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Interview: Emerson ME O&G director, Andrew Dennant

by Daniel Canty on Dec 17, 2012


Emerson is an investor in Saudi Arabian learning environments.
Emerson is an investor in Saudi Arabian learning environments.

Andrew Dennant, Emerson Process Management’s director of Oil & Gas for the Middle East and Africa, says the traditional technology vendor model is becoming less relevant, and that he is spearheading a new era of collaboration to assist the region’s operators with the challenges of tomorrow

As Emerson Process Management’s recently-appointed director of oil and gas for the Middle East and Africa, Andrew Dennant appears to have plenty to hold his attention in his new role. Oil and gas accounts for 35 percent of Emerson’s global business, and between 50 and 60 percent in the region - evidently making it a hugely important part of the firm’s business.

Of course, this importance brings its own challenges, and Dennant says that ensuring the firm works with customers - rather than simply selling products to them – will be a key test.

“I think there are a number of things I need to be doing in my new role, and one of them is getting our people to understand more about the applications our customers face.

If we want to be trusted advisers, we want to be solving not selling, and to do that we need to fully comprehend the challenges they face. Improving the level of oil and gas knowledge our sales guys have is a really important factor in that,” he explains.

“To be involved in the major business we are conducting in the region – such as our strategic accounts with the national oil companies in the GCC and international oil companies in Iraq for example – we have to get closer to them to understand the business challenges,” he adds.

Speaking during the Emerson Global Users Exchange in Anaheim, Dennant says that the region’s distinct challenges are very evident when speaking to operators in the Gulf of Mexico and onshore US.

“Our customers have to protect the reservoir just the same. Yes, we have to get first oil and gas as quickly as we can. Yes, we have to optimise cost the same as they do. The big difference in play here is the way the reservoirs work because of scale.

The oil and gas deposits under development in the Middle East are just huge. Talking to people in the US, you get a real sense of how the scale is unimaginably different,” he says.

“We need to make sure that Emerson understands the implications of those scales when we are developing our own sales tools and also, of course, products and services tailored to our clients in the region.”

With this in mind, Emerson has recently announced plans to expand its project engineering staff to meet the increasing demands of project activity. With new projects appearing at double-digit rates, increased engineering capacity is required to ensure timely project execution.

“We’re not just adding staff; we’re making them more efficient and effective. We’ve invested for years in standard practices and tools for project engineering, and are taking advantage of global communications technology to be able to locate talent globally and then deploy our expertise anywhere it is needed.

Our commitment is to meet our customers’ demands for competitive, predictable, high-quality engineering services that get them into production and making money as soon as possible.”

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