HFI Consulting expands international global network

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Middle East business expansion specialist HFI Consulting International has appointed a new specialist consultant to help its clients in the energy and water sectors respond to unprecedented growth opportunities in Saudi Arabia.

Graham Berry, who has more than 35 years’ experience in the oil, gas and engineering sectors in the USA, Middle East and Far East, will work across HFI services but will have specific focus on its Saudi Arabian Ventures Initiative (SAVI).

Saudi Arabia is emerging as a key market within the Middle East due to a raft of government-led investments and initiatives aimed at diversifying the country’s economy and reducing resilience on oil and gas.

“SAVI brings together HFI’s legal and bridgehead energy consultancies. It aims to fill a growing demand from companies that recognise the huge potential of Saudi Arabia, but need assistance to develop highly-focused strategies to establish new ventures or re-orientate existing operations in the Kingdom,” says Graham.

“There are four key themes of opportunity in Saudi Arabia that make growth in that region a very attractive prospect – a US$30bn a year investment programme by national oil company Aramco; an investment of up to US$50bn for nuclear and renewables, a significant water investment programme and the overall drive to diversify the nation’s economy through the 2030 Economic Vision National Transformation Plan.

“Together these will result in a significant number of new opportunities, particularly for joint ventures. If you want to expand into the region in the next six to 12 months then Saudi Arabia is by far the biggest market. Most companies find that if they can internationalise in this region, they can repeat that successful journey elsewhere.”

Graham, latterly with Houston-based Superior Energy Services and tasked with setting up and running Wild Well Control in the Middle East, has over 35 years’ experience in the oil and gas services and engineering sectors.

He specialises in the provision of market analysis, local partner vetting and selection, NOC vendor registration support and business development for companies wishing to enter the drilling equipment and services sector in the MENA, Africa and Asia Pacific regions.

Graham’s experience in delivering successful internationalisation projects will also be critical in delivering HFI’s International Local Partner Agreement (ILPA) initiative, which uses the firm’s strategic, commercial, legal and diplomatic skills to match energy technology companies with the right local partner and the appropriate commercial arrangements.

Hugh Fraser, founder and managing partner of HFI, adds, “Graham’s in-country experience will be key for our clients. MENA and the Gulf Co-operative Council (GCC) offers an incredible amount of potential for drilling and production engineering and services companies.

“We are heavily focused on Saudi Arabia because it is the biggest market and we can assist our clients in doing business with Saudi Aramco and new initiatives it is promoting. One of the key themes is the Saudi Arabia 2030 Economic Vision and the In-Kingdom Total Value Add (IKTVA) programme. IKTVA aims to reduce the country’s reliance on oil revenue while creating high-quality skilled jobs for Saudis – a move which means that international suppliers must employ more local people and increase local spending.”

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