Bahrain Review

Dr Mirza and other officials at the inauguration of Katch Kan's office.

Dr Mirza and other officials at the inauguration of Katch Kan's office.

Katch Kan opens regional headquarters in Bahrain

The Canadian firm hopes to capitalise on opportunities accross the region’s upstream oil and gas industry

CANADIAN safety and environmental solutions specialist Katch Kan opened its Middle East regional head office in Bahrain in February, looking to capitalise on opportunities across the region’s upstream oil and gas industry.

The company, headquartered in the province of Alberta, says the new office “will enable the company to provide additional comprehensive service and support to meet the increasing needs of customers in the region, and expand our overall global business capabilities.”

The company’s founder, president and chief executive Quinn Holtby explains that a visit to Bahrain in 2012 laid the foundations for the company’s strategic decision to set up an operations hub in the country. He says: “We chose Bahrain because we know the leadership supports Katch Kan in terms of providing a friendly (investment) environment and business opportunity. In particular, we received a warm welcome from (Energy Minister) Dr Abdul Hussain bin Ali Mirza. We have faith in the economy and the vision of Bahrain as the perfect gateway to the region.”

Katch Kan’s solutions, underpinned by research and development (R&D) functions in the company’s home country, assist upstream oil and gas organisations to develop oil and gas with a smaller footprint, according to Holtby.

In particular, he says the company works with oil and gas companies and drilling contractors to ensure access to tangible, efficient, safe and proactive solutions to prevent the loss of drilling fluids and the contamination of drilling sites.

He says one of the main thrusts of the company is to help rig operators reduce costs, an increasingly important consideration given volatile market conditions.

“High oil prices will not last forever and there are always cycles; in western economies these cycles are a big challenge for supply and support companies. With that in mind what better time to reduce the costs of doing business?”

Holtby envisages the Bahrain operation – which local media recently reported could have up to 100 staff – as a regional showcase for Canadian upstream oil and gas technology, already proven in other markets.

“Bahrain is a great opportunity to set a precedent in the region in this respect. I like the economy because it gives us a little more time to build solid relationships. I like to select places in the world where there are people with the time and the will to support what we are doing, and where we can find skilled workmanship.”

Katch Kan’s Rig Safety System is, according to the company, designed to increase personnel safety while decreasing operational hazard on a rig-floor by eliminating repetitive accidents and incidents. The patented Zero Spill System (ZSS) not only captures fluids but assists in the prevention of the need to go fishing for dropped foreign objects, thereby reducing down time and loss of production.

Meanwhile, the Zero Spill System was designed in response to industry feedback, regulatory concerns and environmental stewards demanding an easier efficient and safe way to contain production fluids and drilling fluids, from releasing into the natural environment. With these systems in place, Katch Kan says it has been able to deliver tangible results regarding environmental performance.

Holtby says one of the main challenges facing the oil industry – how to produce a barrel of oil more efficiently – is applicable anywhere in the world, including the Middle East.

“In drilling operations, some of the things we haven’t valued very much is the environmental side, the safety side and reducing non-productive time,” he explains. “With a lower price of oil we need to look at these technologies to facilitate a return on investment.”

From its Bahrain regional office the company is looking to tap opportunities not only locally with Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco), but also in Saudi Arabia. In serving this region and its harsh operating conditions, Holtby says the solutions are rigorously tested.

“R&D is very important. In Canada we work in temperatures of plus 20 to minus 40 (deg C). The challenges here are different, so we do test pilots here for two years to make sure these systems do what they are designed to do.”

In an effort to develop awareness of rig safety and environmental issues, the company plans to set up a regional Advisory Board to help facilitate the integration of Katch Kan technology and other technologies, as part of a broader engagement with the Middle East’s oil and gas industry.

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