Qatar Review

Burck ... confident

Burck ... confident

GAC sees umpteen opportunities in Saudi Arabia

With strong financial foundations, a global reach, a strong reputation and a focus on innovation, the firm is well placed to capitalise on the the kingdom’s logistics industry, the value of which is forecast to grow to $17.9 billion this year

A predicted upturn in oil and gas drilling activities in Saudi Arabia – part of the kingdom’s strategy to boost daily oil and gas output to build additional spare capacity – opens up new avenues of opportunity for GAC Saudi Arabia, one of the country’s leading shipping agencies.

Of the company’s three main business units in Saudi Arabia, the Oil & Gas division already enjoys a healthy market share in the offshore oil and gas rig services sector, complementing its core freight forwarding, agency and husbandry services. But now, says David Burck, GAC Saudi Arabia’s managing director, the company plans to direct new focus on the onshore rig business, a sector he admits is currently underserved by GAC.

"We have traditionally focused on offshore business," Burck explains. "Now, a strategic push for us will be on land rigs, where at present we have very limited market share in Saudi Arabia, and to do so we will look to acquire the relevant skills and capabilities from our GAC colleagues elsewhere in the region."

As GAC homes in on the land rig business and freight forwarding services, it will be against the background of efforts by state oil giant Saudi Aramco to raise the output capacity of the onshore Shaybah and Khurais fields by a further 550,000 barrels per day (bpd) by 2017.

GAC’s move into onshore rig services is the latest step for a company which has become a household name in the Saudi logistics industry over decades of operations in the country, and which is a respected and trusted provider of specialist offshore rig services.

Currently, oil and gas-related services account for about 40 per cent of company revenues in the kingdom.

GAC Saudi Arabia is also one of the kingdom’s leading shipping agencies, providing shipping services throughout the country’s ports, including at Ras Tanura, Dammam, Al Khafji, Jeddah, Yanbu, Jubail, Jizan, Ras Tanura, Ras al Khafji and Rabigh, as well as Riyadh Dry Port.

"The GAC brand represents longevity, and nowhere is that more true than in Saudi Arabia," says Burck. "We stand for stability, and for superior access to the Gulf-wide GCC network as required."

The company says its expertise and long standing experience in providing support services to the upstream oil and gas industry, in even the most challenging conditions and locations in Saudi Arabia, continues to set it apart from its competitors.

"Whether it’s the transportation of a drill pipe to a land-based yard, rig mobilisation, agency services for supplies and personnel, or delivering specialised heavy equipment and spare parts through an integrated supply chain, GAC Upstream Oil & Gas Logistics is a one-stop solution," says Burck.

With strong financial foundations, a global reach, a strong reputation and a focus on innovation, GAC is also well placed to capitalise on the broader development of the Saudi Arabian logistics industry, the value of which is forecast to grow to $17.9 billion this year.

In addition to oil and gas and shipping services, GAC provides port agency services to handle husbandry matters for ship owners. It also offers well established sea, air and land freight services, including clearing and forwarding.

Burck is upbeat about the prospects of GAC’s oil and gas business this year, despite oil price volatility.

"In a market where the core product has devalued, people look for stability. There is little appetite among Aramco, for example, to change suppliers at this time - they’re looking to rationalise costs."

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