December 2017 Special Report: Editor's letter

Localisation simply implies reducing reliance on foreign manpower and manufacturing

Indrajit Sen is the deputy editor of Oil & Gas Middle East.
Indrajit Sen is the deputy editor of Oil & Gas Middle East.

A major (and much-needed) socio-economic transformation is underway in the Gulf region, as part of governments working towards achieving the goals set forward in their ambitious national agendas. National Oil Companies (NOCs) have been made the flagbearers for executing these visionary programmes, and undertake a scheme to reform the energy sector, which, despite all efforts made at economic diversification, is and will continue to remain the primary revenue generator for Middle Eastern economies for generations.

As the Gulf countries strive towards securing the future of their economies, there is a major push towards prioritising the development of all things local. NOCs are emphasising the training and employment of local professionals. These operators are running major schemes for skill enhancement and on-the-job training of national workers to prepare them to perform key operational functions, as well as initiating programmes to nurture leaders of tomorrow.

Localisation is not limited to just the education and job provision for the local workforce in the oil and gas industry, but also extends to another crucial aspect – the endeavour to source material from and manufacture products for the energy sector in-country. NOCs are leaving no stone unturned in fostering a culture of R&D and innovation, so that products and technology meant for usage in operations and asset management – for which regional owner-operators have traditionally relied on foreign suppliers – are produced locally. By promoting local manufacturing and sourcing, NOCs are also taking a shot at making their supply chains effective, in a bid to drive operational excellence.

And assisting regional NOCs are numerous oilfield services companies, product manufacturers, EPC contractors, etc. These suppliers are partnering with their customers to create an environment in which everything local is effectively promoted – they become key employers for local workers, as well as produce locally to maintain an efficient value chain.

Foreign entities have surely played a massive role in establishing the Gulf’s oil and gas industry, but now it is only fair that local players gain control of their future.

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