Equatorial Guinea: Connecting Operators with Local Partners

Energy Capital & Power spoke with Jesús María Nvumba Mbomio, President of the National Alliance of Hydrocarbons Service Companies (NAHSCO) about classifying indigenous service providers by their technical, operational and professional abilities, facilitating the process by which operators select suitable local partners for joint venture agreements.

WHAT HAVE BEEN THE KEY PHASES OF NAHSCO’S DEVELOPMENT SINCE ITS ESTABLISHMENT IN 2007?

The establishment of NAHSCO was inspired by the Ministerial Decree of National Content, and subsequently, by the need of the sector to locate and employ national companies. Operators did not previously have a tool by which they could access information and engage with local service providers. NAHSCO is a platform composed of private national companies that provide services to the domestic oil and gas industry. We were conceived under a very clear objective: to develop the technical and professional capabilities of national companies to provide the required services within the sector. To achieve this, NAHSCO created a plan comprising three phases. The first phase consisted of legalizing the association, which we have already achieved; the second phase consisted of classifying companies based on their activity within the sector; and the third phase, which we are currently starting, is the classification and categorization of companies based on their technological, operational, logistical and professional abilities. The third phase is essential, as operators will no longer have to filter through companies themselves. NAHSCO classifies companies as Class A, B or C, which makes the process of selecting potential partners significantly easier. At the same time, we will provide a roadmap so that companies that are classified as Class C can eventually meet certain requirements to move up categories.  

HOW CAN LOCAL SERVICE COMPANIES ACCESS TRAINING AND IMPROVE THEIR KNOWLEDGE TO BE MORE COMPETITIVE ON A REGIONAL AND GLOBAL LEVEL?

We are aware of the limitations that national companies have at a technological and knowledge level. As a result, we have the tool of collaboration with international companies through joint venture agreements. Joint ventures are not only seen as a contract to make a profit, but also to guarantee a real transfer of knowledge. This happens by ensuring that there are national personnel present in all operations and incorporating provisions for technology and equipment transfer in all agreements.  

WHAT HAS BEEN THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE LOCAL WORKFORCE?

The current global health situation, together with the economic crisis that preceded it, were two events that impeded the development of the private sector in Equatorial Guinea, and more specifically, companies within NAHSCO. To continue evolving, financial entities must grant us access to the resources that will enable us to train our personnel and acquire the technology vital for our growth. We also rely on the institutions accompanying this process to have the objective of enhancing local content. These two are vital factors.  

WHAT IS YOUR SHORT- AND LONG-TERM OUTLOOK FOR THE ENERGY SECTOR IN EQUATORIAL GUINEA? 

Due to the health crisis, the consumption and production of goods and services has decreased, but thanks to vaccines – and once the global population overcomes the crisis – all countries will return to their former levels of wellness, consumption and production, which translates to a higher demand for energy. The result will be a barrel price that is profitable for operators and producers, as well as for resource-owning countries. In our opinion, the forecast is positive and our message for companies at NAHSCO is that crises also bring opportunities. We need national companies to perform internal reorientations and be ready to take advantage of any opportunities that might come along.  

Source: Energycapitalpower

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