Razouqi, VP & General Manager – BMP at Schlumberger Malaysia
Maen Razouqi, Vice President & General Manager – BMP at Schlumberger, discusses the Group’s 80th anniversary in Malaysia in 2015 and your choice of Malaysia as a regional hub with continually expanding capacities, including the Asia Centre of Engineering and Reliability in the Port Klang and the HR and procurement & sourcing hub.
Schlumberger is celebrating its 80th anniversary in Malaysia in 2015. Could you please introduce Schlumberger’s long-standing commitment to and activities in Malaysia?
Schlumberger is very proud to have been present in Malaysia and the region for 80 years, which is quite substantial given that the company itself is 89 years old. Southeast Asia, specifically the Myanmar & Borneo (Malaysia & Brunei) area, alongside the Middle East, were some of the first regions targeted by Schlumberger outside of France.
In 1935, we established not only a presence in Malaysia (formerly part of Borneo) but a partnership model that has allowed us to build long term relationships and engagements. Within our partnership model, Schlumberger’s people are our greatest asset. Over 2,000 staff in Malaysia embracing Schlumberger culture and work ethics, convey their commitment to the oil and gas industry on the technology front. As a part of the growth story of Malaysia, Schlumberger contributes to making sure the country’s hydrocarbons that have been discovered or are to be discovered are commercially successful. In Malaysia, we are known for our service delivery, our expertise and our technology.
Schlumberger supplies a wide range of products and services and also encompasses the world’s largest seismic company WesternGeco. Where do you see the most demand from your clients in Malaysia?
In Malaysia, Schlumberger offers all our business units to actively supporting the oil and gas industry. On the drilling front, our integrated project management allows us to offer the complete value chain. Thanks to its size, Schlumberger can leverage its capabilities and help ensure efficiencies in the E&P cycle. To give just one example, in Sarawak, WesternGeco is shooting the first ever multisensor 3D IsoMetrix* marine isometric seismic technology survey to be done in Malaysia.
Schlumberger is engaged in a technical alliance model with PETRONAS, and this alliance extends beyond day-to-day activities to include several pioneering projects. As the world’s leading oil field service provider, Schlumberger helps PETRONAS sustain their E&P activities from an economical point of view. Schlumberger’s commitment to Malaysia and our client remains despite any fluctuations in oil prices, and we support Petronas operations in new frontiers thanks to the dynamism provided by our size and flexibility.
Our collaborative efforts with PETRONAS Carigali for the Bokor field enabled an increase in production to a double figure during our twelve-year engagement from 2002 to 2014. We are now moving to another phase in this project for well construction, in which Schlumberger contributes to drilling, well placement and completions activities. In the meantime, we became engaged in the Samarang project, another field that was limited in its production capacity. We are proud to say that after having helped increase the production of that field, we are now embarking on the next phase, which is on the EOR frontier.
Can you expand on Schlumberger’s role in EOR and how your services are uniquely tailored to help local operators increase recovery rates?
For Schlumberger, if there were one place we would like to be bringing our EOR services and learning how to further develop these capacities, it would be Malaysia. Schlumberger recently hosted an extensive workshop with PETRONAS and other leading operators worldwide on EOR that was attended by our global director of EOR. Malaysia is undoubtedly an offshore hub for EOR activity and substantial investment, reaching billions of dollars, has already been devoted to EOR in Malaysia. Of course, all the players also need to collaborate and combine expertise to make sure these projects become economical; as with all projects, there will always be a challenge to justify the economics.
Today our complete EOR offering helps clients not only understand the reservoir but to also shorten the EOR timeline. It currently takes approximately ten years for an EOR project to move from a micro pilot to a pilot to a fully launched EOR project, while our technology aids in decreasing this time frame while also reducing uncertainties in the micro-pilot and pilot phases.
Can you tell us more about the Schlumberger Transformation Program, specifically in the Malaysia context?
Our transformation goals are to increase operational reliability tenfold, to reduce inventory by 25%, to increase asset utilization by 100%, to increase people productivity by 20% and to decrease unit support costs by 10%. These are all very ambitious, but achievable goals here in Malaysia and globally.
Operation reliability has been targeted in a new R&E program representing six years of work and investment, where we have introduced a Regional Distribution Center system to reduce inventory. This reorganization effort has born clear fruit in North America and the Middle East, and we expect clear results with its implementation in Asia as well. For asset utilization, Malaysia offers a clear example for the company with the efficiencies gained from the 2013 establishment of a Center for Reliability and Efficiency for wireline for the Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam GeoMarkets. This pilot will also be expanded to GeoMarkets in China, Australia and Indonesia. People productivity will be positively impacted by multiskilling, crew modularity and remote operations, while unit support costs will be improved by leveraging size and efficiency.
Schlumberger invested $1.2 billion in R&D for your oilfield activities in 2013—more than all other oilfield services companies combined- and has a network of 125 research and engineering technology centers. How does Schlumberger integrate Malaysia into its global R&D efforts?
Schlumberger has one of the biggest investments in R&D in the entire oil and gas industry with our Malaysian R&D efforts serving global operations. There has been a trend of moving engineering and manufacturing from West to East to cater to the anticipated growth in the Asia region. As such, Schlumberger offices in Malaysia, Singapore, China and Japan have added more R&D capacities in recent years. Regional authorities have supported this transfer of technological capacities by means of financial incentives and regulations to protect intellectual property (IP). Of course, Schlumberger is still growing in the West in conjunction with this growth in the East.
Schlumberger chose to open a Financial Centre Hub in Kuala Lumpur in 2010, while the Schlumberger Asia Center for Reliability is set to open in 2015. Can you elaborate on Malaysia’s hosting such a breadth of global operations for Schlumberger?
The longevity of our commitment and our level of local investment in Malaysia speak for themselves. We have always strived to showcase our partnership on the ground. For example, our Kuala Lumpur offices house laboratory facilities, a digital theatre, data processing and an operations support center. Schlumberger purposefully brought to Malaysia many of the functions that could have been operated remotely from other hubs such as Houston, London, or Dubai, to Kuala Lumpur.
Our investments into manufacturing and engineering locally spread into a variety of domains. In 2011, we launched the WesternGeco Penang Product Center, which has now expanded to include wireline logging and directional drilling technologies. Most recently, we made the commitment to establish the Asia Center of Engineering and Reliability in the Port Klang. As part of our 80th anniversary celebration, we will inaugurate this facility in May 2015. In Q1 2015, we will also open a procurement and sourcing hub in Kuala Lumpur.
One of our major commitments is to providing opportunities for Malaysian nationals, and Schlumberger is now in the process of bringing an HR hub to Kuala Lumpur to support our global back office operations. We are proud to say that 70% of our local workforce are Malaysian nationals, and we are keen to reach 90%. Between the three local hubs, it will grow to approximately 3600 employees in Malaysia serving not only Malaysia, but Southeast Asia and the globe.
Schlumberger signed a memorandum of understanding with the Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) in 2012 to enable the university to develop a professional workforce for the oil and gas industry. What is the value of having strong relations with Malaysian universities?
It is important to forge links with universities, not only to attract the best talent but also to contribute to the development of the industry moving forward. Through the Schlumberger Ambassador Program, we recognize universities of a certain caliber, which are assigned a Schlumberger executive as Ambassador. A Senior Malaysian Ambassador works closely with the UTP, while Schlumberger sponsors a professorship at the UTP. Finally, not only do we offer a material contribution via software or lab equipment, we contribute efforts to attracting future students and talents.
Looking ahead, what would you have liked to achieved heading operations in Malaysia in three year’s time?
Schlumberger aims to play a role in the success of future discoveries and development in Malaysia, both with PETRONAS and the IOCs. Furthermore, there are also many newcomers in the market who count on Schlumberger to help them succeed in E&P activities, and we are poised to meet this demand.
To read more articles and interviews from Malaysia, and to download the latest free report on the country, click here.