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Interview

Abdulkarim Al Maazmi – President & General Manager UAE, BP, Abu Dhabi

bp, Abdulkarim Al Maazmi, President and General Manager of the UAE

Abulkarim Al Maazmi discusses BP’s long-standing presence in Abu Dhabi and the Middle East region, the defining programs BP sponsors to help the UAE achieve their educational and sustainable initiatives, and the unique expertise and innovative technologies BP is bringing to the table to increase recovery factors and extend field life.

What makes BP unique to Abu Dhabi and the region?

BP is both an energy company and a technology company. BP brings the best technology, people, plus project and operations management expertise that helps maximize recovery of Abu Dhabi’s oil and gas resources. Technology underpins everything we do – from operating safely, discovering and accessing resources, and recovering more from our portfolio. BP is world-class in managing and redeveloping giant fields and is the biggest operator of giant waterfloods in the industry. We are bringing this experience to bear to help meet Abu Dhabi’s challenges of maintaining and increasing production. This global giant field experience has allowed us to develop the deep expertise and innovative technologies needed to increase recovery factors and extend field life. BP is also a leader in developing and deploying enhanced oil recovery techniques such as low salinity water injection LoSal® EOR and Brightwater™ for Enhanced Oil Recovery methods to boost recovery from maturing fields. We are bringing this expertise to help meet the challenges of maintaining and increasing production from assets in the Middle East.

What are BP’s interests in Abu Dhabi?

BP has been present and investing in Abu Dhabi for about 75 years. BP has played a significant role in the Abu Dhabi oil industry since the 1930s and was at the forefront of the discovery of oil in the Emirate in 1958. Since then, we have had joint venture partnerships with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and have held shareholdings including in the Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (ADMA), Abu Dhabi Gas Liquefaction Limited (ADGAS), the Natural Gas Shipping Company and until January 2014 we held shareholding in the Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Operations (ADCO).

How important are BP’s assets in Abu Dhabi for the company?

Our partnership with Abu Dhabi has endured over seven decades, contributing to the growth of the nation, while providing value to BP. Our shareholdings in the country’s operating companies account for an important share of BP’s worldwide production. BP Abu Dhabi is currently contributing 94,000 barrel per day to BP’s global production.

Can you outline the key opportunities for BP in the region?

We have some important developments in the Middle East. We are very active in the region at Rumaila in Iraq, the Khazzan tight gas development in Oman and continued partnerships in Abu Dhabi including ADMA-OPCO and a technical service agreement in Kuwait.

As mentioned above, in Abu Dhabi, BP continues to actively support and invest in the Abu Dhabi operating companies in which we are a shareholder, which include ADMA, ADGAS and NGSCO. We look forward to continuing to engage with the Abu Dhabi government in demonstrating how BP’s global expertise and technology make us the right partner for the long term and continue playing a key role in Abu Dhabi’s oil industry for many years to come. BP is committed to Abu Dhabi for the long term. BP supports Abu Dhabi to meet an aspirational 70% recovery target aligned with Abu Dhabi 2030 vision through the application our global expertise and upstream technology.

In Iraq we extended our redevelopment contract for the supergiant Rumaila field by five years to 2034 and we are very proud of what has been achieved in Rumaila in the last 5 years and we are looking forward to many, many more years of success as we rehabilitate and modernize this giant oilfield. Rumaila is producing about 1.35 million b/d. We are working with the government and expect production to hold steady for some time to come.

In Kuwait, BP remains committed to supporting Kuwait in the oil and gas industry. Starting in 1992 we have been supporting the Kuwait Oil Company to increase production and maximize the value of the giant Burgan field through a technical service contract to manage a waterflood program in Burgan. It underpins BP’s strategy of developing giant fields. In September 2014, BP signed a technical services agreement (TSA) with KOC to bring our expertise in enhanced oil recovery (EOR) to the giant Burgan oilfield. BP technical specialists working with KOC team to implement a huge waterflood project on the Burgan Wara reservoir and also helping identify and assess for EOR potential in the same reservoir. This is part of BP’s strategy of working in the supergiant fields of the Middle East – Rumaila, Khazzan, etc.

What are the wider energy challenges that the Middle East is facing? How is BP helping meet these challenges?

One of the challenges in the Middle East is meeting rapidly increasing demand for energy on the one hand and finding more efficient ways to consume energy on the other. To meet this challenge, the region needs technology and innovation to increase production safely, to access new resources economically, to use energy more efficiently and to create a more sustainable energy future. BP has developed successful partnerships with national oil companies in the Middle East, bringing unparalleled scope and scale, in terms of cutting-edge technology which helps increase production and meet recovery targets in the Middle East. BP brings project management, managerial experience, capital and access to global markets. We also invest in developing local capabilities, including through seconding national staff different BP locations worldwide

How important is technology in helping maintain production levels in the region’s fields?

Technology at BP is at the heart of everything we do and a critical enabler in helping us to find and recover hydrocarbons. We apply our technologies at scale across our portfolio. BP is world-class in managing and redeveloping giant fields and is the biggest operator of giant waterfloods in the industry. This experience has allowed us to develop the deep expertise and innovative technologies needed to increase recovery factors and extend field life. BP has unparalleled experience in operating and maximizing production from some of the world’s largest fields, ranging from Prudhoe Bay in Alaska, Samotlor in Russia, and Rumaila in Iraq. BP’s tight gas technologies have also unlocked the potential of complex reservoirs around the world – from the US to Algeria. BP has distinctive technology and experience, global scale and management expertise, and a commitment to building close partnerships. Together, this allows us to unlock reserves from mature, giant oil fields and from unconventional tight gas reservoirs. BP is breaking new ground in technology and applying this capability in the Middle East. Technology areas include enhanced oil recovery and giant field management in Abu Dhabi, and drilling, fracturing and reservoir stimulation in Oman. BP is also a leader in developing and deploying enhanced oil recovery techniques such as low salinity water injection LoSal® EOR and Brightwater™ for Enhanced Oil Recovery methods to boost recovery from maturing fields. This expertise can help meet the challenges of maintaining and increasing production from assets in the Middle East.

Last year’s Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC) theme was innovation and sustainability in a new energy world. How is BP addressing these two central themes?

Innovation has been central to the oil & gas industry so far, and will continue to be in the future. Technology innovation remains one of the crucial drivers of the new age economy. On January 20, 2014 Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (MIST) and BP signed an agreement to collaborate on catalyzing the Innovation Ecosystem in the UAE. Over the past 18 months, BP and MIST are working jointly on creating the first Technology Accelerator in the region focused on sustainability, which was launched in November 2015. BP is supporting Masdar/ MIST on speeding up the translation of new renewable energy, water desalination and other sustainable technologies into commercial products. BP is also promoting the formation of small technology companies and supporting further development of UAE national capability. BP brings deep experience in promoting innovation and developing entrepreneurship capabilities and builds on experiences gained in India and the UK. There are a number of areas that BP is currently supporting at MI. The financial support provided to MI in both cases is lowering risk for some of the technologies and helping them get closer to commercialization.

What is your outlook for the oil and gas industry?

This is a tough period of intense change for the industry. We do not envisage a swift end to this situation; rather, we predict that oil prices are likely to remain weak in the near term, with only gradual increases over the medium term and prices unlikely to return to previous levels around $100 for the foreseeable future.

What are BP’s efforts in attracting, developing and retaining human capital?

BP is committed to the development of local capabilities through various educational programs and developing local capability and national staff through seconding national staff to different BP locations worldwide for example as part of our Lower Zakum Modeling project with ADMA, we recently supported around five UAE nationals complete successful assignments in BP Sunbury. In 2014, BP sponsored research initiative on Maximizing Emirati Talent in Engineering as part of our commitment to developing Emirati Talent, carried out by Oxford Strategic Consulting, to provide insight on what it will take to maximize the development of Emirati talent in engineering, with a specific focus on the oil and gas sector.

What is BP’s wider contribution to the UAE community?

BP is committed to the development of the UAE and is supporting Abu Dhabi’s social development goals more broadly, which we do through several flagship social investment projects. These include:

The Sustainable Schools Initiative since it’s inception in 2009: Our commitment to sustainability and environmental education through eight years partnership with the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi.

The Emirates Foundation for Youth Development since its formation in 2005: Supporting youth development with one of the UAE’s leading CSR institutions, focusing on leadership develop, careers, science education, mentoring and financial literacy.

BP Young Adventurers Program started in 1999: We contribute to youth and development by providing adventure training and leadership development opportunities for young people from the UAE and Oman. More than 6,000 teenagers participated in this program since it’s inception.

The Petroleum Institute since 2001: This is our contribution to human capital supporting the UAE’s pre-eminent institution in engineering education.

The Catalyst: In line with the UAE innovation stragegy, in January 2014 BP and Masdar Institute for Science and Technology signed a USD 7 million partnership over six years to support innovation and entrepreneurship programs. BP’s contribution of up to $5 million in finance and help-in-kind brings BP’s expertise and resources in developing innovation and entrepreneurship with Masdar Institute’s existing programs to enhance the region’s technology commercialization capabilities. The first technology start up accelarater called The Catalyst was launched in November 2015 by BP, Masdar and Masdar Institute.

Click here to read more articles and interviews from Abu Dhabi.

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