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INTERVIEW: US eyes more projects in Gulf


Offshore oil and gas activities have experienced an increase in the Gulf states, causing it to attract some big eyes from the west

July 24, 2012 12:35 by

U.S. engineering firm Fluor Corp is eyeing opportunities in OPEC member states Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, where it sees increasing offshore oil and gas activities in the coming years, a senior executive at the firm said.

“We do see a trend to more offshore opportunities and see a number of offshore opportunities in Saudi Arabia,UAE and Qatar,” Jose Bustamante, Senior Vice President for Fluor’s Energy & Chemicals Group in the Middle East, told Reuters.

Currently the majority of oil production in top oil exporter Saudi Arabia comes from onshore oilfields but several offshore fields such as the giant Manifa in Saudi are in the works.

Bustamante did not see any slowdown in Gulf oil and gas projects based on the front-end engineering and design (FEED) work. “In chemicals, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are leading the new investments,” he said.

State oil giant Saudi Aramco signed in the past month billions of dollars worth of deals with its partner Japan’sSumitomo Chemical to expand a petrochemical complex in Rabigh, while bidding continues for several units at the Sadara project, owned by Aramco and U.S. Dow Chemical.

Colin McKenzie, vice president for Fluor Saudi Arabia told Reuters in the same interview his company is interested in a long-term offshore engineering services contract that is expected to be retendered by Saudi Aramco as part of the state oil giant’s plan to maintain potential production capacity in oil and gas fields.

The contract is due to expire in 2014 following an extension that Worley Parsons (WP), Aramco’s current contractor for this project, obtained in March this year, a spokesman for WP said.

Fluor is also looking to win more deals in Iraq as it aims to increase its presence at the war-stricken country. The company, already working in Iraq’s West Qurna One, is bidding for several projects for oil and gas facilities.

“…We have a number of proposals out there (which), if successful, will substantially increase our presence,” Bustamante said. He did not elaborate.

Foreign oil firms working to develop giant oilfields in Iraq, including Exxon Mobil, recently issued several tenders for contractors to help with hammering out logistics and construction work at targeted oilfields. (Reporting by Reem Shamseddine, with additional reporting by Ahmed Rasheed in Baghdad, editing by Humeyra Pamuk and Mark Potter)

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