Eurogif: French contractors derive benefits from R&D

There are two main industries related to oil and gas whose respective domains of responsibilities are different but comple-mentary:

Jean Courjault

There are two main industries related to oil and gas whose respective domains of responsibilities are different but comple-mentary:

•The oil and gas companies bring a full understanding of exploration problems, support the full burden of the mining risks, and manage the fields throughout their lifetimes

•The supply, services, and construction industries provide technologies required for exploration and exploitation operations, sometimes transferred from different industries, and also bring know-how of field operations. These companies bear a great deal of the burden of R&D costs, with financial capabilities that do not compare with those of the operators.

In France, the sector is covered in all parts of the chain, from exploration, production, and transport, to refining, marketing, and petrochemicals.

GEP, the Energy Industry (Oil & Gas), French Suppliers Council, is a non-profit association, established in 1953, that represents the commercial and technical interests of about 160 companies registered in France and involved in the industry supply chain.

Its member companies employ about 40,000 people and generate 95% of the total turnover of the industry, more than $14 billion in 2001, most of it abroad, as France does not have an E&P domestic market. The expenditures can be broken down by category:

Turnover by branch:

  • Vendors and ship yards: ¤4.2 billion
  • Services companies: ¤5.8 billion
  • Engineering: ¤4 billion.

Offshore turnover by branch:

  • Suppliers and ship yards: ¤1.9 billion
  • Engineering and service companies: ¤2.5 billion
  • Proportion of turnover exported: ¤12.7 billion (90%).

Geographical estimated share-out of turn-over abroad:

  • Africa: 22%
  • Eastern Europe: 8%
  • Far East: 13%
  • Middle East: 14%
  • North & South America: 21%
  • Western Europe: 25%.

The major asset of this mature supply and services industry is its capacity to provide new solutions and innovative technologies in most oilfield activities, in particular deep offshore exploration and development.

Large companies such as Technip-Coflexip, Schlumberger, CGG, Stolt Offshore, Bouygues Offshore, Doris Engineering, and Pride Forasol all have a strong position in the international markets and are established in all the oil and gas producing countries. A good number of technically innovative small to medium enterprises complement the group. These companies devote a large part of their income to R&D to stay in the forefront of technological progress and to meet the ever more demanding challenges of the industry.

GEP, in addition to its traditional activity of participating with its members in exhibitions and conferences, offers several services to foreign clients and industrialists, including providing information on companies registered in France, helping to identify the right supplier or project partner, and acting in all respects as a technical and commercial interface.

GEP is a founding and active member of European Oil & Gas Innovation Forum (Eurogif), the grouping that represent the European oil and gas supply industries vis à vis the European institutions. It is active within Eurogif in seeking support for R&D from Europe and is very attentive to any advantage that the European dimension could bring to the industry.

GEP publishes a directory of its members available in print, CD-ROM, and at GEP also contributes, together with the CEP&M and the IFP, to the yearly survey of the French oil and gas supply and services industry activity worldwide.

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