HFI Goes “Med and Red” with Extension of Specialist Initiatives
HFI Consulting International is extending its Saudi Arabian Ventures Initiative (SAVI) to cover opportunities arising in the Red Sea and Western Saudi Arabia. This is in addition to its existing focus on oil and gas opportunities in the Eastern Province, where Saudi Aramco is based.
In tandem the firm is also expanding the reach of its International Local Partner Agreement Initiatives (ILPA) to the Mediterranean where offshore opportunities continue to emerge for the subsea supply chain.
The extension of SAVI follows the recent establishment of a presence in all of Al Khobar, Riyadh and Jeddah through a collaboration between HFI Legal Consultancy and Al Shamlany Law Firm in Riyadh and Selouan Law Firm in Beirut.
In addition, HFI has also launched a new collaboration with Energy Business Catalyst (EBC). The firm’s Middle East director, Adrian Phillips, has joined the HFI Bridgehead Energy Consultants network along with EBC managing partner, Patrick Phelan.
HFI managing partner Hugh Fraser, who attended the Saudi Smart Grid Conference 2017 in December in Jeddah, explained: “There are a number of drivers which mean that SAVI needs to have a dual focus on the Eastern Province/Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea/Western Saudi.
“Overall, Saudi remains our primary focus due to four reasons: the US$30 billion per year Saudi Aramco investment in oil and gas operations; the US$30 to US$50 billion investment in renewables and nuclear projects announced this time last year; the investments in water projects; and the general economic diversification drive under the Saudi Economic Vision 2030 and National Transformation Plan initiative.
“Within this strategic framework we now seeing growing interest in the Red Sea as an offshore/deepwater gas and oil opportunity, and of particular note is last month’s announcement that Schlumberger and TGS have begun a new 2D seismic survey.
“The survey is over 10,000 square kilometres in the Egyptian sector of the Red Sea, and is due for completion by the end of Q1 of this year. This follows on from the seismic work carried out for Saudi Arabia and Sudan.”
Mr Fraser said it was anticipated that opportunities would continue to emerge from refinery, petrochemicals, desalination and waste water treatment projects, and operations and maintenance contracts, both at Yanbu and along the wider west coast.
He also pointed towards major infrastructure projects driving the local and wider regional economy, with the US$50 billion NEOM free zone in north west Saudi and the US$4 billion Red Sea Bridge project across the Gulf of Aqaba already drawing huge interest.
“This reflects the current geopolitical reality that Saudi, Egypt, Jordan and, indeed, Israel are showing increased evidence of regional political alignment and economic co-operation,” he added.
“Another key strategic issue is that a Red Sea/Western Saudi focus connects well with the East Mediterranean deepwater gas and wider energy opportunities emerging in Egypt. At present, Egypt is looking to achieve both energy security for its near 100 million population and to boost its economy with gas exports to the European Union.
“A “Med and Red” approach could offer a significant new and growing opportunity for the offshore/subsea supply chain which has so far been highlighted in the main by the US$24 billion investments by ENI and BP in the Zohr and West Nile Delta projects.
“HFI will attending the Egypt Petroleum Show from 12-14 February and the Mediterranean Offshore Conference in Alexandria from 17-19 April to deepen our connections and market intelligence on the region in the context of our International Local Partner Agreement Initiative (ILPA).”