Campaigning for local content in oil and gas
South African companies at OTC 2019
Having identified the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston (USA) as a key event for the offshore sectors, the South African Oil and Gas Alliance (SAOGA) has been working with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to showcase South African capacity on a country pavilion for a number of years now.
Founded in 1969, OTC’s flagship conference is held annually in Houston, but has expanded technically and globally with the Arctic Technology Conference, OTC Brasil, and OTC Asia. The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) is where energy professionals meet to exchange ideas and opinions to advance scientific and technical knowledge for offshore resources and environmental matters.
With almost 50,000m² of exhibition space, the event attracts 60,000 energy professionals from 100 countries. In addition, over 300 journalists attend to learn about new innovations, companies and services.
As such, it provides an ideal platform for a country pavilion and this year 20 companies and government agencies will aim to highlight what they can deliver to the sector. Speaking ahead of the conference, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, said the South African National Pavilion at the conference will assist the South African companies to identify opportunities within the US’s up, mid and downstream value chain integration.
Two of South Africa’s emerging Industrial Development Zones form part of the contingent. Both the Saldanha Bay IDZ (SB IDZ) and the Richards Bay IDZ (RB IDZ) have identified the offshore oil and gas sector as a viable opportunity to develop bespoke offerings.
Having been identified to host the development of a 2,000MW Gas-To-Power plant, Richards Bay IDZ is keen to attract investors and Zodwa Zikalala, Marketing Manager, says that the IDZ is also well positioned geographically to service the offshore gas industry in neighbouring Mozambique. “We are also ready to service a potential local offshore industry,” he says noting plans for ENI to drill exploration wells off Richards Bay.
Saldanha Bay IDZ on the west coast of South Africa, however, is eyeing out both local developments in offshore exploration as well as those further north in West Africa. It’s the seventh consecutive year that the SB IDZ has been present at OTC.
“It has become one of the cornerstones of promoting the capabilities of South African service companies and our infrastructure developments to the global upstream oil and gas Industry. It also provides us with a single meeting place to hear more about what projects are expected to take place; meet with our existing clients and potential future clients, and catch up with good friends,” says Laura Peinke, Business Development Executive for SB IDZ.
“We are excited about OTC 2019 as it gives us an opportunity to showcase what developments we are undertaking in the port infrastructure space, as well as key projects that will be undertaking construction in the Saldanha Bay IDZ,” she adds.
The deep water port was identified a number of years ago as a strategic host for an Offshore Supply Base and the concession to establish the facility was officially awarded to Saldehco in 2018. The project looks to operate an offshore supply base in the port on a dedicated quay, as well as provide specialist and generalist services for both the oil and gas industry and the marine industry.
First time exhibitors, Linsen Nambi and Cape Diving are optimistic about their representation at OTC 2019.
“The OTC provides an opportunity to engage with thought leaders and innovators in offshore technology. We are hoping to identify the latest technological advancements,” says Durand Naidoo, Managing Director of Linsen Nambi, adding that they hope to identify new technology that will give them “a leading edge in oil and gas transportation”.
Cape Diving, which now forms part of the OSC Marine Group, sees the event as one of the key offshore events on the calendar. Having visited the show for a number of years, Mike Jessop sees the advantages of showcasing the OSC brand.
“We believe OTC, now more than ever, is an international platform through which South African products and services can be well marketed. Cape Diving, as part of the OSC Marine Group is well positioned to provide services to international majors operating in Africa,” he says.
“We truly believe that there are broader opportunities for South African companies both locally and on the international market, whereby we can offer good subsea engineering and excellent safe project execution,” he adds.
They are joined on the pavilion by a number of companies that have been travelling to Houston on an annual basis for some time now.
SGM (Sturrock Grindrod Marine) Group has been a part of the South African pavilion for the last six years and Marketing Manager, Hilde Sturrock, sees it as an integral focus of their marketing strategy.
“Attendance at OTC gives us valuable insight into current and future developments in our region in the offshore oil and gas fields. We are delighted to be a part of the southern African oil and gas industry as a whole and being able to make use of this platform to showcase and promote our expertise,” she says.
“(The show) provides us with access and exposure to senior decision makers at international oil and gas majors as well as the wider offshore business community,” she adds.
ImproChem has also been a part of the event for six years now. “The OTC provides an annual hub for ImproChem to interact with new and existing customers and to detail the latest chemical technology available,” says Marketing Manager, Sean Jordan.
“Manufacturing the Suez specialty upstream chemical range at our plants in South Africa provides an accessible gateway into sub-Saharan Africa using our regional supply chain that can cut months off delivery lead times. Coupled with ImproChem’s laboratory services and experienced technical capacity in numerous African countries, we can satisfy the stringent demands of the oil and gas industry,” he adds.
Visiting Houston for the third time this year, Keane Harvey, Managing Director of ProFloat says that the event is the highlight of their marketing calendar. “It represents a critical opportunity to interface with existing and new customers; present developments and innovations and clarify the many ways in which a South African company can add value to customers looking for field support,” he says.
“We are excited at the abundance of opportunities, both arising through the continued refinement and improvement of our service, as well as the rollout of exciting new developments,” adds Harvey.
As a worldwide supplier to the oil and gas exploration markets, Hall Longmore also takes up position on the South African pavilion having participated in the past. “OTC offers a platform to exhibit our product and services thus exposing us to potential customers which increases product inquiries and assists with sales,” comments Mmatsheko Shai, Key Accounts Manager, who believes that moderate opportunities exist in the current term for the company.
Shai is optimistic that the company will export around 30,000 metric tons into the United States of America market per month by the end of 2019. The company intends to grow this number in the next five years.
Another first time participant is black-owned ship repair services company, Bayside Marine that is seeking to tap into the US market at this year’s show. According to the Director of Bayside Marine, Bongani Tokwe Bayside Marine is a service provider that has positioned itself to access opportunities that the US market provides.
“As Bayside Marine we are ready to showcase our services of repair and maintenance of oil rigs, vessel and boat services, and impress the US market. We are optimistic that the company will bring home some interesting leads,” says Tokwe.
The South African pavilion will host a number of discussions and meetings. Visitors can engage directly with representatives from both private companies as well as government entities, making it a valuable platform for establishing contact with a viable support base in Africa.
The companies are supported by the dti through its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance (EMIA) Scheme.
The objective of the scheme is to develop export markets for South African products and services and to recruit new foreign direct investment into the country. The scheme also seeks to facilitate market access for the exhibiting South African companies.