BAKU, Azerbaijan, March 31
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
Trend’s exclusive interview with Tommy Kassem, VP OFS, Baker Hughes, Russia & Caspian Region
Question: How would you sum up the results of your operation in Azerbaijan as of 2020? What are the highlights of your performance in the country up to now?
Answer: I’m very pleased how our teams in Azerbaijan reacted to the coronavirus pandemic; navigating lockdowns and market volatility, making necessary changes to working practices, to keep us on track for long-term profitable growth in an important strategic market. As the coronavirus crisis evolved, we acted quickly to protect our employees and the communities in which we live and work, while minimizing operational disruption. Our rapid and flexible response allowed us to continue to deliver on our customer commitments. For example, we swiftly adopted remote working and technologies to keep only mission-critical employees on-site to operate day-to-day service and maintenance operations. The results of our HSE performance in 2020 speak for themselves, with our oilfield equipment business posting a 24th consecutive year free from lost time incidents (LTI) and zero non-productive time since 2017.
Q.: What are ongoing projects in Azerbaijan's oil and gas sector? How does your company contribute to increasing the effectiveness of oil and gas operations in Azerbaijan?
A.: One of Baker Hughes’ core objective is to deliver industry-leading expertise and innovative technologies that drive efficiency enhancements. This in turn helps reduce the cost per barrel for subsoil users in Azerbaijan. We have been effectively collaborating with our partner’s in-country for many years now - this has continued during the pandemic and we remain committed to this in the long-term. We are optimistic about our future in Azerbaijan. Today, our businesses support exploration and production phases of the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli, Shah Deniz and ACE projects.
Education and knowledge-sharing are vital elements of how we contribute. We’re developing university relations to ensure talent development for the future of the industry in Azerbaijan. We are also ensuring continuous improvement in the effectiveness of our operations in Azerbaijan by liaising closely with our global Centers of Excellence in the UK and US on technical and field health matters and sharing of global best practices.
Q.: At what level is the process of digitalization of your operations in Azerbaijan?
A.: Baker Hughes is on the leading edge of digital transformation for the global oil and gas industry. Digital solutions are a vital part of how we evolve our business and position ourselves to deliver for new frontiers in the energy future. We are accelerating digitalization of our operations in Azerbaijan using our broad portfolio of technologies and solutions, which includes sensors, edge-analytics and enterprise-scale artificial intelligence applications. These advanced digital solutions create actionable insights that operators can use to create tangible outcomes in areas like operational and environmental performance.
In recent years, we have successfully completed many remotely supported operations in Azerbaijan: deploying remote technologies with little or no Baker Hughes employees located rig side. Remote digital solutions for rig side operations deliver clear safety and efficiency benefits and were instrumental to meeting our customer commitments in Azerbaijan during the pandemic.
Q.: Which projects are you implementing at Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli block and Shah Deniz?
A.: We have been involved in the exploration and production phases at Azeri-Chirag Gunashli and Shah Deniz since the projects were launched. Today, our businesses support these projects through installation and support of wellhead and liner hanger systems, maintenance of subsea and topside control systems and certification of risers and divertors.
We also operate offshore in Azerbaijan through pressure pumping operations, including cementing, coil tubing and production enhancement, as well as completion and well interventions, wireline, and pipeline and process services. We are also looking to expand further by deploying more integrated solutions to drive efficiency improvements for the country’s oil & gas industry.
Q.: Do you have a general plan for your business in Azerbaijan for 2021? Are you considering bringing new services to Azerbaijan?
A.: We are optimistic the global economy and oil demand will steadily recover – and recognize that the world will demand more energy and also expect more from that energy. As a major energy exporter, Azerbaijan has an important role to play in this energy transition and Baker Hughes is committed to providing the low carbon technology and expertise needed to make energy more efficient by navigating complex challenges in areas such as automation, artificial intelligence, and methane and emissions control. In the near term, we are always looking to deploy our best technologies and services to deliver enhanced safety and efficiency which are an important foundation of the future of oil and gas.
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