Rebuilding petroleum from the ground up

How is Emerson responding to the drop in oil prices?

Dave Tredinnick is the regional president of Emerson - one of the world's leading oil field services and technology companies. He talks about how his company is supporting the oil and gas sector in various ways during its current financial woes.
How is Emerson responding to the drop in oil prices?

We look at it industrially and geographically. When it comes to how oil prices are at a near-record low, it may impact capital projects for us, but we have a huge install base of control systems, safety systems, field devices, and valves. These services can make a huge difference. In fact, many of our capital projects are still ongoing because there is so much momentum in them. If you look across the Engineering, Procurement, Construction (EPC) places in Europe, Asia, and locally, there are significant backlogs of greenfield projects being driven towards the oil and gas industry.

Compared to places like Europe and Southeast Asia, how is this region coping with the rough patch?

Actually, this region is coping much better than any other part of the world. That's mainly because here, you are primarily driven by National Oil Companies (NOC), which have some of the lowest lifting cost in the world. It's much better to be in an NOC area here than to be in a high lift-cost area elsewhere.

What are some of your most important markets of business in the MENA region?

When we look across the MENA region, every single market is important but there are differences in development. Some of them are upstream, some are midstream, and some are definitely petrochemicals-based, so each one is a little different. When you talk about size, Saudi Arabia is obviously the largest single market, but we're seeing capital investment in almost all of the countries in the region.

Emerson's latest partnership with Carbon Holding will result in Egypt having the world's largest petrochemicals plant in the world. Can you elaborate on this project?

It's for a project called Tahrir Petrochemicals, a 1.5 million ton-per-year ethylene complex. Emerson got involved in the very early stages of development. We helped set up the strategy for automation as well as field devices and control elements, and the reliability strategy of the project. It will be a global project executed through multiple EPC locations and will require worldwide coordination which Emerson can provide and make Carbon Holding a top quartile project in their area.

What is some of the other work that Emerson is doing in the regional innovation space?

We recently had a groundbreaking in Saudi Arabia's Dhahran Techno-Valley, which is very close to the Aramco headquarters and our university partners, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM). That center there is geared towards creating a collaborative work-style with Aramco and addressing the needs our customer base in Saudi Arabia, particularly with applications wellheads, midstream, pipelines, storage, and the downstream sector. The center will be completed by the end of 2017. We've also just completed a campus here, which is half a million square feet of manufacturing between three buildings.

Speaking of which, there is scarce education in the UAE when it comes to petroleum and industrial engineering. Do you feel like this region needs to strive to provide thorough education on your sector?

Emerson works with universities across the region such as the Petroleum Institute (PI) in Abu Dhabi. We've had interns from some of the local universities here in the region and we bring them in and let them understand Emerson's procedures. Some are very technical interns who even get involved with the various projects we have in-house. We also provide speakers who go and help universities deliver the curriculum. I have seen tremendous improvement in the local education in the eight years I've been here, both government and private schools are making great strides and being engaged with them is important. Not only does that help the university, but it also helps Emerson.

In what ways is Emerson providing support and helping the industry overcome challenges?

We're doing that through technology that we offer. If you look at our customer-base on the upstream side, we deliver technology today that allows our customers to improve their performance in terms of energy, efficiency, safety, reliability, and product quality. Today we can deliver them avenues that allow them to be higher better performers in their own space. More uptime means more money for them, and less energy means less expenditure on the energy that it takes to drive their processor to the plant. Emerson helps contribute in a lot of different ways and we have become very relevant in the challenging times.

About Dave Tredinnick:
Dave Tredinnick is the President of Emerson Process Management in the Middle East & Africa. Under his leadership, Emerson has opened new offices, manufacturing facilities, and service centers in the region. In the past 30 years, Dave has held numerous sales and marketing leadership roles at Emerson. He began his career with Emerson in 1980 with Brooks Instruments in Georgia, USA, which provided him with an opportunity to move to Saudi Arabia to run the sales and service center in Dammam. Dave then transferred to Houston, USA, and assumed responsibility for managing the company's major oil accounts. In the late 80's, he was asked to move to Asia to establish Brooks' oil and gas business in the region, which he did for 20 years. In 1999, Dave became the managing director, Asia Pacific, of Daniel, an Emerson business that specializes in fiscal flow and energy measurement technologies. In 2003, he was promoted to vice president for sales. After two years, he went on to become vice president of Emerson Process Management in Southeast Asia, until he was appointed as President of Middle East and Africa in 2008.

© Capital Business 2016

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