Safety and sustainability in focus as mega-projects enter maintenance phase, says Links Group
4th December 2011, Doha, QATAR: Company formation specialists Links Group anticipates demand for oil & gas support services in Qatar will accelerate over the next 12 months as major contractors seek to implement long term maintenance agreements. Following the completion of several oil & gas mega-projects in the Gulf state, operators are now directing their attention towards facility upkeep and are increasingly looking to the expertise of foreign companies to fulfil their equipment and manpower needs.
As the world’s top exporter of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Qatar’s real GDP is expected to soar by around 21 per cent in 2011-2012, according to QNB Capital. The affiliate of Qatar National Bank says the surge in the hydrocarbon sector, combined with its anticipated budget surplus, will maintain Qatar’s position as the fastest growing economy. Oil & gas income was put at $26.8 billion in 2010-2011 and is projected to hit an all time high of around $38.3 billion in 2012.
While Qatar’s oil & gas sector shows no sign of slowing down, executives at Links Group say National Oil Companies (NOCs) are now entering a maintenance phase for their recently completed mega-projects such as RasGas, Qatargas, Shell Pearl GTL phase 1 and Dolphin project.
Speaking from the sidelines of the World Petroleum Exhibition in Doha today, attended by 5,000 delegates and where some 400 international companies are exhibiting, Wayne Merrick Country Manager of Links Group in Qatar said there is a definite uptick in interest for oil & gas support services particularly in the midstream and downstream sectors.
“Qatar’s oil & gas sector has moved from a project-led market to a maintenance driven market and so the business development focus locally – at least for the next 12 months – will be on facility management solutions as operators look to bed down their projects. In line with the government’s National Development Strategy, NOCs are taking a longer term view of their approach to facility maintenance with their interest directed towards integrated solutions to balance their logistics, safety and sustainability needs.”
While Qatar remains a top export market for international support service companies, Links Group says NOCs in Qatar do tend to favour those firms that establish an onshore commercial presence in the Gulf state.
“Qatar is committed to taking the country from emerging market status to a fully developed nation so encouraging foreign companies to incorporate as limited liability entities in Qatar forms a logical part of that economic growth strategy,” said Merrick.
While bids and tenders in the Qatar oil & gas sector have traditionally been won in favour of their commercial viability, Merrick says technical expertise are increasingly coming to the fore as national and international oil companies look to use best of breed products and services.
“The oil & gas sector has always been a price competitive market, but those support companies that can clearly differentiate themselves through product excellence have a good chance of standing out in the bid process. Our advice is to make a point of highlighting your expertise, push your skill sets and levels of serviceability. Then demonstrate your previous successes by opening up your order book. It sounds obvious, but local operators are increasingly motivated by proof of concept,” added Merrick.
About Links Group
Established in 2002, Links Group is a premier company formation specialist advising corporations and individuals on how best to establish a legal commercial presence in the Middle East. It provides an unrivalled network of corporate services to assist the company formation process with a particular focus on the UAE and Qatar. This includes company formation, legal structures, licenses and visa documentation, serviced offices, resource management and marketing support. It is also the only company of its kind to be associated with the Foreign Investment Office (FDI) of the Dubai Economic Department.
The Links Group difference is that foreign companies work with a highly structured board as their local partner as opposed to an unknown individual. This unique structure provides foreign businesses with a corporate entity to act as their nominee, local partner, shareholder or sponsor, thereby minimising the risks associated with appointing an unknown individual nominee.
Links Group has an untarnished track record with over 200 clients, who represent combined annual revenues of over USD 2bn to their respective economies.
Tel: +971 (0)50 570 6785
Tel: +971 (0)55 298 3593