Five minutes with Nicolas Villemain, division market development manager for Parker Hannifin
This month we put Parker Hannifin the hot seat to talk about its segment of the market.
Parker Hannifin is a very large company with a diverse offering. How does that impact business?
Yes, Parker is a large company. Today, we employ more than 57,000 people around the world. As far as upstream is concerned, we do valves, tube fitting, high pressure fitting, as well as BOP, umbilicals, and we even have filtration solutions. It’s a very diverse company with a really wide range of technical solutions. Being such a large multinational, we can’t compromise safety. We work hard to make safety a priority in our designs.
What are some new developments at Parker Hannifin?
We saw a slowdown in the oil and gas industry, now we see it coming back, which is quite nice obviously. We’ve worked a lot on new innovation. The trends, for us, are around the challenges of the customer towards the issue of corrosion. They are going for deeper wells with more H2S, so there are corrosion issues and pressure issues. In the last few years, we’ve developed a good set of solutions to fight corrosion and we’ve increased our product range to go up to 15,000 psi, a very high pressure, with rigorous testing to be able to cover those applications.
What are some trends in your segment of the market right now?
We clearly see that people will start doing new projects again. In the last year or year and a half, we saw a lot more [maintenance, repair and overhaul] (MRO) business, but now we also see new projects coming up, which will require large volumes of work.
On the technical side, we see more interest in close-couple solutions to limit the number of link paths. Linkages are still a big issue for many customers, and also there is a growing requirement for fugitive emissions solutions.
Tell me about some of your recent work on fugitive emissions solutions.
For the past seven years, we have had a global agreement with Shell, where they have asked us to work on fugitive emission valves. People are much more conscious about the environment than before, and they want to reduce link paths, where possible. This is specifically true in the Middle East. All the big companies talk about being more engaged on that topic. You have to consider that some wells today are dirtier, they have high H2S content, with new technology we are capable of dealing with this.
You mentioned the oil market downturn. How did this specifically impact your segment?
Over the last few years, when the price of oil went down, people started to look for low-cost companies that could do everything. A company like Parker does not necessarily want to do everything, we just want to make sure we are doing what we are good at and what is good for the customer.
We do not ever want to compromise safety or quality for the customer. We make sure the design is okay, of course, and safety is very important to us.