NES Global Talent reveals 2018 Middle Eastern energy trends
Darren Grainger, Managing Director at NES Global Talent, an industry-leading recruitment agency with almost twenty years’ experience in the Middle Eastern energy sector reveals his predictions for the ME energy market in 2018, including potential vacancy “hot-spots” for power and oil and gas talent.
According to Grainger, who has represented NES Global Talent in the Middle East for over sixteen years, the Middle East really is the land of opportunity and will continue to work towards the region’s high energy production targets throughout 2018.
Oil and Gas
“If you look back at 2017, consolidation was absolutely key for the region’s oil and gas sector,” Says Darren Grainger.
“Many of the National Oil Companies have been looking at joining assets. ADNOC is now exploring the option of combining efficiencies with ZADCO and ADMA-OPCO and has identified key projects with macroeconomic objectives.”
“Oman is planning to diversify its oil and hydrocarbons into the downstream sector, with mega-industrial cities being highlighted and defined for design, procurement, and construction in areas such as Duqm”
The UAE has “concentrated on its gas exploration” with the commissioning of new power stations, Grainger reveals. However, the Emirates has now placed an equally strong focus on increased activity in the solar renewables space.
Saudi Arabia has also been identified as a key growth area, says Grainger, who believes a multi-billion dollar spend on long-term agreements (LTA’s) with Aramco contracts will allow international engineering, procurement, construction, and installation services for upstream field developments to seize new investment opportunities and improve both onshore and offshore assets.
“Iraq has also identified gas as its new objective for 2018,” Grainger continues.
“There is a macro-need for a number of gas plants being forecasted, either in the form of expansions or new designs, throughout the year.”
Grainger notes a prediction of increased activity in the Middle East’s power sector this year, citing ME thirst for power will remain strong in 2018 and beyond.
“Increased capacity has been targeted at 3.3% year-on-year, so there is definitely further growth required for the power industry out here in the Middle East,”
“The first nuclear projects will be commissioned and become operational in the UAE, but there are also talks of a nuclear power plant in Saudi Arabia- another first for the country”
The Middle Eastern nuclear sector is still in its infancy, which is dissimilar to regions such as Europe, Japan, South Korea and the UK, where nuclear facilities can often be over fifty years old.
According to Darren Grainger, this is one challenge for the Middle East over the next few years.
“However, where there is a challenge, there is almost always opportunity. The opportunity is what makes this region so special,” Grainger continues.
“The Middle East’s population is growing rapidly, which presents an abundance of talent for new infrastructure projects, power stations, shared power grids and much more.”
Influencing the Middle East’s increased activity in nuclear and renewables is the region’s ambitious clean energy targets, says Grainger. However, analysts say gas will remain the ME’s largest power contributor, with the gas sector generating over 60% of the region’s power. Grainger believes this “solidifies” the need for further gas projects in the Middle East.
The Middle East’s hunger for local talent won’t be shifting this year, Grainger reveals. However, there is now a “significant” demand for knowledge-transfer in the new industrial cities, such as Jazan (Saudi Arabia) and Duqm (Oman).
ADNOC (Abu Dhabi National Oil Company) has recently released its five-year business plan for operational budget and generating sustained, strategic growth. The oil giant is looking to maximize value by leveraging synergies, says Grainger.
“The national oil companies are going to be right at the forefront of implementing efficiencies and targeting new growth opportunities,”
“I think this indicates not only a push for local talent but also a reliance on the wider regions, such as Asia, Europe, and the US. There is a real opportunity for these regions to get involved with the Middle East’s developments in 2018.”
NES Global Talent is working with Middle Eastern energy companies to diversify the downstream oil and gas sector, and providing staffing solutions to the power and renewables sectors for both existing and new projects.
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