What is your position within Welltec and how long have you held it?
My position for the past 4 years has been Area Vice President Europe, Russian Federation and CIS. Due to the pace of growth of our business however we have recently reorganized so I can focus solely on the Russian Federation and CIS with my good friend Terje Skeie assuming responsibility for Europe.
Welltec has been in Russia for about 3 years, but how is business for you at the moment?
Business is growing very fast at the moment as our clients understand the value proposition offered by Welltec. Basically we offer a faster, safer, lighter and more cost efficient alternative to heavier forms of intervention such as work over rigs, snubbing units or Coiled Tubing, by executing services on electric line. Fewer personnel, elimination of heavy lifts, faster rig up and operating times, easier logistics etc. deliver the benefits our clients demand. In Russia we are currently active in most parts of the country including Far East (Sakhalin), Eastern Siberia, Western Siberia, and Komi.
And what about the Caspian area? Is this a big market for you?
Historically we have not focused on the Caspian but that is now changing as we speak. We are present in Azerbaijan and have just started up our business in Kazakhstan recently. Caspian is a very important part of our future in 2011 and beyond and will now have a focus from Welltec to grow the business in that area.
Have you recently had, or do you plan any new product launches in Russia?
Absolutely. Welltec regularly launches new products and services. We also operate in the Completions market and our WAB (Well Annular Barrier) is an expandable metal barrier that is ideally suited for cement assurance and will suit the Russian market well.
With the oil price rising and significant unrest in the Middle East and North Africa, what is your forecast for business in Russia in the coming years?
We have only been in Russia 3 years and we are still just scratching the potential market of the world’s biggest oilfield. For this reason we see Welltec’s Russian business growing regardless. From a more general perspective, most analysts predict the average Russian rig count will continue to grow in 2011 and beyond and we are seeing significant CAPEX increases from our clients already in 2011. So we see a healthy future for the Russian oilfield and also for Welltec Russia.
On a more personal level, how long do you spend in Russia and what is your favorite region?
I spend over a 3rd of my year in Russia and I must say that I have enjoyed my trips to Krasnoyarsk and the surrounding regions immensely. One particular trip out into the surrounding countryside was fascinating with large industrial dams and wild countryside existing side by side. Beautiful!
And what do you like best about Moscow?
The general excitement generated by such a vibrant major city…..and of course the fabulous restaurants.