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August 2017 Cover story: Charting a new course

by Indrajit Sen on Aug 15, 2017

Ronan Le Gloahec, the new MD for Weir Oil & Gas in the EMEA region, reveals the company is today a key oilfield services provider to most of the regional oil and gas majors.
Ronan Le Gloahec, the new MD for Weir Oil & Gas in the EMEA region, reveals the company is today a key oilfield services provider to most of the regional oil and gas majors.
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When I visited Weir Oil & Gas’ facility in Dubai’s JAFZA South industrial area in November 2015, only a few workers and the smell of fresh paint greeted me. But even back then, something told me that the brand new engineering centre was worth the $20mn Weir Group had invested – the facility would serve the organisation well in its bid to consolidate its position within the regional oilfield services market.

Last month when I visited the centre again, this time to interview the new EMEA regional managing director, the factory had a completely different look. Numerous workers and supervisors, apart from engineering, sales and other services staff, were busy at work, and the HSE officer showing me around the unit was having to yell above the sound of active machinery to make me hear him.

“This investment (in the JAFZA South site) was made at the onset of the downturn, in 2015. So that was a significant commitment from the (Weir) Group to manufacture in-country. When the decision was made to commit this CAPEX, the Middle East was the natural choice,” Ronan Le Gloahec told me in his office at this facility.

“As I was told when I started in the EMEA region in 2002, the last drop of oil will be coming from this region. Weir as a group truly believes this, so we decided to make this CAPEX investment. The reason we came to Jebel Ali (in Dubai) is because we felt this was very central to the region. From the supply chain point-of-view, this centre offers us access to most places in the Gulf region, but not limited to that – we can access the Asian, African and European markets. The Middle East as a sub-group is vital to the plans of Weir Group, as far as oil and gas is concerned,” he said during this exclusive interview.

Le Gloahec was anointed, only in May this year, as the leader for Weir’s business in the massive Europe, Middle East and Africa region, the remit of which, in his words, “spans from the Norwegian sector of the North Sea right till South Africa, while our border on the West side is the Atlantic Ocean and goes as far as New Zealand in the East – so pretty much the whole of the Eastern Hemisphere.”

Le Gloahec’s familiarity with living and working in this sprawling region of the globe, coupled with his experience of being engaged in the oil and gas business here for the last 14 years, is something that he says had prepared him to assume charge of this crucial responsibility within the Weir Group.

“I’m not foreign to this region, having been involved with the Middle East and Asia Pacific for the last 14 years, with two previous employers – Schlumberger and Welltec. So, I’m quite familiar with the geography (of the entire region he now manages),” Le Gloahec claims. “I’ve run this region from Paris, Dubai and Kuala Lumpur under Schlumberger, and from Kuala Lumpur in the last five years for Welltec.”

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