounds or existing assets.

As producing assets approach is the end of their development leases, Xodus can also help operators create new strategies for governmental assets and work to amend concession agreements to support further investment and greater recovery. We also aim to support field development and re-development offshore in all water depths up to and including ultra-deep water in the Mediterranean and potentially the Red Sea. This is supported by sub-surface and production technology skills that can optimise recovery solutions and offer strategic approaches for water management.

For operating assets, we believe our integrity management tool XaminTM offers a unique, fully-flexible solution, ideally suited to the Egyptian market. We have many other clever tools that can support production optimisation and improved recovery.

Our environmental teams can offer support to the development of management systems required to secure International Finance Corporation (IFC) funding and work to improve emission monitoring, reporting, and reduction as well as the development of Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIA) and Corporate Social Responsibly (CSR) strategies.

Does Xodus have a presence in Egypt?

Our Cairo office has been up and running for one year now and is conveniently based in Maadi. We have a general manager, Salah Farid Tantawy, in Egypt and he has almost 40 years’ experience working in oil and gas. He joined Xodus from PICO Petroleum Integrated Services where he was a project general manager for the Amal-C platform installation in the Gulf of Suez. His experience in managing multi-million-dollar projects and knowledge of the Egyptian oil and gas sector is helping us attract new businesses as well as reinforcing already established partnerships.  There is fantastic talent available in Egypt and as the business grows, we would be delighted to use that capability where appropriate.

What differentiates Xodus Group from other consulting companies operating in Egypt?

We have broad experience in Egypt ranging from M&A advisory services to onshore and offshore field development and execution support. We love solving complex problems and our integrated teams including sub-surface, wells, production technology, facilities and financial expertise offer a unique capability in the market

Some of our other recent work has covered design work for offshore platforms and pipelines, independent verification and integrity management scopes, including life extension, debottlenecking, and replacement of ageing infrastructure.

Looking ahead, in five years’ time, what would you like Xodus Group’s business in Egypt to look like and how do you think EGYPS can help achieve that?

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 stakeholders.

Looking ahead, 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 the oil and gas industry.

EGYPS will provide us with an opportunity to gain insights into the oil and gas developments in the region and meet with like-minded businesses.