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Mon 1 Jan 2007 06:07 PM

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Regional business centre boosts presence

As part of a plan to increase its presence in the GCC oil and gas industry, Siemens has launched a regional business centre (RBC) for the sector.

As part of a plan to increase its presence in the GCC oil and gas industry, Siemens has launched a regional business centre (RBC) for the sector.

According to the head of the centre, Sunil Mehra, Siemens will devote its €5 billion research and development budget to exploring the possibilities for the oil and gas industry. This includes upstream, downstream and mid-stream applications.

The RBC is based in Abu Dhabi and will expand on its 2 000 plus strong team of Siemens employees in the Gulf region. “We will steer our existing corporation in the direction of oil and gas and bring industry specialists into the RBC,” said Mehra.

Entry into the new market comes as the Cambridge Energy Resource Associates (CERA) reports that global crude oil production will need to rise by 25% over the next decade. Meanwhile, it is estimated natural gas production will need to grow by 200% to cope with increased global economic development over the next 50 years.

“In parallel with investments in oil and gas, are investments in infrastructure in the region,” said Mehra. “Today we have serious problems with availability of raw materials because there is so much consumption. There is also a serious lack of skilled manpower. It is time for the market to channel what it has more efficiently and this is where our RBC comes in. If we are able to see the market’s requirements in advance, we have a lot to offer the region.”

In the Middle East, Mehra sees an average annual investment of US $25 billion in the industry, which is expected to grow by 3-5% annually. According to the International Energy Agency, there will be an estimated investment of US $3 000 billion by 2030 in the gas sector alone.

“The whole idea is to determine the requirement of the customer,” said Mehra. “For example, as the need to drill deeper for oil arises, so does the need to develop better extraction techniques. We have been researching this concept for the last seven years. We realise that the industry is fractious, so will not simply jump in whenever there is a boom. We are looking at the long term and see that this is something which is required.”

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