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NOV opens landmark fibre glass systems unit in Dammam

National Oilwell Varco has opened its Fibre Glass Systems manufacturing facility in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, which is seen as a major stride forward for Saudi Aramco’s In-Kingdom Total Value Add (IKTVA) localisation programme.

With 24,000 sq m of manufacturing space, this facility will be the first local manufacturer of spoolable and jointed GRE pipe. It will also make GRE high-pressure line pipe and downhole tubing and casing.

The opening of the complex was attended by a high-level corporate delegation from Saudi Aramco, including president and chief executive officer Amin Nasser; Mohammed Y Al Qahtani, senior vice president of Upstream; and Ahmad A Al Sa'adi, senior vice president of technical services. NOV’s new Saudi facility is bigger than its original plant in Houston, Texas, US, and is the first reinforced thermoplastic pipe (RTP) manufacturing hub in the kingdom.

Bringing composite solutions from NOV's Fiberspar and STAR product lines to the kingdom will allow the company to help its customers eliminate corrosion in their applications, reduce installation and maintenance costs over their pipe's lifecycle, and more cost-effectively transport higher quality resources to the market, said NOV.

"Saudi leadership has consistently sought out improvements that will drive higher levels of efficiency, safety, and environmental stewardship. Expanding the use of composite materials represents the latest advancement in that journey. We're excited for the future and proud of this landmark development, which will drive the proliferation of these solutions into other Middle East markets while improving the lives of people in this region and around the world," the company said.

The development has been hailed as an important driver for Saudi Arabia’s economic and social blueprint Vision 2030 and for Saudi Aramco’s iktva programme, which seeks to achieve 70 per cent localisation of its supply chain by 2021.

Speaking at the inaugural event, Al Qahtani said the opening of the state-of-the-art production facility was a “special day” for all concerned, and the kingdom.

It is expected that the facility will become a major hub for the GCC and Middle East North Africa (MEA) regions.

Al Qahtani said: “It is also an important validation of Saudi Vision 2030 and Saudi Aramco’s localisation program, iktva, which is helping to drive it.”

“Bringing sophisticated technologies to the kingdom is one component. Being able to export high quality products with ‘Made in Saudi Arabia’ on them will surely be another,” he said.

“And with 50 per cent Saudization here already (on a path toward 90 per cent), most of the work will be done by Saudis,” he added.

“Above all, it confirms that the desire to locate here is growing, that it is getting easier to do business here, and that increased share in a global energy hub is very likely to be the result,” Al Qahtani noted.

He pointed out that market volatility in recent years had intensified the company’s efforts on operation efficiency, cost avoidance, and reliability.

Al Qahtani said that it was his belief that, “there are even more innovative ways to monetise each barrel of oil using advanced oil-based materials, which is why we are examining new outlets for our products.”

He added that the increased deployment of nonmetallics in the company’s pipeline network was part of its forward looking strategy.

As part of our nonmetallics strategy, Saudi Aramco is turning crude oil into advanced polymeric materials to meet the industry’s growing demand for nonmetallic pipes, flow lines, and other applications because of their superior cost, efficiency, and environmental advantages over their metal counterparts.

The new NOV facility, Al Qahtani said: “Ticks all of the boxes for us at Saudi Aramco. NOV is not a reactive company that lets others carry the load. They are helping to bring the win-win nature of Vision 2030 and iktva to life, adding tremendous value to Saudi Aramco.”

Clay C Williams, chief executive officer, NOV, said that his team was delighted to be in Dammam to celebrate the opening of its “newest and largest, and most technologically advanced” facility.

Despite market challenges in recent years, Williams said NOV had stuck to its course with its partners.

“We were committed to our plan of building a truly world-class facility in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

“I want to thank everyone here for seeing this through, for your confidence to execute the project. I am excited about the future of NOV, the future of Saudi Aramco and the future of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” he added.

Williams said his company remains committed to the training of Saudi talent and to the aspirations of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

NOV is a leading provider of technology, equipment, and services to the global oil and gas industry that supports customers’ full-field drilling, completion, and production needs.

Since 1862, NOV has pioneered innovations that improve the cost-effectiveness, efficiency, safety, and environmental impact of oil and gas operations.

The Saudi Aramco delegation was taken on a tour of the new Dammam facility after the official opening ceremony, it stated.

  • Fibre Glass
  • Dammam
  • NOV
  • Saudi Aramco
  • Pipeline
  • America
  • Marketing
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