Interviewee: Stanley Ford, Sales Director, Alderley FZE
Tell us about the work you do with EPC contractors in the Middle East, and some of your main clients in the region?
Alderley is a supplier of bespoke custody transfer/fiscal measurement metering and produced water treatment technologies with international manufacturing facilities including Jebel Ali, UAE and Dammam, Saudi Arabia.
Having serviced the Middle East for the past fifteen years, Alderley has developed strong relationships with end users such as Qatar Petroleum, QatarGas, Kuwait Oil Company, KNPC, Gazprom Neft, ADNOC, Saudi Aramco and EPCs such as Hanwha Engineering and Construction Corp, Petrofac and Technip.
What are some of the major projects you are working on, and what work do you have in the pipeline for the next 12 months?
Alderley has just delivered one of the world’s largest Induced Gas Flotation (IGF) packages to the offshore Al Shaheen Field, Qatar. Simultaneously, onshore we are currently completing three fiscal metering systems for Qatar Petroleum destined for Mesaieed Industrial City.
The project had many technical considerations factored into the design and Alderley’s proven experience in the design of low temperature metering systems has ensured the best engineering to meet system specifications. Alderley is also providing equipment to one of the largest industrial cities over the next eighteen months.
Nine metering systems will be designed, engineered and manufactured for the Jazan Refinery Marine Terminal Project and a further 6 metering systems will be supplied to the north and south tank farm facilities and truck loading facilities at the Jazan Refinery in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
What are some of your target markets?
Alderley’s main focus in the Middle East has been on Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Iraq and Qatar. We operate in a very niche engineering sector with few competing players.
New companies are always trying to enter the arena but with limited experience they often find meeting the precise specifications on time and within budget a challenge. An example being LNG measurement at temperatures of -162ºC which is not within everyone’s realm of knowledge or capability. Alderley has over 50 years’ experience and therefore our expertise and competence allow us to dominate.
What are the main challenges in doing business in the upstream oil and gas sector in the region?
In some cases we find that detailed engineering skills within the EPCs have reduced and the ability to meet local specifications may be weak due to a shortage of specialised engineers.
For instance we find that Qatar are placing more mid-sized EPC contacts locally with general civil engineers who may not have the unique engineering knowledge required. We see a slowdown in Iraq as it faces ongoing political unrest and a renewed focus on Iran as we expect the sanctions to be lifted soon.
Alderley had a joint venture in Iran prior to the sanctions and we will look to pursue a similar strategy for the future.
The effect of the oil price
The oil price has had an effect on everyone in this sector and, in particular, this has resulted in project delays. OPECs control of the market price affecting the world’s energy supply is probably the biggest influence. Pumping at high levels even as prices were falling has resulted in one of the biggest global factors affecting energy prices.