Five Minutes With: Ahmed Hamad Al Khonaini
Ahmed Hamad Al Khonaini, managing director, Global Pipe Company
0.00: Explain your company’s scope of work with the oil and gas industry?
Global Pipe Company (GPC) is a Saudi-German joint venture company established between EEW, Saudi Steel Pipe Company (SSP), Pan Gulf Holding and Ahmed Hamad Al Khonaini. During Q2 2013, GPC won approval from the American Petroleum Institute (API) and on November 25, 2013, the company’s pipe mill was awarded official supplier status by Aramco for non-sour pipes and structural tubular. GPC now produces pipes with heavy wall thickness and large-size diameters, with an annual capacity of 200,000 tonnes.
1.05: What are some of the recent jobs you have done for Saudi Aramco? What are your upcoming contracts with them?
We have completed our most recent job for Saudi Aramco – the Yanbu Gas Pipeline, a 150km, east-west gas pipeline connecting the Shedgum gas processing plant. More recently, GPC secured a major supply contract with Aramco for an extension of Saudi Arabia’s Master Gas System (MGSE). GPC has agreed to supply 550km out of the pipeline out of the 1000km-long pipeline. The project is anticipated to begin in May 2016.
2.55: Is there a specific product that you would like to highlight?
GPC’s approval by Aramco for supply of sour service material is particularly notable given the fact that GPC is a comparatively new player in Saudi Arabia. Crucially, it also means the company now occupies an exclusive market position shared by only a limited number of global producers. Around 12 pipe manufactures worldwide, including GPC, are currently certified by Aramco for sour service material longitudinal welded pipes. We are diversifying our portfolio by supporting Aramco’s upstream development activities through supply of the well casings used in drilling.
3.35: Do you work with other clients in Saudi other than Aramco?
The company commenced operations from its manufacturing facility in Q4 2012 and, after the initial trial production phase, completed its first pipe delivery in March 2013. While we are working with other NOCs throughout the GCC, many of these companies require a five-year operating track record, and so diversifying our customers and growing our presence throughout the region remains an ongoing process.
4.10: With oil prices creeping up slightly do you feel business will be good for your company in 2016?
The oil price drop observed during the last months was not affecting our business with Saudi Aramco as they did not cancel, shift or delay any projects. We have observed a strong re-tendering activity, but this is quite normal since steel prices were also going down. Given the sheer scale of GPC’s current workload, the company certainly has good reason to look towards the future with a sense of optimism.