US oilfield contractors enter wide-ranging MoUs with Saudi Aramco

May 22, 2017
Saudi Aramco has signed agreements with major US oil and gas service contractors valued at around $50 billion.

Offshore staff

RIYADH, Saudi ArabiaSaudi Aramco has signed agreements with major US oil and gas service contractors valued at around $50 billion.

Aramco’s President and CEO Amin H. Nasser signed the documents in the presence of US President Donald Trump.

“The agreements…underscore the purposeful collaboration between Saudi Arabia and the United States in areas of strategic importance linkingSaudi Vision 2030 and America’s own economic depth and strength,” said Nasser.

Among the various memoranda of understanding (MoUs), National Oilwell Varco (NOV) and Aramco will create a joint venture (JV) in Saudi Arabia to develop manufacturing and fabrication facilities for NOV’s drilling technologies and various aftermarket services.

In addition, the proposed JV will establish an education center to train Saudi technicians in maintenance and operation of these technologies, and should create 1,000 jobs.

With GE, Aramco will examine the feasibility of new business development across the upstream, midstream, and downstream chain including manufacturing and services. This venture should create 2,000 jobs.

The two companies have also signed an MoU to conduct a digital transformation of Aramco’s operations with the goal of generating $4 billion annually from productivity improvements.

GE will supply a private Predix Industrial IoT cloud, APM and industry-specific applications, and staff a Digital Transformation Office with local engineers, process experts, and technologists. This should lead to creation of 250 Saudi jobs and stimulate local economic demand for an additional 500 digital industrial careers.

WithRowan, Aramco signed an extension to an MoU agreed to last November concerning the formation of a jointly owned offshore drilling company in-Kingdom. This will develop the designs of the jackups rigs which the two companies intend to manufacture at the Ras Al Khair Maritime yard.

The new company will use Rowan’s established business in Saudi Arabia as its base and will serve the country’s existing and future offshore oil and gas fields. Operations should start soon – the partners plan to support suppliers with funding to deliver a series of projects related to localizing oil field goods and services.

Aramco signed further MOUs with Weatherford and Baker Hughes for projects related to localizing oil field goods and services. These combined should create more than 1,500 jobs.

Another MoU with Emerson involves a collaboration for digital transformation within Aramco’s operations and covers Plantweb Digital Ecosystem Solutions (IIoT); competency development programs (training of Aramco employees); digital oil field initiatives; and R&D for process automation.

Schlumberger said its MoU with Aramco should further development opportunities for Saudis in oil and gas services and related markets; strengthen the deployment of Schlumberger technology; reduces regional delivery times for the company’s products and services; and increase local capacity and deployment capabilities.

Last year,Schlumberger inaugurated its Middle East Center for Reliability and Efficiency, which brings together maintenance and product center specialists in maintenance processes. This is the largest state-of-the-art facility in the company’s network.

Finally,McDermott International signed an MOU with Saudi Aramco concerning development of its “physical and human capital within Saudi Arabia.”

The nine-initiative plan calls for expansion of the company’s local supply chain, developing full-scale fabrication and marine facilities, consolidating area operations in Saudi Arabia, and provides career training and development opportunities for skilled Saudi nationals.

Recently McDermott opened a new yard in Dammam and an office in Al Khobar. It estimates the potential value of the MOU at around $2.8 billion over the next few years.