ADIPEC 2017 show interview: Churchill Drilling Tools

Despite having been in the region for two years, Churchill Drilling Tools plans to grow on the back of its portfolio

Nicholas Kjaer, general manager  Middle East, Churchill Drilling Tools.
Nicholas Kjaer, general manager Middle East, Churchill Drilling Tools.

What led Churchill Drilling Tools to exhibit at ADIPEC?

This is our second year at ADIPEC, and also our second year of operations in the Middle East. We saw a significant interest in our business last year. In the meantime, the market here had grown considerably for us, and we had seen a good demand for our existing products. Clients have also been interested in the new products that we are bringing in. ADIPEC is definitely a platform for us that helps us connect with both our suppliers and our clients.

Do you think ADIPEC ticks all the boxes when it comes to the business objectives Churchill has for events?

I think it ticks even more than that. I believe it’s an all-round event that caters to the entire region, which is important for us. Our presence here is about connecting with clients and suppliers, as well as gauging the competition in the market. It’s equally about introducing new technologies to the market, as we typically do at events. This year we are presenting our new technology, the Self-Filling Float (SFF) Trigger, which has received quite a bit of interest.

What other products is Churchill Drilling Tools showcasing at ADIPEC 2017?

We specialise in certain aspects, making us a niche company. Basically, all our technologies are designed to help clients drill faster, efficiently, and safely.

Of all the products in Churchill’s portfolio, how much would you say is relevant to the regional upstream industry?

I would say that, of all our commercial products, about 80% of them would be applicable to this region. One of the things that define us is the full-fledged support that we give to the end-user. We have account managers working alongside the drilling teams of clients, helping them in the planning phase, as well as in the operating phase. That makes a significant difference.

While the industry as a whole has consolidated its position, we have seen significant growth. We were a newcomer to the Middle East, and now we have invested in our purpose-built equipment service and maintenance facility in Abu Dhabi, to cater to the UAE market. We are manufacturing locally, as well. Also, elsewhere in the region, there has been significant interest in us doing business. We have been going against the trend of companies consolidating, and have been expanding instead.

I believe this is due to three reasons: innovative, good-quality equipment; the support of our teams, which are present with the clients; and the effort we put in to the servicing and maintenance of our equipment.

How easy has it been to do business with the super-majors here, and how does Churchill intent to improve upon its portfolio in order to cater to NOCs?

Where we differ from a lot of companies in the region – and worldwide – is that we are quite adaptable and flexible. We have experienced that with a particular NOC in the region, where we sat with them and they told us about a specific issue with a certain application that they were having, for which they needed a solution. We very quickly mobilised our research and development (R&D) department to design a customised piece of equipment for this client, and had it manufactured in Abu Dhabi. It was  ready within two months. Since we are small, we are also flexible and adaptable, and we can swiftly and satisfactorily respond to issues that our clients may have.

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