CAIRO: InterGas Egypt 2009 opened its doors Tuesday with oil and gas companies from around the world taking part in the fifth annual industry event.
While the conference was officially opened in the evening by Egyptian Minister of Petroleum Sameh Fahmy and Azerbaijan’s Minister for Industry and Energy Natik Aliyev, the exhibition was already well under way from earlier that morning.
One of the main sponsors and one of the market’s top oil and gas producers, Dana Petroleum Plc told Reuters on Tuesday it would invest $130 million in Egypt in 2009.
“We’re investing $130 million this year in Egypt. It’s considered our largest investment, Stuart Paton, technical and commercial director of Dana Petroleum said. He did not give details
Another participating company, ABB came to InterGas offering competitive prices and an improved delivery timeline. “We came with these new initiatives to cope with the financial crisis facing the world, said Reham El-Deeb, section head and channel partner manager.
“ABB is known globally for high quality products, and while high quality mostly [means] high prices, we decided to make ABB available to more customers without affecting the quality, she added.
The lower prices can also be attributed to an 11 percent drop in the cost of raw material in 2008, she added, as one of many consequences of the financial crisis. Most ABB products are produced in the European Union.
Egypt’s own Petrojet displayed several projects and new products in its booth. Aya Moustafa, an engineer in the company’s business development department, highlighted one piece of equipment, saying “this giant crane is the only one of its type in the Middle East. It has a capacity of 1,250 ton that will help Petrojet expand its projections, she added.
Executives at the booth representing RWE, a German oil and gas company, were particularly proud of “the five new wells we excavated in Egypt, said Rash Ibrahim, technical assistant.
China was represented by more than one company at the exhibition, leading the pack was the China Petroleum Technology Development Cooperation (CPTDC), a subsidiary of the China National Petroleum Corporation, the fifth largest oil and gas company worldwide.
On a smaller scale was China’s JEREH, a small company with “lots of potential, said Sean Jiang, the company’s vice president of JEREH. “We have been looking forward to entering the Egyptian market for a long time, and the exhibition is an opportunity to do that, in the last two days, we have already met with five potential customers, said Jiang.
Several companies on hand specialized in graphics and software. Geoservices, for instance, came to InterGas with “the best new tool tailored to optimize drilling efficiency, said Fabien Salicis, marketing engineer. This tool has been used by several international companies including Total, Shell, BP and ExxonMobil. The company “is also looking to expand into the Egyptian market, added Salicis.
Besides the opportunity to network with other industry professionals and potential clients, some companies came for the exposure. One such company is Egypt’s Petronas. “Even though Petronas is producing 40 percent of the daily production of natural gas in Egypt, it’s not well known, said Ahmed Sayed Moussa, executive business development analyst at Petronas Egypt.
A subsidiary of the Malaysian oil and gas giant, Petronas Egypt was established 2001. Citing confidentiality reasons, Petronas Egypt did not want to disclose their expansion plans.
Shell which has two main divisions: exploration and mainstream gas stations.
“For exploration, Shell has a new concession with Petronas and BP in the Westesrn Desert, said Ahmed El-ltriby, technical support engineer at Shell.
“At the same time, Shell has a sole concession on drilling in Northwest Damietta, a project that will start by the end of 2009, El-ltriby said.
“Shell now has 80 gas station nationwide in Egypt, the latest was opened in Sheikh Zayed, added El-ltriby.
While it’s obvious that many of these companies already have several achievements to their name, an event like this can only help spur more growth by forging new partnerships and gaining a different perspective from industry insiders.